Fad diets are so incredibly tempting, aren’t they? Just follow these simple steps and poof! Magically, you’ve dropped weight and look fabulous! Unfortunately, the results are always temporary. In fact, much of the “weight” you lose on fad diets is water weight, NOT FAT.
If you’re still not convinced that fad diets are ineffective at best and dangerous at worst, take a look at these five reasons to avoid the darned things.
1) They deplete important nutrients
Many fad diets have you banish whole groups of food and gorge on other food groups. While these radical guidelines may indeed help you shed pounds quickly, they can also be dangerous, adversely affecting levels of potassium, sodium, and other vital nutrients your body needs to function.
2) They set you up for constant cravings
At first fad diets may seem like fun (“Oooh, I get to eat a few gallons of whipped cream every day?!) but within a few days you start to get really sick of eating all the formerly “forbidden” foods. Worse, now that other, healthier foods are forbidden, you start to crave those, and can’t stop thinking about everything you’re not allowed to eat. This just sets you up for constant cravings – or worse, complete failure if you can’t resist the temptations.
3) They are not meant to be followed forever
Some fad diets may be effective for the first few weeks, but can be detrimental several months or years from now. Just because something makes you lose weight doesn’t mean it’s good for your body. Why bother following a diet that will set you up for health problems later?
4) They don’t encourage proper nutrition
All right, maybe you can lose a few pounds by eating nothing but lean chicken breast – but your body needs more than that to be healthy. If a diet plan does not include fruit, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats, it doesn’t have everything your body needs for optimal health and well-being.
5) They don’t address the reasons you gained weight in the first place
Fad diets are like a temporary fix for a permanent problem. They don’t help you resolve the mental, emotional and physical reasons why you put the weight on in the first place. If you instead focus on improving your habits, finding healthier ways to manage stress (besides eating), and exercising to help burn calories and strengthen your body, you are much less likely to gain the weight back later.
So, the next time you are tempted to go on the Jelly Bean and Tomato Paste diet, ask yourself if that’s really the best way to reach your goals for the long-term, or if it’s better to create a lifelong, healthy plan that you can really stick to forever? Shoot, if you really want to, you can even include a few tablespoons of tomato paste and a few jelly beans!