Why Fad Diets Never Work

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

For most people who struggle with their weight all their lives, fad diets seem like an attractive notion. Usually, fad diets promise significant weight loss in half the time. However, these types of restrictive dieting won’t help you keep the pounds off in the long-term. You will end up yo-yo dieting. The fact remains that the best kind of diet is not a diet at all. It requires balanced meals, healthy eating and getting lots of exercise.

Reasons Why Fad Diets Fail

Lack of Variety

A healthy diet is comprised of balanced combinations of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. These nutrients are meant to keep the body healthy and normalize weight. Unfortunately, most fad diets tend to eliminate a certain food group to gain results. Some of the most popular diet fads rely heavily on excessive protein consumption while shunning out carbohydrates to achieve weight loss. This can be unhealthy. A diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates is linked to cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Very Restrictive

Food serving is growing larger over the years. If you don’t mind your portions, you are bound to gain weight. Scaling back the portions of your meals is the best way to keep your weight in check.

Fad diets rely on very strict rules on meal hours. Foods have to be eaten a certain way at a specific hour to be effective. For example, most fad diets require a dieter to wait at least four hours between meals. Other rules include eating just one kind of protein in every meal or eating fats and protein separately. There is no scientific evidence that says separating foods or eating at a certain hour can help a person lose weight.  Because fad diets are so restrictive, it’s hard to stick to any of them in the long run. And in the end, the dieters will go back to their old eating habits because they are unable to stick to the rigid rules and measures of a certain diet program.

Overemphasis in Single Food

What do the banana diet, the cabbage soup diet and the grapefruit diet have in common? Over-emphasis on a single food to lose weight. Sticking to a single food for days on end is unhealthy. It can cause nutritional deficiencies, severe cravings and deep feelings of self-deprivation. It can also lead to diet fatigue.

Some health experts believe that single-food diet is no different from not going on a diet at all. Most dieters who stick to such diet fads tend to lose very minimal weight, if there’s any at all. The difference between a single food diet and not going on a diet at all is that the body does not go through severe trauma from a restrictive diet.

Oversimplification of Diet

Fad diets depend on oversimplification of the human diet and biological processes to attract dieters. For example, the Atkins diet is heavily reliant on proteins because “carbs are fattening.” What Atkins diet fanatics won’t tell you is that the body depends heavily on carbohydrates for energy. Carbs are also essential in completing complex biological processes. Eliminating carbohydrates in your diet will have severe consequences.

Other examples are fad diets that eliminate fat from the diet. This is a classic case of oversimplification because these diets overlook the fact that the brain and nervous system need a certain amount of fat to work properly.

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