Research Reveals Why Fad Diets Are Worse For Your Health Than You Think

Fad diets are trendy diets that are typically marketed as the quickest way to lose weight. Often endorsed by celebrities, fad diets are generally not supported by clinical evidence and involve eliminating foods that contain important nutrients. Fad diets also tend to hype up certain foods and nutrients over others. According to Cleveland Clinic, this can cause you to consume either too much or too little of certain nutrients and food groups, which can potentially lead to health problems.

While maintaining a healthy and well-balanced diet is important regardless of whether or not you want to lose weight, fad diets promise a quick fix and are generally unsustainable in the long run. As a result, it's not uncommon for someone to start gaining weight again once the diet is stopped. Although it can be difficult to spot a fad diet, you should avoid any diet that draws simplistic conclusions from a complex or single study, provides diet recommendations refuted by major scientific organizations, eliminates one or more food groups or subgroups, or labels certain foods as good or bad.

Fad diets are counterproductive

Fad diets don't work and can even be counterproductive. While consuming fewer calories can result in weight loss, depriving yourself of certain foods can backfire. According to Healthline, research has shown that restrictive diets can lead to increased food cravings, making them difficult to maintain in the long term. Completely eliminating foods like chips or ice cream can actually cause you to want them even more.

As it turns out, fad diets can also lead to an increased risk of disordered eating. That's because the restrictive nature of fad diets can have a negative impact on body image and cause unnecessary stress over daily eating habits. Furthermore, demonizing and eliminating foods can also result in a nutrient deficiency. In addition to reducing your caloric intake, cutting out foods can leave you deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, which can negatively impact your health and cause uncomfortable side effects, like muscle cramps and constipation. In the long run, the best way to lose or maintain weight is to eat balanced meals, get regular exercise, and be mindful of added sugars.