How to Spot a Fad Diet

There are hundreds of diet plans out there all promising to help you lose several pounds just like that. However, a lot of these diet plans do not work. Worse, they may even be unhealthy.

Here are five ways to spot a diet fad that may cause more harm than good:

Diets that require drastically cutting back on calories

Designers of low-calorie intake diet plans count on the body’s reaction to starvation. Fasting-type diets however, got one thing wrong. When the body thinks it is starving, the first thing it let goes of is water.

Most of the weight the body loses through starvation-type diets is mostly water. Doctors say that it is almost impossible for a healthy and normally active person to lose more than 2-3 pounds of actual fat per week, even on a starvation diet.

Diets that require cutting out fat, sugar or carbs

Diets that require avoiding entire food groups are usually fads. Cutting out entire foods groups means depriving yourself of the nutrients only certain groups can provide.

Instead of avoiding food groups, eat balanced meals (proteins, greens, fruits and grains) in smaller portions. Eating a balanced-diet keeps you from having cravings.

Smaller portions on the other hand, can help you set healthy eating habits that keep the weight off.

Diets that require skipping meals or replacing meals with drinks or bars

Skipping or substituting meals means you won’t get the nutrients your body needs for healthy development. Food bars and drinks likely do not contain the nutrients a well-rounded meal does.

Diets that require eating only specific foods

Limiting your food choices means you might not get the nutrition your body needs to remain healthy and to develop properly. Also, experts say that there is no reliable scientific proof yet that combining specific foods work.

Diets that require taking pills, powders or herbs

Diet pills usually contain, either diuretics or laxatives. These two work by forcing the body to get rid of more water. Just like in starvation-type diets, water and not fat is lost.

Diet pills and powders that claim to speed up metabolism and suppress appetite, or block the absorption of fats, sugars or carbs have no reliable scientific evidence to back them up.

These diet supplements may be risky, especially in teens, because little is known about how their ingredients affect a developing body.