Fad diets come and go, promising incredible results but rarely delivering on them until they fizzle out. They do typically create a sensation in the media which inspires millions to try them out. There are a number of problems with these diets that should make people pause and reflect before jumping head first.
No Long-term Research
A lot of them are fairly new, buoyed by a new scientific discovery or a product created with exotic ingredients. Due to their age, they have not been sufficiently studied to check whether they can indeed do the things they claim. Although they may provide good short-term results, the long-term results are not as clear. These could lead to bad side effects further down the road, especially for people with chronic ailments. Individual success stories should be read with a critical eye. These are often just part of marketing hype. It is only with unbiased scientific research that claims can be proven.
Going Extreme is Hard to Maintain
Another reason why fad diets are dangerous is that they often call upon their followers to go to the extreme to achieve their weight loss goals. Some, for instance, have a very low upper limit on calorie consumption. They may ask a full-grown adult to not eat beyond 500 calories worth of food in a day. Indeed, anyone that starves their body is likely to shed pounds after a while but it isn’t exactly a healthy way to do it. You can do it for a while but it cannot be maintained for very long or else you will get sick. Once normal habits resume, the weight will come back with a vengeance.
Neglects Certain Food Groups
Another feature of fad diets is that they often neglect certain food groups from the daily intake. For instance, they may ask people to dramatically reduce the percentage of fat in their meals. Others frown upon carbohydrates in the hopes of being more fat-adapted. Although there are times when you truly will need more of one nutrient over another, the truth is that you will need all of them to function well in moderate amounts. A total ban of one type of food will make an individual likely to experience nutrient deficiencies. Supplementation will be necessary but this is not always an adequate replacement for real food.
A Healthy Lifestyle is Still Best
It should also be pointed out that diet is only one approach towards achieving weight loss. There are many other elements that also must be tapped for a holistic approach. Living a healthy lifestyle is still the best if you want sustainable weight loss that also makes you feel good inside and out. This means doing regular exercises, getting enough sleep every night, avoiding junk food, drinking plenty of water, eating your greens, quitting smoking, and so on.