How to spot a fad diet in 10 easy steps

Ask any fitness expert, dietitian or weight loss consultant, and they'll never recommend a new type of diet for permanent weight loss.

They'll always tell you to alter your existing diet before trying any new weight loss diet. Because, while there is no dearth of diets that promise quick weight loss, very few actually promise overall health and sustainable weight loss. Further, these fad diets can be quite harmful to you even in the short run. But how can you spot a fad diet? Let's take a look at the 10 easy steps that will help you spot a fad diet.

Be cautious of magical claims and false promises. A diet that promises fast weight loss at an unrealistic pace should be researched well. If you see various health experts and your personal dietitian or gym trainer recommending it to you, then give it a look-see. But never fall into the trap of extreme diet recommendations. Never believe the personal testimonials of the diet plan as they can be highly manipulated. Diets that involve crash dieting and intense reduction in eating and drinking, should not be followed blindly.

Read between the lines for the promise of quick weight loss. We are in an age of instant coffee and instant news. Right from information on health to fast-food facts, everything is at our fingertips. However, weight loss plans, which guarantee quick loss in weeks rather than months, should not be considered as a healthy option. Also, never pay heed to the idea of total elimination. We believe that total elimination of one or more than one food groups, does not a healthy diet make. Total deprivation of a certain food group is never a good idea.

No diet should recommend skipping breakfast. Many diets seem to favour the idea of skipping breakfast, in order to skip most of the calories of the day, thus resulting in quick weight loss. But, do you know that skipping breakfast would mean unplanned snacking throughout the day, along with a ravenous appetite for lunch and dinner. Eating a protein and fiber rich breakfast, within 3 hours of waking up, will help you maintain a healthy weight.

Ditching dairy is unhealthy. Many dieters seem to blindly follow any diet, which recommends ditching milk, cheese, paneer and ice cream. These dieters tend to underestimate the importance of calcium in our diet. Calcium helps in making our bones strong, by keeping grave diseases like osteoporosis and regular fractures at bay. Analyse and evaluate your calcium and dairy intake as per your specific needs, preferences and allowances, but never give up on this food group as a whole. Those who are lactose intolerant must look into a steady source of calcium and other dairy benefits through substitutes.

Excessive consumption of low-fat food items isn't healthy. Here's the trick. Many diets may propagate low-fat eating, but they fail to demarcate or make the dieter understand the difference between low-fat and non-fat. Low-fat products are quite different from low-calorie products. Do you know if you pile your plate with whole wheat pasta made in low-cal mayo, you may end up consuming many more calories than by simply eating a smaller plate of whole wheat pasta made in butter and white cream mayo?

Cleansing diets and food substitute diets are not a healthy way to lose weight. Cleansing diets work through the laxative effect, where you tend to lose nutrients, without making up for the deprivation you have caused yourself. Therefore, they are not a permanent way to lose weight. Also, swapping meals for a certain amount of food item is not a very healthy way of eating.

Weighing yourself everyday is unnecessary. Please give serious second thoughts to any diet that advocates the idea of checking your weight on daily basis. Long-term weight loss or permanent loss of weight should be your ideal goal, rather than daily weigh-ins. You'll witness immense level of satisfaction once you get on the weighing scale after a week only to witness a pound or two's loss.

Always saying no to snacks is not the best way to lose weight. While we disagree with mindless snacking, not snacking at all is a wee bit dangerous. Thoughtful snacking on slices of carrots, apples, baked chips, lime juice, a piece of fruit, a glass of fresh fruit smoothie is never a bad thing. A diet, which suggests eating fewer meals with no room for snacks only encourage failure. Snacking wisely and timely helps in keeping your metabolism in good shape, maximizing your health by promoting weight loss.

One-time diets that guarantee permanent weight loss are scams. It is general knowledge that the only way to lose weight and maintain the lost weight is by following a healthy lifestyle - forever. On-going maintenance of healthy weight loss can be the only sure shot way of maintaining the lost weight. Also, never pay heed to diet plans that claim that you can 'eat whatever you want and still lose weight.' Overloading on high-calorie and high-fat foods, even though you are exercising for 2 hours daily will not result in healthy weight loss.

'The weight loss formula for everyone', 'Money back guarantee' and 'Doctor endorsed diet'- these weight loss claims are not true. Health is never a one-size fits all formula and the same applies to diets. A type of diet that might have resulted in quick weight loss for your friend, might not work for you. Right from your lifestyle habits to your exercise routine to your blood type, different diets have different impacts on different people.

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