Don’t get caught up in fad diets


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According to the National Weight Control Registry, 50 percent of people regain all weight lost on a diet plan within two years.

Ayla Heder

Don’t be discouraged — most people fail to lose weight with a fad diet.

There are hundreds of fad diets. They sound appealing; they show pictures of epic success stories and excite you all too quickly. But, in the end, the result is a huge let down.

However, you aren’t alone.

Almost all fad diets are unsuccessful. According to the National Weight Control Registry, 50 percent of people regain all weight lost on a diet plan within two years. Only about 5 percent of people keep the weight off permanently. The National Weight Control Registry also reports 90 percent of people experienced unsuccessful weight loss attempts.

So why do fad diets fail?

They are simply not sustainable for prolonged periods of time. Fad diets typically consist of a strict meal plan that cuts out or minimizes needed food groups. This puts people in a small circle when it comes to food they are allowed to eat. Once a personslightly steps out of that circle, they can see immediate weight change.

The problem with fad diets is the weight loss associated with the diet is often just water weight.

Appetite suppression can be dangerous and result in overeating later on. Some fad diets result in an increased consumption of certain food groups, which is often unhealthy. For example, consuming too much protein can result in kidney damage. Low-calorie diets often lack essential nutrients and fiber. If caloric intake is low, it can slow your metabolism, which results in a slower weight loss.  

What people should strive to do is have a healthy diet versus going on a diet.

Changing your diet slightly and moderating the way you eat is sustainable and can result in weight change over time. What is important to understand is that it is neither practical to lose a lot of weight in a short period of time nor is it healthy.

Components of a healthy weight-control program are a nutritionally adequate diet that meets public health dietary guidelines and emphasizes exercise. It should also provide behavior modification training and use food that is readily available from a usual food supply. The program should also provide initial screenings and evaluate your readiness for change. The program should be able to fit within your lifestyle patterns.

Adjusting your daily diet is important in weight loss, but exercise still plays a key role. Exercising keeps your metabolism high and prevents a decline in basal metabolic rate, which is how many calories your body burns while at rest. Exercising also promotes preferential loss of fat and sustainable weight loss.

What is important to understand about weight loss is it is a difficult task that requires lifestyle changes. Diet and exercise are both important components to weight loss. Fad diets are not an effective way to make change. To truly lose weight, you must change your current diet versus going on a diet and incorporate more exercise and physical activity into your lifestyle.