Six Reasons Why You Should Avoid Fad Diets

24th January 2019
The key to fad diets is the excessive reduction of calories, and in almost all diets, the storage of important energy substances is reduced as well. These diets encourage you to stop eating the essential foods your body needs, which is far from good. 

No nutrition plan that claims to help you lose 60 pounds in a week can be good. That exaggerated weight loss may be possible, but it can have some awful consequences on your body. Gastroenteritis, stress and unexpected changes in your digestive system sum up the dark side of fad diets. 

The result of these strict plans is a nutritional imbalance that could be very harmful to your health. Here we’ll give you some facts about fad diets that you’ll want to consider.

Fad diets reduce calorie consumption to unhealthy levels

When we want to lose weight, the first thing everyone tells us is that we must reduce our calorie intake. However, this reduction is actually a way to control the way we eat, in order to adapt it to what our body needs, and nothing more. In fact, you should calculate serving sizes and types of food, depending on your height and other such factors. 

Tricks to save some calories in food.

With fad diets, you’re drastically reducing the calories, which is far from healthy. The goal of a nutritional plan is not to become malnourished, but to include many healthy foods in your meals instead. Some people may experience mood swings and other physical symptoms. Plus, these diets don’t favor muscle development, which will make you feel generally weaker.

Once the diet’s over, you’ll gain the weight back

Following a strict diet, even temporarily doesn’t mean that all the work is done. The reality of these diets over seven, ten or even thirty days is that the results don’t last. This is called the yo-yo effect, where fat tends to become easily stored in the body; we don’t want that to happen.

The immediate consequence is that food imbalances don’t allow the results to last. Evidently, it would be impossible to maintain such extreme habits for a long period of time. Probably, those who continue the diet would see their health deteriorate in a matter of months or even weeks.

Loss of muscle mass

A body that’s submitted to an extreme fad diet, due to the lack of nutrients, wouldn’t be healthy nor aesthetically beautiful. In practice, most people who follow these diets end up losing muscle mass. It’s clear that many people do lose some weight but experience sagging skin at the end.

Those who visit the gym will see how their progress with muscle mass is simply degraded. In addition, hair and skin lose their glow and natural beauty. This is also due to the lack of nutrients in these ‘miracle’ diets.

They’re too strict

Fad diets promise to reshape your body in only a few days, but all under a very demanding plan. The problem is not that it’s strict, but how unnecessary it is to suppress so many foods. The worst thing is that, as we mentioned earlier, the results don’t last for long either.

Myths about diets.

Some of these diets involve suppressing carbohydrates entirely and even some proteins. Much better than following a fad diet, is to cultivate proper eating habits. The results of eating healthily are progressive but not at all slow. Although it may not seem so, you can achieve a fit body without the need to make extreme sacrifices. 

Lack of exercise

Unless you have a mesomorph body type, it’s very hard to end up with toned muscles using these kinds of “quick fixes”. In addition, it’s worth mentioning that these proposals almost never include a workout plan to condition your muscles. 

The reason for this is very simple: a restrictive diet, which is poor in nutrients, wouldn’t allow you to workout. A malnourished body simply can’t stand physical activity for long; it would collapse. So, it’s incredibly dangerous to train while following a fad diet.

Fad diets stress you out

Few things stress you out more than not having eaten well. Cortisol levels rise when there’s a lack of calories; the effects of bad eating habits also have a psychological disadvantage. It can affect you in other aspects of life, such as work or even your emotions.

The good news is that you don’t need to resort to desperate solutions to achieve to your goal weight. Managing your calories through the selection of the foods you eat and the serving sizes will do the trick. 

You don’t have to stop enjoying a delicious meal either; you may eat a cheat meal every once in a while. Moderation and exercise are the foundations of a healthy body.

  • Khawandanah, J., & Tewfik, I. (2016). Fad Diets, Lifestyle Promises, and Health Challenges. Journal of Food Research. https://doi.org/10.5539/jfr.v5n6p80