Healthy Weight Loss vs. Fad Diets

Healthy Weight Loss vs. Fad Diets

In a world infatuated with excessively thin bodies, it's unsurprising that some people will do anything to get thin. Even if your goal is good health, it's easy to get swept up in the pandemonium surrounding a new weight-loss gimmick. There's nothing wrong with showing a little enthusiasm for a new lifestyle change, so it can be tough to tell what's excitement and what's just a straight-up gimmick. Here are four clues that the diet plan you've signed up for is nothing more than a fad.

Inflated Claims

If you're very overweight, you may lose significant weight in the first weeks after starting a weight-loss plan. In general, though, healthy weight loss is no more than a pound or two a week, and even that requires significant effort. If the plan you've chosen promises to get you in shape in no time flat, offers inflated claims about how much weight you can lose, or promises that it will work for everyone, run quickly away.

Weight-Loss as Religion

The rules of losing weight are pretty simple: eat less food than you need to maintain your current weight, and exercise to build muscle and burn fat. Every healthy weight loss plan is simply a variant on this basic theme. If the program you've chosen treats itself more like a religion, though, you're in trouble. Weight loss programs that expect you to share beliefs with everyone in the program, that discourage critical thinking, or that dismiss alternative weight loss options are often little more than commercial gimmicks.

Magic Tricks

Contrary to the claims you might have seen on social media, there is no “weird trick” that will magically cause you to lose weight. There is no cocktail of food that will make weight loss easy, and no single exercise that will cure all that ails you. If your weight loss plan offers shortcuts, promises miracle cures, or insists that a specific program will suddenly make health easier, it's time to call it quits. These claims only pad the pockets of the program's owners; they'll do little to help you make and stick with healthy lifestyle changes.

No Medical Data

Programs that claim to have uncovered a new cure or a new approach to weight loss capitalize on your desire to try something easier than traditional weight loss programs. The unfortunate reality, though, is that these claims are often untested, and even dangerous. In the 1950s, for instance, women routinely took stimulant drugs to lose weight, and dangerous diet pills were all the rage in the 1980s and 1990s. If your weight loss program promises amazing results with little effort, ask to see the medical data backing up its claims. If no data is forthcoming, odds are good you've signed up for something that, at best, is ineffective and that, at worse, could even harm your body and your mind. 

CATEGORIES: Diet, Lose Weight , Weight Loss, Fad Diet