This is a guest post written by Jonathan Dunsky.
In a recent post Evelyn wrote about the dangers of fad diets and the importance of creating healthier habits for long-term weight loss and health. That was an important post and good advice, but there is one piece of the puzzle that’s missing: how do you know if a diet is a fad diet or not?
There is no rule book to give you a definitive answer, but I believe that the following 5 signs may indicate that a diet plan is indeed a fad and may be wiser to avoid (or follow with caution):
1. Calls For Eating Specific Foods For No Apparent Reason
One thing which many fad diets have is an obsession with a specific food which they require you to eat. There’s the egg diet, the Japanese banana diet, and this diet plan which calls for eating cabbage soup in large quantities. Most of the time, the reason why this food is good for you is farfetched if not totally bogus.
Whenever you see something like this you may have stumbled on a fad diet.
2. There’s a Big Gimmick Involved
Gimmicks sell. The more simple and catchy the gimmick is the better it is for the person who wrote the diet book or program. They can now sell more copies, get more press coverage, and appear on more “gimmick hungry” TV shows.
Having a gimmick is similar to having a specific food: it’s something that was created to set this diet plan apart from all the others, even though it often makes little sense. The reality is that gimmicks may be good for sales, but they’re not likely good for your waistline. So, avoid diets with absurd gimmicks.
3.Very Strict Program
I believe in making big changes in your life to lose weight and improve your health. However, I don’t believe in crash diets or very low-calorie routines. Often, fad diet are extremely strict. Since there is no real method to them, all they usually do is tell you to cut your calories down very low. For instance, this very low-calorie diet requires you to eat 200 – 800 calories each day.
If this seems crazy to you, it’s because it is. This is truly insane and may lead to various adverse effects on your health. You can lose weight without going through agony and starvation-style diets.
4. Promise of a Huge Weight Loss In A Short Time
If a diet plan is promoted as a way to lose an insane amount of weight in a very short time, it is likely a fad diet.
The reality is that most of this weight loss will be water. You won’t lose a lot of body fat, which is what you really want. In addition, it may be very hard to maintain this weight loss into the future.
5. Little Or No Call For Exercise
Fad diets are all about being easy and simple. This is why most of them don’t call for any exercise or very little of it. It tends to make things seem hard and who wants that, right?
Now, you can lose weight without exercising. All you need to do is maintain a good diet plan. So, not all exercise-free programs are fad diets. However, if any of signs 1 – 4 also apply, it increases the chance that this is indeed a fad diet plan that you’re considering.
Fad diets are not the answer. They often lead to short-term results at best. You need to follow a sensible eating plan and do regular workouts to achieve real results. Forget about gimmicks and fads. Have patience, work hard, and you will look and feel better.