The diet industry is worth about $70 billion, but this lucrative industry is seeing a shift.
While 71% of Americans are overweight or obese, these people aren’t turning to the same solutions that they may have trusted just a few years ago. Rather than seeking help through brand-name weight loss programs, more people are starting to adopt a lifestyle focused on nutritious eating, natural supplements, and regular exercise.
Still, fad diets can be tempting, especially for those looking for a quick or easy fix to their weight loss woes. There’s plenty of marketing messages touting these diets as the best option for losing weight. It can be hard to ignore this and focus on a more wholesome option.
We’d like to help guide you toward a healthier approach. Read on for 10 reasons why fad dieting is not the answer to your weight loss problems.
1. Many Fad Diets Cause Dehydration
You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s worth repeating. When you drop five or ten pounds during your first week or two on a diet, you’re losing water weight.
Creators of these fad diet plans want you to feel like you’re losing weight quickly and easily. What’s really happening is the diet is causing your body to get rid of all the water it usually uses to prevent dehydration. In the end, you end up dehydrated, which can cause other health issues.
2. Fad Diets Can Leave You Feeling Fatigued
Most fad diets require you to greatly restrict your calorie intake. You’re eating less and you’re likely drinking less, too.
When you feel hungry and thirsty, it’s your body telling you that you’re not giving it the fuel it needs. Without the right and adequate amount of nutrients, your body can’t function well, and you end up feeling fatigued.
Fatigue alone is a drawback of fad dieting. But when you’re tired, you’re not able to exercise. A healthy diet should help you feel energized and motivated, so you can commit to regular exercise.
3. Your Body Can Lose Muscle When You’re Fad Dieting
Like fatigue, this issue also goes hand-in-hand with not getting enough exercise.
Most of the popular fad diet programs only focus on restricting calories and do not encourage healthy exercise. Without regular exercise, your body cannot build muscle, and it cannot maintain the muscle tissue you already have.
Having low muscle mass can also hurt your weight loss progress. Your body is better able to burn calories to its maximum potential when you have adequate muscle mass. Plus, being physically fit can also benefit your mental health.
4. Fad Dieting Can Slow Your Metabolism
You know that a healthy metabolism can help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. What you may not realize is that restricting your calories can actually slow your metabolism, even if you lose weight quickly at the start of a diet program.
If you don’t consume enough calories, your body thinks there isn’t food available and that it must conserve the energy it has to keep its most important functions active. It does this by slowing down your metabolism.
Healthier diet plans recommend eating several small meals throughout the day. This provides more consistent fuel and energy for your body so it can keep your metabolism moving.
5. You May Miss Out on Important Nutrients
Most fad diets don’t just restrict calories, they often require you to cut out entire food groups. The problem is, our bodies need and thrive on a well-balanced diet that includes all types of food.
For example, many diets require you to restrict or completely cut out carbohydrates. But your body needs carbohydrates to use as its main energy source. Fatty foods also have a negative reputation, although experts agree healthy fats eaten in moderation are essential for cell growth and can even help your body better absorb other nutrients.
6. Restrictive Diets are Tough to Maintain
Most of the fad diets that help you drop weight quickly are hard to maintain for very long. Restrictive diets are especially difficult to keep up, as you’re sure to start missing and craving some of those “bad” foods.
Many people find themselves unable to maintain one type of fad diet and then moving on to try something else. This is often called “yo-yo dieting” and can have negative effects on your physical and mental health.
7. Unhealthy Dieting Can Affect Your Heart
If you lose a significant amount of weight in a short time and then revert to your old eating habits, you’re likely to gain that weight back quickly, too. This rapid weight gain can be especially damaging to your overall health.
Yo-yo dieting and quickly losing and gaining weight are even associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that this cycle of dieting can cause fluid shifts and electrolyte changes that can cause heart arrhythmias in women who may already be at risk for heart disease.
8. Fad Dieting Can Be Expensive
Many of today’s popular fad diets require you to spend money up-front. Whether it’s paying for a membership to a program or purchasing meal plans, you’re shelling out money for a diet that may or may not deliver on its promises.
Plus, as soon as you feel like you’ve failed at one of these diets, you’re likely to quit and move onto the next one, which may also cost money. You would do much better to spend your money on healthy, whole foods and a gym membership.
9. Fad Diets Don’t Address the Real Causes Behind Weight Gain
A fad diet offers you a seemingly quick fix to a problem that didn’t arise overnight. You probably didn’t gain all your excess weight quickly, and there may have been several factors that contributed to it.
If you have a hormonal imbalance, autoimmune disease, or other underlying medical issue causing your weight gain, a fad diet won’t address this. The same goes for general bad habits like eating fast food or living a sedentary lifestyle. A fad diet won’t help you to permanently change those habits.
10. If It Seems Too Good to be True, It Probably Is
Fad Diets are advertised in a way to make you want to act fast and without much thought. There’s a reason for that.
When you see a promise of guaranteed weight loss in a certain amount of time, you want to experience that as soon as possible. But if you stopped to think about it, you’d realize that these kinds of claims probably don’t hold much clout. Losing weight doesn’t have to be difficult, but a healthy weight loss program should present a realistic timeline and expectations.
Rather Than Fad Dieting, Try a Smarter Approach to Weight Loss
You can lose weight safely and successfully through other means besides fad diets. Our natural dietary supplements are taken under a doctor’s supervision and have helped many patients lose weight.