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What are signs of a fad diet?

Judy Caplan
Nutrition & Dietetics
Fad diets promise unrealistic results. They generally ask you to eat in a way that is not sustainable. A fad diet may help you drop pounds immediately but if you cannot sustain the diet, you will gain the weight back. Fad diets can be dangerous if you stay on them long term. Many fad diets are mono diets recommending eating only one or two foods which over time can lead to nutrient deficiencies.

There is a plethora of popularized diet plans competing for your attention and claiming in various ways to help you lose weight in the blink of an eye. It can be hard to ignore their promises of immediate results. Just know that fad diets put your health at risk and are more likely to do more harm than good. Recognize the following warning signs of fad diets:

  • promises of extremely rapid weight loss
  • lack of a physical activity component
  • emphasis on one food or food group, or the elimination of others
  • no guidance to consult your doctor

It is smart food choices, not fad diets, that will help you slim down and achieve a healthier weight.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.