3 Expert Reasons Why Fad Diets Fail


What comes to mind when you think about the term fad diet? Most people probably conjure up thoughts of old school fads such as only eating grapefruit for an entire day, consuming liters of cabbage soup, or just constantly drinking meal replacement shakes. However, fad diets are not at all so gimmicky and there is a high probability that you have tried one of them before. A fad diet is defined as plans that are sold as the best and quickest tactic for weight loss. Most of the diets that are popular today fit into this category, however, they send conflicting messages. On one hand, they promise to be that solution for fast weight loss, while on the other hand, they put forward a claim to be sustainable and holistic. However, regardless of how these fad diets try to promote themselves, there is always one thing that is still a feature that they cannot get rid of, that is, while they may result in weight loss in a quick time, they ultimately fail in the end.

Anyone that has been really paying attention to the fad diets that have been surfacing for the last few years should have realized that each one of them is nothing more than a repackaged and recycled version of an old diet, but yet, every one of them promotes themselves to be unique and special. There are diets, for instance, the F Factor diet has a focus on increasing the quantity of fiber in your daily intake. In essence, it is great advice, however, there are numerous and respectable health organizations such as the American Diabetes Association, US Department of Agriculture, Institute of Medicine, the American Heart Association, and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that all promote the need for fiber-rich nutrition.

Some of the eating plans shout their uniqueness all the while tearing down other diets in spite of them sharing common traits. For example, take the Dukan Diet, on their website, it highlights that ninety-five percent of individuals that go on diets, regain all the weight and sometimes even more when they go back to their regular eating habits, however, it goes on to say that the Dukan Diet specifically redesigns your eating habits and assist in permanently steadying your weight. However, this diet is very similar to the South Beach diet, as they both provide a low carb plan that is dependent on phases.

Of course, these are just two examples of a grocery list of fad diets that share commonalities. However, it goes to confirm that many of these fad diets depend on what nutrients to exclude or include, precise programming consideration to follow, and the claim that their program works way better than all the others. When you think about it, all of the above is what actually connects them.

Another thing that these fad diets have as a commonality is the fact that they glorify selected foods and nutrients while maligning the others. As a matter of fact, many diets have a tendency to stress the positive or the negative on certain nutrients. However, experts in the field such as dietitians caution against this type of thinking. Our bodies require a variety of foods, these different foods contain different macronutrients, like fat, carbohydrates and protein, minerals, and vitamins, and this diversity is the reason we are healthy. Carbohydrates function to break down into glucose, which is the body’s principal source of energy, this frequently is accompanied by fiber that maintains the digestive systems working as it should. Protein is required for our muscles and fat is for the protection of the organs and for the absorption of nutrients.

Many of the current fad diets follow a high protein and low carbohydrate methodology and then attempt to throw shade at the low-fat diets from years past. However, there is evidence that high protein, low carbohydrate diets are not any more effective for the purpose of weight loss than of low-fat diets. A review done in 2018 and published in the journal Healthcare, discovered that trying to limit specific macronutrients is not any more effective for the purpose of weight loss in the long term than just simply consuming fewer calories. Low carb diets, low-fat diets, and high protein diets all result in approximately the same quantity of weight loss when completed over a twelve-month period. Research participants doing these diets have a tendency to withdraw from the program within a year due to the restrictions being too difficult to stick to.

The selling of products as it relates to diets should always be seen as a red flag. The majority of diets promote and sell snacks and or ready-made meals to accompany the eating plan for the diet, this fad includes but the list is not exhaustive, the F Factor Diet, the South Beach diet, Atkins, and even Whole30. It appears to be accessible, simple, and easy, however, persons that create these fad diets and then sell products make a ton of money. In the United States, the weight loss industry is valued at seventy-two billion dollars, so there is that incentive to create a fad diet with a supporting book and or meal plans.

Evidence-based advice on the other hand, such as consuming more nutritious foods and less processed foods will not result in huge profits, however, it is a better path when seeking results. The Optavia diet for Health promotes numerous processed foods and snacks that are very worrisome and problematic, as it stops people from eating healthier fresh foods. What is more is that diet snacks also have the tendency to use strong sweeteners, such as stevia and monk fruit, which are actually around two hundred times sweeter than natural sugar and this can lead to natural food tasting less sweet or cause disruption in the appetite regulation.