Why Fad Diets Don’t Work, And What to Do Instead

When it comes to weight loss, many people struggle to shed those extra pounds and on top of that keeping it off. Some will go to extreme lengths to get the results they want as fast as they can. This impatience has led many to follow fad diets. These popular weight-loss plans promise drastic results over a short period of time. However, many of these diets aren’t the healthiest nor are they the most reliable over a long period of time.

Generally, these diets involve limiting your food choices, the focus on food combinations, or involve diets pills or other supplements used to lose weight. They often claim that you can lose all of this weight without exercising. However, a lot of these fad diets are actually unhealthy and bad for your body. Here are a few dangers that these diets cause:

  • Dehydration: When you start losing several pounds over the first few weeks, the weight you are actually losing is water weight, not fat. The water lost is the water stored in your body that is held to prevent dehydration.
  • Fatigue: Most of these trendy diets involve removing certain foods from your diet. This practice also removes many nutrients and energy needed to keep your body running to its full potential. They also limit the amount of food eaten which forces your body to get energy elsewhere.
  • Muscle Loss: One of the most glaring errors in these fad diets is the omission of exercise in them. Most effective diets need proper exercise paired with it to have successful weight loss. The body won’t be able to build muscle mass needed to help burn calories, which leads to restricting your body’s metabolism.
  • Slowed Metabolism: Due to these diets calling for you to cut so many calories out, your metabolism actually slows down instead of speeding up in order to save energy.
  • Expensive: While this is not a physical danger, many fad diets require you to purchase many supplements. These products, oftentimes, are very expensive and require you to purchase them multiple times. This will put a strain on your wallet obviously.

What You Should Do Instead

The path to successful, healthy, and permanent weight loss is less about a temporary diet change and more about a lifestyle change. Your diet should include a whole host of foods. It should be a healthy balance of proteins, carbs, fats, and many other nutrients. Going on a fad diet and excluding foods that contain necessary nutrients for your body can put you at risk of becoming ill.

While maintaining the size of your meals is important, fad diets tend to make them smaller than they need to be. Your meals shouldn’t be huge, but they also shouldn’t be minuscule as well. It has been reported that portion sizes for many foods have grown greatly with the growth of fast food franchises. Maintaining proper portion control is the key to losing weight. Here are a few more tips to healthy and successful weight loss:

  • Eat a Variety of Foods: As previously mentioned, many fad diets call for the removal of specific foods from your diet. This leads to your body not receiving the appropriate nutrients it needs. Make sure to include lean protein, complex carbs, vegetables, and good fats like omega-3 fats found in fish, avocados, and nuts.
  • Remove Bad Fats: While some fats are good for you, there are plenty of bad fats out there that need to be removed from your diet. Saturated and trans fats which can be found in fried food, fast food, and snacks can be harmful to your health.
  • Exercise: Many of these fad diets proclaim that you can lose weight without having to exercise at all. That is hardly the case. You should stay active for at least 30 minutes a day. This helps improve your muscle mass and in return improving your body’s metabolism.
  • Portion Control: Instead of eating 3 larger meals a day, try eating 5 to 6 smaller meals throughout the day. This technique will keep your metabolism working throughout the day. If you go to a restaurant, eat half of your meal and then take the rest of it home to eat for another meal. Find food that is healthy and fills you up.
  • Snacking: Whenever you feel hungry but not hungry enough for a full meal, avoid snack foods and instead fill up on fruits and veggies. Dark berries like blueberries, blackberries, cherries, and raspberries are all rich with antioxidants, and small salads are also good to fill up on.

Weight loss can be hard and frustrating at times, but if you are truly dedicated and want to see healthy changes to your body, you should work at making those changes instead of taking the easy and, frankly, unsuccessful way out with fad diets. Making sure you make changes to your diet that last a lifetime are fire strategies to weight loss. Don’t forget to incorporate a workout plan with your new lifestyle. If you are in need of a gym, come in and check out Fitness Nation’s 24-hour fitness centers in Bedford and Arlington! We’ll be sure to answer all of your fitness questions to help with your weight loss journey.