How to Avoid a Fad Diet

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

In case you missed it, Kim Kardashian (one of the world’s most well-known celebrities!) recently revealed that she had lost 16lbs in 3 weeks in order to fit into a dress for the Met Gala. Not only did she reveal her weight loss amount, but her method of doing so too which included cutting carbohydrates from her diet and wearing a ‘sauna suit’ which causes the body to overheat and dehydrate (this of course is NOT recommended by any healthcare professional). As this news was shared globally, this highlighted a problem we see again and again, people with influence sharing rapid, unsafe and dangerous weight loss methods.

So, how do you avoid a fad diet? Here are some tips to help avoid falling into a fad diet trap!


Be aware of any diet that tells you to remove a food group completely

Unfortunately, carbs are often demonised in the press and celebrities don’t help this! Carbohydrates provide the body's main source of energy and do not need to be removed from your diet. If for example you have diabetes, then it is important to be mindful of your carbohydrate portions and quality (opting for higher fibre sources such as wholegrains the majority of the time). Whilst reducing your carbohydrate intake rapidly, you may notice a difference on the scales at first, however - this is often water weight as our body stores carbohydrates in the form of glycogen which binds with water. When your carbohydrate intake reduces, so does your glycogen stores alongside the water. However, when you introduce carbs again, your stores fill back up!


Avoid any diet that uses the word 'detox'

From detox juices to teas, unfortunately there are a number of products on the market which claim to detox your body to support weight loss. This is NOT true and can be extremely dangerous for a number of reasons. It is impossible for these products to detox your body, our liver and kidneys do that for us already! These products may also have diuretic properties and laxative effects, which can leave you dehydrated and even cause some medications to stop working.

Trust a dietitian - The best thing that we can do for our body to function optimally is to consume a balanced diet (with plenty of plant-based foods such as fruit, veg and wholegrains), not smoke, consume alcohol in moderation and keep well hydrated - water is wonderful!


Be cautious of any diets that claim results in X number of days!

A sustainable method of weight loss may not have rapid results on the scales in just 2-3 weeks, but it will benefit you in the long-term by allowing you the time to build up healthy habits - this takes time! Crash diets can be very restrictive and may even recommend reducing your calorie intake to below 1200 a day, which to put into context - is the amount recommended for a 2 to 3 year old child and not a grown adult. This may leave you feeling very fatigued, hungry and can impact your mood negatively too causing you to feel irritable and down.

Trust a dietitian - For a safe amount of weight loss, it’s advised to work with a healthcare professional to ensure you’re getting everything you need nutritionally and are consuming enough calories to keep you energised throughout the day, too!

To summarise, weight loss should not be treated as a quick fix, remember that there is no magic bullet and the number on the scales is not the be all and end all. Restrictive, rapid and potentially dangerous weight loss methods should be avoided at all costs. Having a balanced, varied and colourful diet will not only do wonders for your health but ensure you can still eat a good volume of foods to keep satiated whilst losing weight.

For more information on safe and sustainable weight loss, speak with your healthcare professional or contact us to speak to one of our specialist dieticians and don’t take advice from celebs!

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