While some popular diets will help you cut pounds in the short-term, most are not long-term sustainable

infographic of the 10 clues for spotting fad diets

Many people are lured into the promise of “losing weight fast”. In fact, according to Reid Medical, half of all Americans who diet annually choose a “fad” diet like Atkins, South Beach, or Paleo. Unfortunately, no pills, powders, or specific foods will aid in quick weight loss. These “fad” diets often work in the short-term, but once a user stops the diet, there is a likely chance that weight will be gained back.

“Fad” diets can also have negative effects on the body depending on what it entails. These include nutritional deficiencies, weakness or fatigue, loss of water, loss of lean muscle, and changes in hormonal health and metabolism. Oftentimes, the diet’s restrictions are just unhealthy and unrealistic to maintain as well. It is important to note, there are medical conditions that do require a strict diet. In those cases, consult with a medical provider.

Spotting “Fad” Diets

  • Claiming fast/easy weight loss.
  • Eliminates food groups or “bad” foods, like carbohydrates.
  • Requires purchase of supplements labeled as fat burners, metabolism boosters, or weight loss aids.
  • Highlights very specific foods.
  • Doesn’t require exercise.
  • Has rigid rules to follow.
  • Makes claims on a single study or testimonials only.

Changing Food Mentality

Thinking of some foods as “bad” or “cheat” foods is pretty common. Having this sort of mentality about those foods can lead to guilt after consuming them and cause anxiety about eating. A more sustainable mentality to have is thinking of no food as off limits, while recognizing that some foods are simply healthier than others and those less healthy foods should be eaten in moderation. A few tips to keep in mind according to Better Health Victoria are:

  • Eating until you’ve had enough, not until you are full.
  • Try to avoid eating when you’re not hungry, or to fill the time.
  • Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Eat slower and enjoy your food.

Some days you may be hungrier than other days, and if you want that after-dinner slice of coffee cake, go for it!  Overall, the best way to living a healthy lifestyle is to combine some activity with healthier and sustainable eating habits.

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