Written by Erin Marty
If you’re attempting to lose weight, you’re not the only one; according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, more than 30 billion dollars is spent annually on weight loss solutions, and much of this is spent on fad diets. Unfortunately, fad diets are usually unsuccessful and can be harmful to your general health.
Do not get “going on a diet” confused with “sticking to a balanced diet.” These are two totally different strategies. Though it does not apply to everyone, diets – particularly fad diets – do not typically work long-term and are generally not as healthy as they lead people to believe.
The general idea of a fad diet is that if you are loyal to your diet, then like magic the fat is supposed to melt off, easy and fast. Unfortunately, regimes like these are typically unhealthy in that they call for the exclusion of whole food groups that you should otherwise consume daily as part of a balanced diet. For example, the Atkins diet demands that you let go of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates, unfortunately, are needed not only for successful weight loss, but are significant in general, as they are necessary for your overall health and survival. Other fad diets exclude different foods such as “good” fats, proteins, or other important nutrients. Saying goodbye to any group of essential food that your body calls for can yield negative results on your health.
Another reason why fad diets fail in the world of successful weight loss, is that it is nearly impossible to keep your weight off for too long. Though you can lose weight fast with a fad diet, you are more likely to gain back the weight that you had originally lost – and then some! And despite false claims that certain foods will magically melt away fat, this is untrue; food does not actually burn fat. If anything, you are likely to lose weight fast on a fad diet due to decreasing your water weight or even muscle mass. But with water, eventually your body will rehydrate itself again thus the weight comes back; as for the muscles, this is an unfortunate loss as you need strong muscles to get into shape and stay fit and healthy for years to come.
Participating in a fad diet means you’re likely to suffer through what some people refer to as “yo-yo dieting” or “yo-yo weight loss.” Imagine your weight fluctuating up and down constantly – that is “yo-yo dieting.” This does not only negatively impact your mind and confidence when trying to whip yourself into shape, but it can lead to health issues as well. The Weight-Control Information Network explains that your risk for high cholesterol and high blood pressure are both increased if you are frequently losing and gaining weight.
There are numerous ways to try and burn that stubborn fat from your body. Which option you choose depends on your personal needs and where you are at on a physical level. But probably the most successful way to lose weight for the majority of people, is to stick to a healthy eating plan and to exercise daily. Fad diets, not only unsuccessful, but harmful to your health, should be avoided.