Health & Nutrition

Fad Diets: Are They Really Worth Your Time?

Various fruits and veggies in measuring cups and spoons (portions)

With the number of people affected by obesity, unhealthy weight gain and its related health issues growing fast, diets, specifically fad diets, have become extremely popular. In fact, a good majority of adults have been on a diet at some point of time in their lives thanks to a few Google search results.

Fad diets usually involve some type of extreme approach towards food consumption, which usually does bring results, but those which don’t last long. Let’s take a closer look at what fad diets really do, how they work, and if they’re worth your time. Read on…

Uncovering fad diets

Simply put, fad diets are centered around some sort of food restriction, or requires the intake of just a particular amount or category of food to help individuals lose weight rapidly. The macrobiotic diet, Progresso soup diet, cabbage soup diet, vegan diet, master cleanse diet and even the Atkins diet are good examples of fad diets.

Some fad diets work by depriving the body of fat and reducing calorie intake, while others also help detoxify the body and cleanse it from within.

Do fad diets really work?

There’s absolutely no question revolving around the effectiveness of fad diets—there’s a reason why they’re so popular. Fad diets do help speed up the process of fat burning, and can help you burn extra fat with visible results in the shortest amount of time. This can be ideal if you’re attempting to lose weight for a particular special occasion, since a regular long lasting weight loss plan does require a lot more time and effort.

Photo of salad, with tomatoes and peppers, on an island

Weighing the pros & cons

Fad diets may be extremely popular, but they do come with a list of health risks too.

  • Most fat diets tend to put the body in the starvation mode, which may help with weight loss, but can leave you feeling hungry, weak and tired.
  • Some studies have found evidence that following fad diets for long term could be potentially harmful for the body, and could also lead to loss of tissue of the vital organs, decrease in bone mineral density and muscle wasting.
  • Since the body isn’t fueled properly when on a fad diet, issues like reduced cognitive processes (like thinking, memory etc), moodiness, fatigue and muscle weakness are also observed.
  • Fad diets can also cause a negative impact on your hormonal health, which in some cases, could also turn out to negatively impact your weight, and may cause you to gain weight instead of losing it.
  • In some cases, fad diets may turn out to be downright ineffective, and may be a total waste of your time and efforts, and may bring you little or no results.

All in all, fad diets tend to have moderate to serious negative health implications, and their downside far outweighs their benefits. When it comes to losing weight, the best and healthiest approach is to follow a healthy diet which has foods from all food groups in the right proportions, and regular physical activity and a healthy lifestyle. Unlike a fad diet, it may not bring about immediate results, but the results do last long term and help you feel and live better than ever before!


Enozia Vakil is a writer, editor and a social media enthusiast. She loves reading, cooking and road trips. When she’s not obsessed with her work, you’ll find her chilling and binge Netflix-ing. You can find her at Beauty Junction Online, and follow her on Twitter (@BeautyJOnline) and Facebook.

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