So you want to know how you can lose weight and keep it off indefinitely? You may be surprised to know that the number one strategy for this goal is to stay away from fad diets.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, a fad diet is a weight loss plan or aid that promises dramatic results. These diets typically do not result in long-term weight loss and are usually not very healthy. In fact, some of these diets can actually be dangerous to your health.
Some fad diets include low to no carb diets, low fat diets, grapefruit and cabbage diets, long-term cleanses and liquid diets. These diets promise quick fixes and actually work because more often than not, they’re using a method called water manipulation for rapid weight loss.
In “Losing Water Weight: How Carbs Really Work,” 8fit explains why low carbers experience rapid weight loss. It’s very common for those new to low-carbing to lose four to 12 pounds quickly at the beginning of their carb restriction. It’s all about the glycogen stores. Each gram of glycogen is bound to three to four grams of water. So, as your body burns its way through the reduced dietary carbs and into the glycogen stores, the water attached to the glycogen flushes away as well —water weight. There’s no fat loss here; the glycogen and accompanying water have simply been squeezed out of your muscles and liver.
The same holds true for diets like the grapefruit and cabbage diet and liquid diets. You’re eating and drinking foods that are natural diuretics, which cause the body to lose water weight quickly. Well, that’s great, right? Not so fast. Eventually, your weight loss will plateau and more importantly, once you introduce carbs back into your diet, the water weight will come right back.
Not sure if it’s a fad diet? The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center advises that you ask yourself the following questions to determine if a diet is a fad diet:
- Does the diet promise quick weight loss?
- Does the diet sound too good to be true?
- Does the diet help sell a company’s product?
- Does the diet lack valid scientific research to support its claims?
- Does the diet give lists of “good” and “bad” foods?
If you can answer “yes” to any or all of these questions, the diet is probably a fad diet.
Our best advice to you is to stay clear of fad diets. Instead, eat at a slight caloric deficit consisting of primarily nutrient-dense foods and exercise. Remember, it’s a fitness and healthy lifestyle journey, not a diet.
Written By: Erika Kelley
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