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Top 5 List Of Fad Diets To Avoid In The New Year

When we think of fad diets, I'm sure everyone and anyone can think of at least one. The list of fad diets are extremely long...and sometimes very comical. I know when I think of fad diets, one of them tops the list, which is a liquid diet.

I think about this one only because my dad had tried it once when I was younger. He tried a Miracle Diet, which basically means he was drinking special "juice" mixture combined with 4 oz. of water every four hours, four times a day. But this diet is far from miraculous — in fact, it's quite dangerous. Each serving of the juice contains 100 calories and no other food or beverages besides water are allowed, so your daily caloric consumption is a dangerously low 400.

You might lose weight on any kind of 'miracle diet', but not fat. In reality, you'll lose mostly water weight. Unfortunately, this kind of weight can be...and probably will be quickly regained when you resume your regular eating habits. These kind of diets are also terrible because you might lose muscle mass, which is not ideal.

An important thing to remember is that when your body doesn't have enough calories, it uses more energy and can convert fat or muscle into usable energy. Obviously, when you are on a weight loss journey, your goal is to loose fat...not muscle. So if you are depriving yourself of calories, you aren't doing your body any favors.

Even though the idea of losing weight quickly can seem like a good idea...fad diets are a really bad idea for oh so many reasons. Here's why:

  • Fad diets are difficult to maintain long term.

  • Rapid weight loss should not be your goal. If you are on a diet that promotes fast weight loss, you are most likely losing water weight, not fat. Your target weight loss goal should be 1 - 2 lbs a week.

  • Weight lose that is quick is temporary. Fad diets are not the solution for permanent weight lose. Build up healthy eating habits and implement a fitness routine in order to promote long term weight lose.

  • Fast weight loss can have negative health consequences.

  • Fad diets don't let your body get the nutrients it needs. If your body doesn't have the food it needs to function well, you may suffer the consequences with headaches, feeling unenergized, brain fog and many other side effects.

  • Fad diets might include eating too much of a certain food group. For example, if you consume too much sodium or fat. Your body is designed to have a variety of foods in order to be healthy.

  • Jumping on the fad diet band wagon is a terrible way to teach kids healthy eating practices. Your kids are watching your even if you don't think they are. You set the example for them.

Tip #1 - Keto Diet

Ah, the keto diet. This diet has been increasingly popular within the past few years. I know I have had a lot of family and friends who have tried this diet. It might sound appealing after hearing how many pounds your friend has lost on this diet after a month.

But in reality, the keto diet is really low on carbs and high on fats. A diet that consumes this can result in developing low blood pressure, increased risk of heart disease, put too much stress on the kidneys and many other negative consequences. ,

Tip #2 - Intermittent fasting

There are so many different variations of intermittent fasting such as modified fasting and time restricted fasting. But, basically, the concept is that you are on a "normal" diet for 5 days and then you switch to fasting for 2 to 7 days.

When an individual fasts, they usually consume around 500 or 600 calories. Which is basically two small meals and little to no snacks. There are also strict suggestions for fasting snacks such as vegetables, fruit, water and even low calorie drinks.

Since intermittent fasting shift the body's fuel sources to mainly carbs and accesses other sources such as fats for energy, it might contribute to weight loss.

Occasionally, fasting doesn't hurt, but it is not recommended for weight loss or if you have any health conditions such as nutrient deficiencies. Not only can it be dangerous, but also is very hard to follow long term.

Tip #3 - Atkins Diet

Yes, the popular Atkins Diet. Now, my dad had also tried this diet at one point too. The American Heart Association was one of the first to issue a warning against high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets in order to lose weight.

The high protein of a low-carbohydrate diet could lead to hyperuricemia (leading to joint pain and gout) and hypercalcuria (leading to kidney stones, hypocalcemia, and osteoporosis)1

The Atkins diet has four phases, starting with very few carbs and gradually eating more until you get to your desired weight.

Phase One (Strict Phase/Induction Phase):

You eat low carb (10% or 20% of net carbs) and It’s recommended you have low-carb veggies with every meal—roughly 12 to 15 grams of your daily net carbs.

Phase Two (Balancing Phase):

You keep eating a minimum of 12 to 15 grams of low-carb veggies but start to slowly include higher carbohydrate vegetables and berries. You remain in this phase until you are 10 pounds from your goal weight.

