Globally, weight management and obesity have become major health concerns, according to a recent study on dieting by Frontiers. As such, millions of people are becoming increasingly drawn to the hyped-up promises of fad diets. As a matter of fact, in the U.S. alone, more than 40% of adults have said that they’ve already bought into a fad diet at least once. But while fad diets may seem effective on paper, in reality, they hardly ever are. If you’re thinking of going on a fad diet, here are four reasons to make you think twice.
Fad diets can be very expensive
Americans spend upwards of $30 million a year on fad diet-related products. Some of the most popular involve weight loss supplements and detox teas. Case in point, in 2019 the infamous Kardashian clan were under hot fire for openly promoting detox teas. While these teas were little more than laxatives, they were promoted as a part of a wellness-focused diet that underscored gut health. In reality, though, these pricey teas much like other fad diet products are anchored only on pseudo-sciences. As such, you (and your wallet) are much better off just spending your hard-earned money on whole foods that are actually healthy and tasty.
Fad diets are not well-balanced
Fad diets usually hinge on being highly restrictive. While this may offer some short-term results, restrictive diets can be very lacking. This can result in nutritional deficits and eventual fluctuates in weight. On the other hand, WeightWatchers notes that well-rounded weight loss plans are better equipped to create sustainable and long-term benefits, unlike fad diets. This is because such plans are tailored to suit specific needs and focus on adding better-for-you foods rather than cutting entire groups out. In the long run, this enables dieters to adopt healthy habits and better manage their weight.
Fad diets can worsen health issues
Although fad diets often tout their universal benefits, they lack the scientific evidence to prove it. Ironically, more often than not, fad diets can be downright dangerous for those with pre-existing health conditions. Case in point, the uber-popular Paleo diet states that it encourages a “clean” chemical-free way of eating. Based on the assumed diet of our ancestors in the Paleolithic age, this diet cuts out all foods that wouldn’t be in existence then. This includes anything processed like refined sugars, cured meats, and even milk. However, since the Paleo diet is rich in meat proteins, it is inadvisable for those with kidney issues. This high-risk factor, unfortunately, is also apparent in many other fad diets.
Fad diets can lead to eating disorders
Presently, eating disorders in the U.S. cost the economy nearly $65 billion annually due to their prevalence. It is further estimated that 9% of the overall population will develop an eating disorder in their lifetime. Sadly, eating disorders can often stem from a desire to better control one’s diet. Since fad diets espouse a very strict regimen, this can easily plant the seeds of food obsession. To illustrate, the Bone Broth diet insists that followers must only consume controlled amounts of broth for a number of days. Any deviation from this can impact any alleged weight loss or detoxification. From here, since fad diets also underscore the need to fanatically record your results, many people can form toxic attachments to their bodies and diet.
Fad diets can seem very appealing. But their poor nutritional value and dangerous promises can often lead to more harm than good. Although it may take a bit more effort to find a healthy diet plan for yourself, the long-lasting benefits are well worth the effort.