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December 16, 2009 at 12:08 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Uncover the Pros and Cons of Fad Dieting

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

We have all heard of "fad" diets on the news, on the radio, on television, and online. Fad diets usually claim to be the quickest, easiest way to lose weight and look great. But uncovering the pros and cons of fad dieting can be tough, so knowing the basics is essential.

What Is Fad Dieting?

A fad diet can be described as a trendy, briefly popular diet plan that promotes rapid weight loss. Some popular fad diets over the years have included The Atkins Diet, The South Beach Diet, and The Cabbage Soup Diet. Some others include The Drinking Man's Diet, God's Diet, and The Scarsdale Diet. Fad diets are generally viewed as unhealthy and short-lived.

Signs of a Fad Diet

Signs can include:

  • Dropping weight too quickly (more than 1 or 2 pounds a week)
  • Eliminating certain food groups or severe calorie restrictions
  • Contradicts health specialists or nutrition experts
  • Has claims that seem far-fetched or miraculous
  • Neglects physical activity
  • Promises success to everyone
  • Does not include scientific evidence, but rather testimonials


There can be several cons to fad dieting. Since weight loss is so rapid, it can be unsafe and unhealthy. Fast weight loss also results in certain side effects such as bone loss, muscle loss, deprivation of vitamins and minerals, and slowing metabolism. Fad diets do not provide optimal nutrition due to severe restriction in caloric intake. Most fad diets have little clinical evidence to support their claims and rely mostly on testimonials.

So What's the Appeal?

Fad diets have come into demand due to the promise of immediate results. Even though they're touted as being virtually instantaneous, they can be unsafe in the long run.

What's the Best Way to Lose Weight?

Finding a program that works for you is the key to success. A regimen that includes physical activity and a balanced, healthy diet is the best for long-term health. Losing weight should be a lifestyle change, not just another diet. You can change your weight simply by adjusting your eating habits slightly. Gradually exchange fattening foods for healthier versions. Love fried chicken? Try it baked instead!

How to Ensure Success?

  • Commit
  • Enlist emotional support
  • Set goals that are achievable and reasonable
  • Try healthier foods
  • Engage in physical activities


Photo Credit: mealmakeovermoms

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