Phase Three (Pre-maintenance Phase):

Once you are near your target weight, the third phase starts. In this phase, you gradually add small amounts of starchy vegetables, fruits and grains, adding about 10 grams of carbs to your diet each week and continue until you reach your target weight.

Phase Four (Maintenance Phase):

This phase is in hopes that what you have learned in the other phases will become a lifelong lifestyle change and that you will continue with good eating behaviors from then on.

Which seems like a great idea, but you are actually in phase 1 and 2 for a while, which is kind of like a keto diet...think back again to the headaches, brain fog and yes the dreaded keto flu.

Tip #4 - Crash diet

Yes, no list of fad diets would be completed without the popular crash diet. For those of you who need a refresher on what a crash diet's a diet that drastically reduces calories in order to obtain rapid weight loss.

Sure, going low calorie might show some weight loss, but if you engage in crash diets repeatedly, it slows down your metabolism. This is the opposite of what you really want. You really want to lose weight, so you should be fueling your body with the right foods in order to burn more fat, and not gain weight.

Crash diets are absolutely terrible because they weaken your immune system and damage your blood vessels. All in all, these types of diets should be avoided in order to save your overall health.

Tip #5 - Cleanse diet

There are so many variations of cleanse diets, but they all have one thing in common: they all consists of fluids.

There is really no evidence out there that is able to prove that a diet only in fluids will flush out toxins from your body. In fact, consuming this kind of diet can actually do the opposite and place unnecessary pressure on your kidneys and prevent them from functioning properly.

Not only is it hard on your kidneys, but a diet high in fluids can also make you feel dizzy, weak, experience headaches and several other negative side effects.

Identify why you want to change your diet

If you would like to lose weight, it might help to specify the reason why you want to lose the weight. Is it to become healthier? Stronger? Or another reason?

If you help yourself by defining a reason, it will help you make better choices in regards to obtaining your goals. It might also help if you swap out non-healthy foods for healthier foods a few at time. For example, swap out rice for cauliflower rice. You can make small changes such as this every so often, then before you know it, you are eating a variety of healthy foods, loosing the weight and feeling better.

All in all, it is so important to ask yourself these kinds of questions before beginning a diet:

  • Why do you want to lose weight? Is it solely because you want to look thinner?

  • Or is it for health reasons, such as lowering your risk of heart disease or breast cancer?

  • What other adjustments will you pair with dietary changes? After all, weight loss is about more than eating fewer calories; genetic, lifestyle, environmental, and physical and mental health factors all contribute to weight gain and should be considered when pursuing weight loss.

Plan for long-term diet changes

Now that you have defined your reason for wanting to make healthier food choices, you can move on how you can sustain your diet long term.

It is so important to be able to pick a eating plan that is not restrictive. If you are restrictive about your food choices, you are more than likely to end up where you started.

This happened to me on time when I was trying to start my healthy eating journey. I ended up going strong right from the get go. I set myself up for failure by doing this. I didn't start out slow, instead I immediately cut out everything. No ice cream. No sweets. No eating after 7pm. No pizza. No cakes. No bread. Nothing.

This was a total 360 from the way I had been eating before, and it totally backfired. So trust me when I say you want to start slow and try not to be so hard on yourself.

Being restrictive in your food choices can also lead to distorted eating patterns, and may end up becoming a full blown eating disorder.

If you have a simple eating plan, it's much easier to stick with it long term. For example, a simple plant based diet is super easy to adapt and come up with different recipes. Not to mention it'll save you some money in the long run.

It's also important to be able to limit the amount of processed foods and any foods that come out of a box or a bag. These kinds of foods are just plain unhealthy for you as they are made with a lot of dyes and preservatives.

Regardless of the plan you choose to follow, be sure to build in flexibility. Have a goal of eating healthier 80-90% of the time, not 24/7. You will burn yourself out, and deprive yourself, which may only lead to failure. Whether you enjoy cake at a wedding or pizza during family game night, it’s fine to enjoy an occasional treat.

Learning how to complete exercises with proper form is so essential to building the body you want. Weather you are a seasoned gym goer, or a newbie, we have tips and trick for everyone on their fitness journey.

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