The dieting world can be a confusing one and finding the right plan that works can take time and effort. This can lead people to go own the fad diet route, but experts have warned they are more detrimental to your health than meets the eye.
While their promises of quick weight loss are true, the risks that come with a fad diet out-weigh the short-term goals.
And with so much misinformation surrounding them, many have fallen into the trap because they don’t know what to believe.
Many of these diets are not backed by research and could be causing your body more harm than good.
Director of dietetics and the University of Georgia Emma Laing, provided her insight on the dangers of fad diets.
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2. Not sustainable
Probably the better known risk of a fad diet is that the extreme steps a person has to take to lose weight in the time-frame the diet offers, are not sustainable in the long-term.
“In most cases, fad diets are not successful long-term especially for your mental and physical health,” Laing explains.
“A sustainable diet where you allow yourself wiggle room and the occasional dessert are often the most successful.
“If you find that your ability to enjoy travel or social activities involving food is suffering, chances are, this diet will not be sustainable,” she added.
3. Adverse weight gain
Manipulating a diet can have a huge impact on a person’s metabolism without them even realizing.
“Weight gain is a common side effect of fad diets, and initial weight loss from following a fad diet is typically just a loss of water weight,” Laing said
“The nature of extreme diets can ultimately cause your metabolism to slow because it is in survival mode hanging on to extra fat for fuel.”
4. Essential nutrients
While restricting certain foods on a fad diet, a person could be cutting out essential nutrient they need to remain healthy.
Laing went on to explain that some diets may encourage you to cut out food groups like whole grains that your body uses for fuel and nutrients, and others even encourage elimination of certain fruits and vegetables that provide your body with essential nutrients and antioxidants.
“If this diet instructs you to remove foods from your diet that are high in fiber and essential nutrients, you might lose weight, but you could end up with other complications, such as nutrient deficiencies and changes in your digestive, muscle, and bone health , “she warned.
Some fad diets are not only be harsh on your body, but your wallet too.
“If you are following a diet that requires buying only premium and organic ingredients or certain supplements, you grocery bills are going to be steep,” Laing said.
“Many of the nutrients from supplements can be found solely in food and by eating healthily, so these aren’t always necessary.”