dangers of fad diets

Dangers of fad diets: Why you need to avoid them

August 9. 2021

Fad diets are rapidly growing in popularity, and that’s a fact. There are several reasons behind it, including the worldwide obesity epidemic, social media pressure on people to be thin, and the diets’ promises of a quick fix. It seems like new fad diets pop up on the internet every other day, which can be confusing for people trying to get informed about fast and safe ways to lose weight. Moreover, people who promote these diets (whether they’re celebrities or so-called weight loss specialists) often claim that their formulas have been around for a century or so, that they’ve been tested, and offer dozens of testimonials. Unfortunately, fad diets are rarely backed up by scientific evidence of their safety or success, and they often expose dieters to serious health dangers. To ensure you never fall under the influence of solid fad diets marketing strategies, here’s how you can recognize them and why you need to avoid them.

What are fad diets, and how to recognize them?

An excellent way to recognize a fad diet is to ask yourself: can I follow the rules of this diet for the rest of my life and still be healthy? If the answer is no, it’s most likely a fad diet. Fad diets typically become viral soon after they appear, as they promise significant weight loss in a short amount of time. They usually ban you from consuming a specific type of food or a whole food group. This is already a warning sign – a human body should have access to all three nutrients (protein, fats, and carbs) to function correctly. 

Why are fad diets dangerous?

One of the main reasons people find fad diets attractive is that they almost sound too good to be true – they’re promising that if you restrict yourself significantly for only a short period of time, you’ll lose years’ worth of build-up fat. And although they manage to sound like an offer you don’t want to miss, they’re typically just that – too good to be true. However, people who support fad diets will rarely inform you about all the dangers you’re exposing yourself to and most likely won’t tell you that the pounds that initially wore off are actually the retained water and not the excess fat. Here are the main dangers of fad diets:

  • They are too restrictive.
    Fad diets typically come with extreme limitations and require you to completely give up on an entire food group or significantly lower your calorie intake. However, it’s in our nature to start craving something as soon as we lose access to it, and that’s why we crave sweets whenever we forbid them for ourselves. There will be days when you’re able to ignore those cravings, but other days will have you splash out and eat anything sweet that comes to your eyesight. Such roller coasters are never healthy, so keep in mind that moderation is always the key. On the other hand, significantly restricting your calorie intake can disable your body from functioning correctly. We all have our daily recommended calorie intake that provides enough energy to complete physical and mental tasks.
  • They are not sustainable.
    Based on what we have stated so far, it’s already clear that fad diets are not sustainable. Fad diets start with you being all excited and disciplined, but after some time passes and you stop enjoying social activities, traveling, and other things because of the food you eat – you’ll be just as excited to quit it. Being stubborn and prolonging a fad diet can cause serious health problems to your body and mind. That’s why healthy and nutritionally balanced diets that allow you to have a cheat meal once in a while are the most successful. If you’re struggling with increased appetite, you may consider introducing an appetite suppressant into your diet (here’s what you need to know on how to make phentermine more effective).
  • They can deprive you of essential nutrients.
    The human body uses carbs as the primary source of fuel. A diet that asks you to give up carbs entirely and for the last of your life simply doesn’t do you good. You will likely lose some of your initial weight, but it will mainly be the retained water. The same goes with fat – including healthy fats in your diet is vital for the normal functioning of everything from your cells to your organs. Ejecting essential nutrients from your diet can cause serious health issues that are simply not worth losing weight. Suppose you are, on the other hand, obliged to follow a fad diet for a short period of time due to health reasons. In that case, you may find a lipo C injection (and its variations like Lipo-Ignite©) beneficial in increasing your energy and speeding up your metabolism.
  • They can cause weight gain.
    Unfortunately, fad diets are often guilty of getting your body through the process of losing weight and then gaining it all back. Sometimes, you’ll gain even more than you initially had, which typically causes dissatisfaction and low self-esteem. Would you start a diet if you knew the results would only be short-term, and you’ll be right back where you started in no time?
  • They can be expensive.
    It’s not uncommon that fad diets require you to purchase expensive organic or premium products. These may also include special supplements that are allegedly responsible for weight loss. Such products often end up being useless or contain too much fiber that can cause serious digestive issues. 

Harmful effects of fad diets

As we explained above, fad diets expose your body to numerous dangers. Depriving your body of either nutrients or energy can cause serious harmful effects, and sometimes irreversible consequences, such as:

  • Dissatisfaction with your body,
  • An even greater obsession with your body and its thinness,
  • Low self-esteem,
  • A high risk for developing eating disorders,
  • Loss of muscle mass,
  • Higher death rates that come with intense calorie restriction,
  • Increased risk for heart diseases,
  • Slowed metabolism,
  • Impaired bone health,
  • Infertility, etc.

Harmful effects that can occur after following a fad diet are numerous, and it’s essential to keep in mind that each body is unique and reacts differently to them. Therefore, you may want to ask yourself whether or not you’re willing to expose yourself to the possibility of such damages and possibly sentence your body to a life-long treatment that will keep it functioning correctly.

Final thoughts

It’s normal to get impatient when you’re trying to lose weight and establish a healthy lifestyle. Nevertheless, you’ll be doing your body a massive favor if you stay away from fad diets. These diets typically start with numerous restrictions that eventually lead you to weight loss, but, unfortunately, not a sustainable one. Before you know it, you’ll be fed up with all those prohibitions and will go back to your previous life and your previous weight (even worse – you may gain even more). This cycle often causes changes in your mental health as well. To prevent all the dangers of fad diets, it would be best to stay away from them. If you need additional information on recognizing a fad diet, feel free to contact our weight loss clinic Chicago.

Nurse Walton


Nurse Walton

Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Chanay received her Practical Nurse licensure and went to work in clinical specialties such as Home Health, Assisted Living, Long-Term Care and Dialysis Centers. Through this work, she realized the importance of diet, nutrition and weight loss among her patients. This led her to open A Better Weigh, Inc. Medical Weight Loss Center in 2009.

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