It sells products, it makes compelling news headlines, it’s something to chat about – yes, it’s that thing we call the Fad Diet.
Virtually everywhere you look someone somewhere is dreaming up the latest great scheme in the battle to give us the perfect, instantaneous weight loss solution. Whether it is cabbage soup every day for the next seven days or lemonade for twelve days in a row, there is a recipe for nutritional disaster looming across every form of media from TV channels to magazines to websites that promise instant weight loss success or your money back guaranteed.
What is a Fad Diet?
A fad diet is a diet that has become popular, that sees masses of people suddenly adopting it, and then just as quickly coming off it…only to see their weight being put back on to the way it used to be. The trouble with fad diets is not that they don’t work – it’s that they are not a long lasting answer to maintaining a healthy weight.
Is it really worth the bother? Is committing yourself to a diet of cabbage soup for seven days to lose a few pounds, only to see those pounds reappear like a recurring nemesis when you realize you are literally going to be sick at the sight of another bowl of liquid vegetable drudgery really worth the effort?
It is not an overstatement to say that most (if not all) professional healthcare practitioners anywhere in the world would advise against adopting a fad diet for long (if at all) because in the long run a fad diet has no real value. Okay it may get you on the road to thinking about your health, and influence you to start considering eating more healthily, but ultimately that is all it is doing.
The attraction of a fad diet is the lure of instantaneous success. In this fast-moving world everyone wants the quick-fix solution to his or her problems, dilemmas or questions. There is also a sort of wanting to be ‘in with the in-crowd’ mentality associated with fads. If your friend is doing it and their friend too, then you are probably going to join in. Plus there is also the celebrity aspect linked to fad diets. If Angelina is skipping round town raving about the magic of grapefruit juice, or Mr. Clooney is beaming even more widely because he has discovered the wonder of the Kumquat, then chances are (if you are a fan) you will have a go yourself in some sort of moment of excited fandom.
In other words, a fad diet is about as useful as a celebrity’s contribution to lasting world peace. It may help – but it won’t solve it.
But there is a serious downside to fad diets, and that is the possible danger to health that these quick-fix remedies pose. And that danger lies mainly in the inadequate nutritional qualities many of the diets consist of. The human body requires a dose of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, proteins, and carbohydrates, and many other nutrients for it to function properly. For instance, calcium keeps bones strong, vitamin A is good for skin, vitamin C is deployed in the fight against disease/infection, and vitamin E is key to promoting a healthy immune system.
In the interests of good health, we invite you to take a look at the fad diets listed below so that you can make up your own minds about their suitability should you ever consider embarking on a short, and ultimately worthless journey to healthy hell…
In conclusion, fad diets are essentially diets that come…and go. They don’t do anything for long lasting weight control or healthy promotion of a balanced diet. And virtually all of the diets listed above never mention the importance of exercise. Any dietician or healthcare professional will tell you that it is only through a well-constructed plan utilizing a varied diet, and suitable regime of exercise is the only way to go to maintain a healthy body, heart, and mind.
Here at changingshape.com we do not sell wonder pills for weight loss. We do not believe in a “magic bullet” that will work for everyone. We believe that everyone is an individual, with individual needs, and therefore we use science, and research when it comes to providing personalized health and fitness programs. We are a team of certified nutrition, and fitness professionals that tailor exercise, and meal plans based on the specific calories, and nutrients a body requires to achieve real results for well-being.
We don’t offer fads – we just provide good, honest fitness and nutrition plans.
Matthew Johnson (Google+) is a certified personal trainer, nutrition expert and an on-line fitness consultant that started ChangingShape.com back in 2001.