Beware New Years Diet Fads

New Years signals a new calendar year and for many Americans, a “new year, new me” mentality. In fact, according to Business Insider, getting in shape is consistently the most popular New Year’s resolution in the United States. While making lifestyle changes, as approved by a doctor, is not a bad thing, turning to a fad diet to achieve a resolution of getting in shape is not ideal or healthy.

What’s a fad diet?

Fad diets have been around for decades. New ones surface regularly while some older weight-loss solutions fall in and out of popularity. Popularized by the promise of quick and dramatic weight-loss results, fad diets need to be fully researched before trying. Generally, diets or diet products can be considered a fad if they fit any of the following criteria:

  • Claiming to help you lose weight very quickly, more than 1-2 pounds per week.
  • Promising you will lose weight and keep it off without giving up fatty foods or starting an exercise program.
  • Basing their claims only on “before and after” photos.
  • Offering testimonies from clients or “experts” in weight loss, science or nutrition who are usually being paid to promote the diet plan.
  • Drawing simple solutions from complex medical research.
  • Limiting food choices and not encouraging you to get balanced nutrition by eating a variety of foods.
  • Requiring you to spend a lot of money on things such as seminars, pills or prepackaged meals in order for the plan to work.

What are the dangers of fad diets?

Fad diets can lead to things like gout, poor athleticism, heart disease and—ironically—poor, long-term weight-loss control. If you’re looking to get in shape or lose weight this year, make lifestyle changes that encourage portion control, exercise more, avoid empty calories and eat a well-balanced diet. Keep in mind that forming healthy dieting practices now will keep you on track with your long-term weight-loss goal.

Instead of turning to a fad diet to achieve weight-loss results, try implementing lasting lifestyle changes. Contact a health care professional to get started