We’ve all been pulled in by the promises. We’ve all experienced the lure at some point. We’ve all had that friend who insists that this great “new” diet is revolutionary and you must try it.
Fad diets are all around us: We read about them in our magazines, we see them being celebrated on daytime talk TV, and we are constantly assaulted with online click bait promising outlandish weight-loss with minimal effort online. Promises that say that in order to get the body you want and the health you desire, you just need to follow this one simple plan. Suffice to say, modern day society is no stranger to Fad Diets.
But what exactly are Fad Diets and more importantly, why don’t they work? A Fad Diet is generally a stylish and oversimplified weight-loss plan that offers obscenely dramatic results. Typically a Fad Diet calls for extreme restriction or addition of a specific food item. These diets are designed to promote rapid weight-loss by either cutting out an entire food group (No-Carbs, No-Fats, No-Sugars) or restricting intake to only one specific type of food (The Cabbage Soup Diet, The 48 Hour Miracle Diet, or juice fasts). While the weight might seem to peel off the body, science has shown repeatedly that Fad Diets simply do not work and worse, they can be incredibly hazardous to the body and mind.
Science has shown in study after study that Fad Diets are ineffective and dangerous.
- You are not losing fat. Sure, you might drop 10 pounds in the first week – but that isn’t fat you’re losing. The majority of weight lost in the first phase of a Fad Diet is water, water that will quickly pile back onto your body when you resume to an even slightly normal diet.
- It doesn’t last. Not only are the diets unsustainable, the results simply do not last. After some period of time, your body will fight back either in the form of intense cravings or health problems. Once you resume eating a normal diet, the weight not only comes back, it increases often.
- It slows your metabolism. Crash and Fad Diets are scientifically proven to cause your body to go into starvation mode. When in starvation mode, your body slows it’s metabolism in an effort to conserve energy while it perceives it is under attack. The kicker? Even after you return to normal eating, your metabolism never recovers, making it even easier to gain weight.
- It doesn’t get to the root of the problem. Weight gain happens for a variety of reasons, and a Fad Diet doesn’t allow you the opportunity to understand what that reason is. By using Fad Diets as a crutch for bad eating habits, you are not getting to the real reason why you gained the weight to begin with and will not be able to achieve sustainable weight-loss. Furthermore, the psychological destruction that a dieter experiences when the Fad Diet fails can often result in a feeling of hopelessness. We are more likely to see ourselves as a failure, and not that the diet itself was a failure. This failure leaves us with a feeling of hopelessness and ultimately will reduce the likeliness of success in the future.
It might seem impossible, but in order to achieve true, sustainable, and healthy weight-loss, one must block out the chatter, hype, and lure of Fad Diets and instead focus on a slow, steady, and balanced diet. The risks to your body and mind are simply not worth it.