Did You Know You Can Spot A Fad Diet At A Thousand Paces?

It's summer and some people feel the pressure to look good at this time of the year. Magazines at supermarket checkouts are not short of pictures of celebrities looking fabulous. And those diets and tips on how to lose those extra pounds or how to look great are everywhere on the internet, magazines and television. So, what should we believe? Here are ten ways to spot a fad that don't work long term.

1. It promises dramatic results.

Around 1 kg a week is good, sustainable weight loss and after the first burst you may well find your loss is less than this. Slow and steady wins this race.

 Dramatic weight loss (Source:  teenhealthboards )

Dramatic weight loss (Source: teenhealthboards)

2. All that is talked about is your weight loss goal.

Nothing about what to do next and how to re-integrate into normal family eating.

 Scales and measuring tape (Source:  bodytransformationcentre )

Scales and measuring tape (Source: bodytransformationcentre)

3. There is no mention of physical activity alongside what you eat.

Both food and exercise need to be considered for long term successes.

 Couple cycling (Source:  etamaaddaily )

Couple cycling (Source: etamaaddaily)


4. There are dodgy before and after shots.

How often do you see a slumped, pale, sad looking before shot and an after shot with great posture, a broad smile and a bit of a tan. It's not necessarily weight loss making them look better!


5. The diet relies on you cutting out an evil food.

For long term good health and well-being you need a variety of food and yes, that includes carbohydrates (particularly whole grains).

 Carbohydrates (Source:  goodhealthandfood )

Carbohydrates (Source: goodhealthandfood)

6. You only hear about them through advertising. 

 Advertising (Source:  creativecrabs )

Advertising (Source: creativecrabs)

7. The food plan promises spot weight loss.

Impossible with diet alone. Targeted exercise can certainly help but not food without exercise.

 Woman on scales (Source:  officialhealthblog )

Woman on scales (Source: officialhealthblog)

8. it is backed by an A-list celebrity or super model.

They are genetically blessed and do not live in the same universe as the rest of us. They also may have different very short term goals - fitting into a dress, dealing with a naked shot, looking impossibly fabulous one week after giving birth, etc...

 Celebrity walking on red carpet (Source:  huffpost )

Celebrity walking on red carpet (Source: huffpost)

9. You have to buy special food provided by the company promoting the diet.

Well, you can't do that forever, long term weight loss comes from changing the food you eat day in and day out FOREVER.

 Shopping (Source:  choice )

Shopping (Source: choice)


10. Any materials that include the phrase "everything we have been taught about nutrition is wrong".

Actually most of what we have been saying for years is still pretty much right but telling people to eat plenty of vegetables, drink lots of water and avoid eating too much is really not that sexy, is it?

 Fruits and vegetables (Source:  renovehealth )

Fruits and vegetables (Source: renovehealth)

Next time you want to try the latest diet, compare it to this list and see how many items you can check off, 3-7 and we think it's a fad. As for what works... no one has put it better than Michael Pollan "eat food, not too much, mostly plants".

WellnessAndrea Ler