The Truth About Fad Diets

Sound Too Good to Be True?

If a weight loss program is promoted with terms like "breakthrough," "miracle," or "secret ingredient," then you are most likely dealing with a fad diet that is too good to be true. Here are some keywords to look out for when trying to determine if a diet plan is a fad diet:
 
  • Rapid weight loss: While you may lose weight rapidly at first, it is more than likely water weight that you are losing, which will be regained rather rapidly as well.
 
  • Magic or miracle foods: Unfortunately, there are no foods that will burn or melt fat away. No food can undo the long-term effects of overeating and not exercising.
 
  • You don't need to exercise: It's true that just about any diet that effectively reduces calorie intake can cause weight loss without exercise. However, legitimate diets usually encourage people to exercise as well, both to enhance weight loss and for overall health.
 
  • Strict menus: While some people may like the idea of someone telling them what to eat, these fad diets limit your food choices and can be an unpleasant option. When looking for a dieting plan, find one that is realistic in how it allows you to eat and that includes a variety of foods.
 
  • You can eat unlimited amounts of certain foods: Some of these fad diets emphasize foods that are allowed or not allowed. For example, if your diet plan calls for you only to eat grapefruit or cabbage, you should ask whether this is really a healthy way to go. Skipping important food groups can be unhealthy, and you will likely cheat due to cravings.
 
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