Fad diets typically promise quick weight loss, oftentimes through unhealthy and unbalanced dieting. A diet can be considered a fad if it:
Claims to help you lose more than 1-2 pounds per week
Promises that you’ll lose weight and keep it off without giving up fatty foods or starting an exercise program
Bases its claims only on “before and after” photos
Limits your food choices and encourages you to only eat a specific set or type of food
What are the dangers of fad diets?
Fad diets can lead to things like gout, poor athleticism, heart disease and—ironically—poor, long-term weight loss control. If you’re looking to get in shape or lose weight this year, make lifestyle changes that encourage portion control, exercise more, avoid empty calories and eat a well balanced diet. Keep in mind that forming healthy dieting practices now will keep you on track with your long-term weight-loss goal.
The Mayo Clinic suggests considering your personal needs before you start a new fad diet or popular diet. Here are some key factors to think about:
Have you ever dieted before?
Can you follow a strict diet?Which diet worked for you in the past?
How did you feel on the diet — mentally, physically, and emotionally?
Do you like to diet alone?
Do you need diet support from a group?
Do you like to have online support?
Do you like to go to diet support group meetings?
Does your budget allow for special diet supplements?
Do you prefer using weight loss clinics?
Can you afford special diet food or beverages?
Are you limited by any health conditions?
Top 10 FAD Diets of All Time
South Beach Diet - The South Beach Diet was invented by a famous cardiologist. It is a low-carb fast weight loss diet that is claimed to improve heart health.
Weight Watchers - Formerly called Weight Watchers, the company has changed its name to WW, with the tagline “Wellness that Works.” WW is a very popular diet plan, in which foods are assigned points that you count every day.
Mediterranean Diet - The Mediterranean Diet emphasizes: Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. Replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil. Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods.
Keto Diet - The Ketogenic Diet is high in fats while limiting carbohydrates and proteins. The ketogenic diet is the lowest of the low carb diets. You are limited to 50 grams (or less) of carbohydrates a day.
Atkins Diet - The Atkins Diet is a commercial weight-loss program devised by Robert Atkins. The Atkins diet is classified as a low-carbohydrate fad diet.
Paleo Diet - The Paleolithic Diet, Paleo diet, caveman diet, or stone-age diet is a modern fad diet requiring the sole or predominant consumption of foods presumed to have been the only foods available to or consumed by humans during the Paleolithic era
Volumetrics Diet - The Volumetrics Diet plan relies on low-calorie high-volume foods
Raw Food Diet - The Raw Food Diet traces back to the late 1800s, when Maximilian Bircher-Benner, a doctor, discovered he could cure his own jaundice by eating raw apples. it typically involves food that hasn't been cooked, processed, microwaved, irradiated, genetically engineered or exposed to pesticides or herbicides.
Nutrisystem - The program provides a long list of fruits, vegetables, nuts, fresh meat and dairy, and other foods that you can eat along with your Nutrisystem foods
Macrobiotic Diet - A Macrobiotic Diet is a diet fixed on ideas about types of food drawn from Zen Buddhism. The diet attempts to balance the supposed yin and yang elements of food and cookware