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Fad Diet Definition: Everything You Need to Know

    fad diet definition

    What does fad diet mean?

    Before talking about what fad diet means, I have a question for you.

    What is better for you? Losing more or less pounds in a few weeks but getting it back as soon as you finish the diet program? Or changing your lifestyle gradually and achieving long-lasting results?

    Everybody knows that the second option is the way to go, but most of the people just pick the first. They choose a program, lose some pounds and when the plan is over, they turn back to their old eating habits, gaining those lost pounds back quickly. Then, they pick another diet and commit the same mistakes over and over again.

    This is the so-called Yo-Yo dieting that leads to nowhere.

    Why don’t we pick the right option?

    As we are human beings, we want results fast and effortlessly, always searching for shortcuts. We do not want to “suffer” for long and making changes in our daily routines is hard for most of us.

    And that is what the creators of those crazy fad diets know better than anybody else. They know you would pay anything to drop some pounds without doing anything for it. They promote their regime if it is the new secret of weight loss, and people get in. Even if they know inside, it will not work.

    There is no month without a new “revolutionary” weight loss program making the long list of fad diets longer.

    Some Typical Fad Diet Examples

    My fad diet definition

    They are diets that do not result in long-lasting weight loss and promises drastic changes in short time. There is no question that they are in most of the cases unhealthy because of the low-calorie intake or lacking an essential food group or groups. Some of them are even dangerous to your health.

    Related reading: Why Most Diets are Inefficient and Unhealthy

    How to recognize an unhealthy diet?

    Below you can find the most common eight characteristics of these types of weight loss plans. If any of these features fell into the program you have ever done, or you want to start, there is a good chance it is a diet fad.

    • You have to reduce the calorie intake drastically. Your body requires a certain amount of calories daily to function properly. If it does not get it, that leads to malfunctioning, diseases, and other health problems. The daily calorie intake depends on different factors such as the physical activity, height, weight, etc. Typically, an average man needs approximately 2500 calories per a day while a woman about 2000. (Check this chart for details.)
    • It promises that you can lose a good amount of weight in short time, for example in one week, without doing anything for it. It is not rare to see plans telling 15 or more pounds weekly loss without doing anything “special”. What nonsense!
    • It does not force you to turn to a healthy eating habit and lifestyle. The key to long lasting success is getting rid of bad habits that cause the fat storage.
    • It recommends eliminating a certain food group or nutrients from your eating plan. Your body needs various types of real foods that provide the right amount of protein, carbs, healthy fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins. That is what healthy nutrition is about. I have seen plans that suggest avoiding fruits and vegetables!
    • Restrict to have only one particular food group or type of dishes. One of the main reasons why people cannot lose weight with diets is that they get bored with having the same things all the time. The regime should be flexible and serve your needs.
    • You need to buy the supplement or other products of the creator to get results. Most of us do not need take anything to lose weight, just consume the right type and amount of foods and move. The recipe is simple as that.
    • There is no scientific proof that how and why the diet works. Independent scientists must research it as well.
    • It goes against the well-known and proofed medical recommendations and facts.

    I think, you have already met these kinds of promises and features. Unfortunately, most of the diets are fad ones.

    They all have the same in common that they are not sustainable. You can drop some pounds rather quickly, but you will never get permanent results. There are no fad diets that work for long.

    If you think that you can cure a problem, that is caused by years of bad habits, in some weeks, then you deceive yourself.

    diet cycle

    What is a fad diet? | Credit:


    If you want to lose weight permanently, you need to work for it! You need to change your eating habits gradually. Get rid of those foods that make you fat and unhealthy and pick those nutritious ones that your body needs.

    And one more thing! While what you eat is maybe the most of important factor, without regular exercises you will never see real results. Move as frequently as you can. Not just for dropping pounds but also to make your body more healthy.

    Related: The Incredible Benefits of Exercise

    I hope you now understand why the most popular fad diets will never bring you long lasting weight loss. The next time you see a diet advertisement with astonishing results, think about what you have learned here before starting it.

    And do not forget the following!

    healthy nutrition quote



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    James Wright

    James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

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