What are the Disadvantages of Fad Diets?

A fit and healthy body is what everyone is looking for. Our body requires energy in the form of proteins and fats to perform different functions. And, weight loss is essential too as it helps in avoiding blood pressure and heart-related maladies. Many people consider dieting as the best way to lose weight, they skip morning meals and follow various diet plans just to maintain a slim figure.

Fad diets promise dramatic and unrealistic weight loss results and often jeopardize your health. Many people focus on crazy diets, rather than their eating habits. There are many types of diet plans and weight loss programs that you can follow, and fad diets are the most popular. Because fad diet means cutting out key foods, people who follow may face fad diet problems such as dehydration, constipation, fatigue, nausea, inadequate vitamin, and mineral intake.

What is a Fad Diet?  

A fad diet is a diet which promises quick weight loss, but it is an unhealthy and unbalanced diet. Fad diets are meant for those people who wish to burn some calories without indulging in any physical activities. Fad diets help you to burn fat but the reality is you lose water weight. Fad diets are restricted to certain foods with fewer calories. Fad weight loss diets help to lose weight but without a scientific basis. It eliminates whole food groups, resulting in the loss of important nutrients from the body and cause other fad diet problems such as headaches,  weakness, nausea, and constipation. The best approach for losing weight is eating a healthy diet and doing regular physical activities.

Disadvantages of Fad Diets

Why are Fad Diets popular?

  • Comprises of fruits and vegetablesFad diets come in a range of meal plans and some of these comprise of lots of fruits and vegetables. Consuming a meal full of vegetables may give vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals to the body.
  • Effective in losing weightMany fad diets work for short amounts of time. This is because when we stop eating certain food items or eat a special combination of foods, we tend to consume fewer calories than usual. Much of the lost weight is from water and lean muscles and not from body fat.
  • Promote healthFad diets improve physical health and emotional health as well. They help a person lose weight which eliminates risks associated with being overweight and they start feeling confident after seeing positive results.

Examples of some Fad Diets

Below is the list of few fad diets which claims to reduce weight. Some of them are written below:

  • High protein dietsIn high protein diets, you are allowed to eat large quantities of protein such as meat or eggs to lose weight and build muscle strength. Regular exercise builds muscle strength and not proteins. If you exceed the amount of protein needed by the body, you put a strain on the liver and kidneys. The earlier weight loss with this diet could be due to water loss and not fat loss. This diet could be dangerous to the body because they focus on protein-rich foods and may miss specific nutrients while adding fat and calories to the diet.
  • Liquid dietsFollowing liquid diets eliminated nutrients from the body, which are required by the body. For example, phytochemicals are the plant substances that are commonly found in vegetables and fruits and offer protection from several diseases. The effects of liquid diets are temporary and often results in weight gain after completing the diet.
  • Grapefruit diet –The diet claims that eating grapefruit will help to lose some extra pounds but the fact is that any diet based on one food is much more restrictive than healthy. The grapefruit diet is extremely low in calories and lacks essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Juice or broth fastMany dieters try losing weight by drinking only juice or broth for a limited time period. Not eating solid food (fasting) for a long time leads to dizziness and fatigue, which the body reacts by lowering the metabolic rate, thus burning few calories.
  • Food combining dietsFew diets propose that a certain combination of foods helps to burn calories but there is no scientific evidence proving the same. These diets are low in protein and vital nutrients whereas others may cause diarrhea.

Also Read: Maximize your Intake of Protein

Disadvantages of Fad Diets

A fad diet severely restricts food groups or essential nutrients, which means by following this diet you are going to miss out the protective health effects of a balanced diet. Here are some fad diet problems that can occur at the time by following a fad diet regimen:

  • Hair and muscle lossThe nutritional deficiencies caused by fad diets may result in hair and muscle loss. Protein helps adds luster and smoothness to hair. Muscle loss is another effect of fad diets, and when the diet is low in calories, the body looks at other sources to get energy. One of the ways to get energy is by digesting muscles, which is quite detrimental to weight loss as muscles help to burn calories even when we are at rest.
  • Weight gain – Fad diets look tempting as they claim that they can help you burn some calories and with minimal efforts. Going on a fad diet would definitely help you lose weight in a matter of days because you are on a restricted diet. The moment you put an end to your normal diet, you go back to unhealthy eating habits. So as experts recommend, do not follow any weight loss diet and exercise regularly to stay fit and healthy.
  • Alter metabolism –Just because you are restricted to follow a particular diet, it is possible that your natural metabolism may get disrupted. It’s our body’s natural ability to give us indicators about our eating pattern like when to eat and when we are full. The moment we go against the natural pattern, we may face a negative impact on our metabolism and these effects may last longer even after dieting.
  • Nutritional deficienciesDepriving oneself of proper nutrition is always harmful to the body. Vitamins, minerals, and nutrients are required for the proper functioning of the body. When we stay on a fad diet for long, our hair starts falling, the nails become brittle, skin starts to lose its shine and we even get dark circles under the eyes. All these effects are caused due to lack of nutrition in the body.

How to recognize Fad Diets?

  • Claim to help lose weight very quickly
  • Try to draw simple conclusions from complex medical researches
  • Lack of balanced nutrition due to limited food choices


Visit your family doctor if you wish to lose weight. Millions of people fall prey to fad diets and weight loss products, but in reality, no diet or pill can magically burn fat. Try exercising on a regular basis and consume healthy foods, limit daily intake of saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium.

Must Read: What You Need to Know About Your Dietary Intake?

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