Top Three Ways to Recognize Fad Diets

Three Ways to Recognize Fad DietsHow to Recognize a Fad Diet

Fad diets are everywhere you look and they prey on individuals who have little knowledge of nutrition and are desperate for change.  They tend to promise fast and superb results while rarely producing long term success.  For long term success, there needs to be a dietary change that can be sustained for a lifetime.  Stop wasting time with fad diets by learning how to quickly identify them with these three tips.

1. It Excludes Entire Food Groups

missing food entire food groupsExcluding food groups can be extremely beneficial to those with food allergens. For instance, it would be wise and health beneficial for someone with a gluten intolerance or lactose intolerance to avoid wheat or dairy products.  However, excluding a food group for the purpose of weight loss is a tell-tale sign of a fad diet.  The reason excluding entire food groups from a person’s diet works in terms of weight loss is because it essentially makes a person restrict their caloric intake by providing them with less food options.  However, excluding entire food groups isn’t something most people can stick to long term and can lead to an individual being deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, or binging on those excluded food groups.

2. Promises Fast and Great Results

promises fast resultsIf a diet makes a promise that sounds too good to be true like lose 20lbs in 28 days, chances are it’s a fad diet.  Fast weight loss isn’t always a bad thing, but usually the means of achieving fast weight loss, extreme calorie cutting or excluding entire food groups, is. Cutting calories by extreme measures results in hunger (duh) and hunger is one of the biggest reasons individuals are unable to sustain a diet.  Even if a strong willed individual manages to complete the diet, many times the diet offers no maintenance phase or nutritional program helping an individual make permanent lifestyle changes needed for long-term results. This usually leads to the dieter regaining the weight if not more weight once the diet is stopped.  A long term and lifestyle solution is a plan which an individual can follow over the course of a lifetime hints the term “lifestyle”.

3.  Buying Meals from a Company

food scrapsAlthough there are some legitimate companies that deliver quality foods, the majority of companies that want you to purchase their foods don’t offer you long-term or lifestyle solutions to real life eating situations such as social gatherings, work functions, holidays, date nights, family nights etc.  Are you going to bring your microwave meal to any of those events?  There also tends to be no maintenance phase with these types of programs which means if an individual wants long term weight loss, they’ll be eating microwaved meals for life. Having a nutritional program that provides you with the knowledge to be able make wise food choices daily and during food gatherings, would be a long term and lifestyle solution.

Change your Lifestyle for Permanent Results

If you can’t see yourself doing a diet for the long haul, then it’s a short-term fix for weight loss.  Don’t get caught up in the vicious weight loss cycle of dieting several times a year because of short-term or fad diet solutions. Instead, make a lifestyle change. For long term weight loss results, a nutrition program should help educate you on proper dietary and lifestyle habits that will help you keep the weight off permanently.

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Author Profile: Julian Brown, BS, ACE-CPT, NASM-FNS      Julian is the co-owner of The Yard Fitness, an established fitness writer, a professional natural bodybuilder, a fitness & sport nutrition specialist, and a certified personal trainer. He began strength training at the young age of fourteen to improve his sports performance and hasn’t looked back since. Julian is a graduate of Grambling State University, ACE & NASM certified, and he has over a decade of personal experience in strength training.

Disclaimer: The views of the author are his or her own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Ask The Trainer.
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