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What are Fad Diets?

By Amy Hunter
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Fad diets are any diets that are based on popularity and not scientific information. There are a variety of problems with fad diets. Some fad diets are not effective, while others can lead to health problems. If you have some weight to lose, it is important to carefully consider the benefits and drawbacks of a diet before committing to it.

Some popular fad diets, such as the Cabbage Soup diet, can work. The problem that many people encounter when adopting these diets is that they are very difficult to stay on. If you follow the diet exactly, then you will lose weight. Most people find these diets are so restrictive that they have trouble staying on the diet for any length of time.

If you are anxious to lose weight quickly and want to choose from one of the many diets available, choose one that you believe you can stay on. There are several factors that will improve the odds of staying on a diet. There is no point on starting a diet if you are not able to stay on the diet long enough to see results.

A diet that allows you to eat every three to four hours will help you to feel satisfied. Even if the amount of food that they call for you to prepare is small, knowing that you have another meal to look forward to in a few hours can provide you with the willpower to wait for your next meal. Fad diets that call for you to replace meals with shakes or meal replacement bars will often leave you feeling too unsatisfied to maintain the diet for any length of time.

A diet that requires you to eliminate an entire food group, whether it is fat, carbohydrates or protein, is a recipe for monster cravings. The first thing that many people discover when they are told that they cannot have something is that it is all they want. Cut out carbohydrates and you will discover a newfound passion for bread and cereal. Cut out fat and you will want to smear mayonnaise on everything.

Include protein in every meal. Some diets do not emphasis protein as much as others, but protein is an important part of any diet. Protein gives you a feeling of fullness that neither fat nor carbohydrates provide. It also leaves you feeling fuller for a longer period of time. People often find that diets that are high in protein are easier to stay on than ones that are low in protein. While the ideal meal should contain a combination of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, at the very least include protein in every meal.

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Discussion Comments
By anon288397 — On Aug 30, 2012

I'm doing a paper on fad dieting and this really helped.

By donbri5 — On Feb 11, 2011

@peasy--I don't believe the gluten-free diet fits the category of fad dieting. There is actually a lot of scientific data coming out about how the body responds to gluten. The best way to try this is with the supervision of a nutritionist who is knowledgeable about this lifestyle change.

By peasy — On Feb 09, 2011

Does anyone know what the new fad diets are? My doctor is suddenly really big on being gluten free, is this a fad?

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