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Fad diets and weight gain rebound

Don't fall prey to diet traps
Don't fall prey to diet traps
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Fad Diets Do Not Work

Are you tempted by the latest fad diets? You are not alone. At any given time, two-thirds of all Americans are on a diet to lose weight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With so many people struggling to shed pounds, it is no wonder fad diets are popular. Anything that promises to help the pounds come off fast and easily is sure to catch the eye of people who desperately want to lose weight. But nearly everyone who manages to lose weight will gain it back. In fact, fully ninety-five percent people who lose weight will gain it back. There is obviously a problem with fad diets.

Here are some reasons why you should avoid them.

1. Many fad diets promise fast success as a result of radical changes. For 6 six to twelve weeks you are instructed to make drastic changes to your diet and lifestyle. And in many cases, these changes are so radical, that you really do lose weight quickly. The trouble is that the radical nature of the instructions makes it impossible to continue for very long. And once you go back to your normal way of living, the weight comes right back on. A better alternative is to gradually introduce healthy lifestyle habits that you can keep up for the long term. This will result in slower weight loss, but it will be weight loss that you will be more likely to maintain.

2. Fad diets often cause muscle loss. If you restrict your calories so severely that you lose weight quickly, you are likely losing muscle mass along with fat. Since muscle weighs more than fat, you will probably notice a decent drop on the scale, but it comes at a high price. Once you lose muscle, you cannot get it back, and muscle is a huge calorie burner, even while you are at rest. So your future efforts at weight loss will be hindered, because you will have less muscle to aid in calorie burning. Further, since fad diets almost always result in the regaining of weight, you will eventually gain fat back to replace the muscle that you lost, but it will be even harder to get the fat off, because now you have less muscle to help burn it! A safer alternative is to follow a sensible weight loss plan that involves plenty of nutrition and calories, and combine it a strength training program that protects your muscles while you lose the fat.

3. Fad diets promote fatigue. The severely restricted calorie profile of most fad diets does not provide enough nutrition for sufficient energy. The result is that you will feel sluggish, moody and maybe even depressed. Instead, choose an eating plan that provides plenty of the macronutrients of complex carbohydrates (whole grains, vegetables and fruits), healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut oil), and protein (lean animal protein, nuts, eggs, cheese and fish).

Utilize long-term strategies for long-term goals.