Fad Diets: How to Spot and Avoid Them

Fad diets

As 2022 continues to roll in, you will see many new diet and fitness plans everywhere. Your social media feeds and TV ads will be flooded with new plans and programs. Your co-workers and friends may be talking about them. This leaves many people feeling the need to get on board with the latest and greatest new plan, product, service, etc.

According to CNBC, the diet and weight-loss industry has become a 71 billion dollar industry. Clearly, people do not hesitate to join into the latest craze.

What are Fad Diets?

We see fad diets very often, but they tend to come out more often around the New Year. This is the time when many people are working towards health and wellness goals. Let’s face it – making changes to your diet can be hard. It can be tempting when you see something that may look too good to be true. Many times, people are searching for something that can work well, something new, and something easy. It can be very easy to find these plans appealing.

A fad diet may have the following characteristics:

  • Often, fad diets promise unrealistic results. Many claim participants can lose a large amount of weight, often without much effort.
  • Fad diets can limit certain food groups. For example, it can limit all carbohydrates or a list of certain foods.
  • Some promote “fat-burning” by eating certain foods.
  • Certain diets may have celebrity endorsements, which can be appealing to many.
  • Many times, there are fees involved or products to be purchased.

What Plans Work?

Instead of searching for a quick and easy fix, focus on what works in the long-term. Signs of a balanced plan include:

  • Changes that can be attainable over time. Decide if this is something you can do for a lifetime. Many times, fad diets can only be followed short-term.
  • Food groups or foods are not ultimately eliminated. Of course, if you are working on a weight-loss plan, you do limit certain foods, but be aware of those that limit entire food groups. A balanced plan may limit cakes, chips and snack foods, but have servings of complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables.
  • Weight-loss is moderate and the focus is on health. Average weight-loss is 1-2 pounds per week. This may not seem like a lot, but it can add up over time. The focus is additionally on nutrition and the positive effects that healthy food has on your body.

How Do I Get Started?

If you are interested in changing your diet, here are a few helpful tips:

  • Choose a diet full of lean protein, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and complex carbohydrates.
  • Drink mostly water and limit sugary drinks.
  • Choose less snack foods and processed foods.
  • Move your body every day.
  • If you need help, seek out a registered dietitian or a healthcare physician.

Make this new year a great one. Small changes to your nutrition can make a big impact over time. Slow and steady changes can lead to a year of health and wellness!

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