Every year, about 50% of adults in the United States attempt to lose weight. Many of these people may turn to trendy diets, programs, or pills that promise fast results with little effort. We call these fad diets.
Fad diets make big promises and may even help you drop unwanted pounds, but they’re not a long-term solution for managing a healthy weight.
Here at Legacy Pain and Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Trace L. Alexander uses his advanced training in nutrition to offer weight-loss plans that provide sustainable results.
We want to talk about fad diets, why you should avoid them, and what you can do instead to reach your healthy weight.
Spotting a fad diet
A fad diet includes any popular diet or weight-loss strategy promoted as the “best” or “quickest” way to lose weight. The diet may trend for a set period of time, but never become a recommended eating pattern.
How can you recognize a fad diet? If it includes any of the following, it’s a fad diet:
- Promises to help you lose weight fast with little effort
- Cuts out whole food groups
- Requires eating foods in specific combinations or at set times
- Has a strict menu
- Eliminates exercise
- Requires the use of dietary supplements or shakes to burn fat or boost metabolism
Basically, if the diet sounds too good to be true, then it’s a fad and one to avoid.
Harm of fad diets
If fad diets help you lose weight, you may not see any harm in following them. Unfortunately, the way you lose weight following fad diets makes it nearly impossible to keep it off. Sure, you may lose weight fast on a fad diet, but you’re losing mostly water and muscle, not fat.
The rules and restrictions that come with fad diets also makes them hard to follow for the long term. And they don’t teach you how to eat to maintain your new weight. When you go off your diet, you may fall right back into your old eating patterns, gaining back the weight and then some.
Because of the restrictions, fad diets can lead to nutritional deficiencies that affect your overall health.
These types of diets also cause disordered eating. You may see foods as good and bad and feel guilty or ashamed when you eat something that’s not allowed on your diet.
Losing weight for good
Instead of following a fad diet to lose weight quickly, you want to find a plan you can follow for life. A plan that includes nutritious foods from all of the food groups, allows you to eat the foods you enjoy, and fits your food budget.
Your plan should also give you a chance to create the habits that lead to long-term weight management, such as:
- Eating at regular intervals throughout the day
- Finding ways to add more activity to your day
- Adding planned exercise
- Getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night
- Staying hydrated with water
There is no quick fix when it comes to weight management, and it’s a journey filled with ups and downs. But if you have a solid foundation that includes good habits, good food, and a good mindset, you can succeed.
If you’re having a hard time reaching your goal weight and you want a plan that works, we can help. Call one of our offices in Plano or Addison, Texas, to schedule a consultation with our chiropractor and nurse practitioner, Dr. Alexander.