8 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Fad Diets

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Posted By Alex Perez - Mental Health Writer, B.A.

Guest Post about Fad Diets by Marné Amoguis

Marné Amoguis holds a B.A. in International Business from UC San Diego. She is a contributing writer at 365businesstips.com where she loves sharing her passion for digital marketing. Outside of writing, she loves traveling, playing music, and hiking.

Fad Diets by Marné Amoguis

Losing weight is a long process, even though we’re all desperately trying to lose weight overnight. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you’ll have to work hard every single day, even after you’ve reached your goal.

There are many diets out there, and some of them claim to help you quickly lose weight. However, there truly are no shortcuts to sustainable weight loss. These fad diets get your hopes up and can quickly make you lose motivation when they don’t work.

Here’s why you should avoid fad diets

Potential Nutritional Deficiency

There’s a right way and a wrong way to lose weight. As you know, weight loss depends on your ability to cut calories, but you should still be getting enough to sustain your daily activities and lifestyle. Cutting too many calories can leave you feeling weak and can even make you sick.

It’s typically safe to cut 250-500 calories per day for weight loss, but you should never consume fewer than 1200 calories per day. Cutting too many calories means cutting nutrients from your diet. If you’re not getting enough nutrients due to your diet restriction, you could be at risk of a nutritional deficiency. A nutritional deficiency can lead to health issues, including anemia, depression, and osteoporosis.

Diet Cycling

When you’re following fad diets, you might end up getting trapped in diet cycling, also known as yo-yo dieting. Yo-yo dieting means you stick with a diet plan only until you reach your goal and then forget about it, which leads you to gain all of your weight back. Yo-yo dieting means a severe calorie deficit that can set you up for failure since it isn’t sustainable in the long run. If you want long-term weight loss results, you’re better off working with a nutritionist, weight loss coach, or your primary care physician who can provide weight loss medication.

Weight Gain Risk

Believe it or not, some diets can lead to weight gain. Following a fad diet might mean you see pounds dropping on the scale, but as soon as you reach your goal and end up going back to your regular eating patterns, you could gain weight. You can also easily end up gaining more weight than you had when you started the diet. This is because your metabolism slows down when you restrict your calories too much. When you start eating regularly again, your metabolism can’t keep up, which can lead to more fat.

Not only that, but people on fad diets might restrict food for too long, leaving them with cravings for carbs, fats, and sweets. These cravings and your body’s need to eat could increase the risk of binge eating, which can force you to consume more calories in one sitting than you would have all day if you had a regular, healthy diet.

Not Personalized

Everyone’s bodies are different, which means a diet that worked for your friend might not work for you. Fad diets are a one size fits all solution to weight loss, but they might not be the right diets for your body type or lifestyle. Fad diets don’t take into account your medical situation, emotional health, or finances, so they could do more harm than good to your entire life. For example, if someone with diabetes started fasting, they could put themselves in danger of low blood sugar levels that can be fatal.

fad diets


Weight loss plans need to be sustainable. You should be able to stick to your diet every single day without feeling hungry or getting too many cravings. Fad diets aren’t sustainable, which is why so many people resume their regular eating habits after they’ve reached their goals.

Fad diets are restrictive, which makes them unrealistic to maintain for your entire life. One single slip-up can lead to comfort eating to make yourself feel better. While fad diets might be effective for helping you quickly lose weight, they’re not effective at helping you keep the weight off. Instead, you’ll need to focus on a balanced diet so you can feel full throughout the day and fight off cravings.

Promote Obsessive Behavior

Because fad diets are so restrictive, many people become obsessive about what they eat and how many pounds they lose. Fad diets create an unhealthy relationship with food, which can make you feel shame when you break the diet, even for a piece of cake at your mom’s birthday party.

Fad diets may also promote eating disorders depending on a person’s level of obsession with what they’re putting in their bodies.


Fad diets can keep you from enjoying time with friends and family. Going out to dinner is how many people socialize, so you should be able to find something on any menu you can eat without worrying about breaking your diet. For example, if you’re fasting, you may avoid social situations where there will be food, so you’re not tempted to eat. While fasting can be healthy, fasting to the point of avoiding interactions with friends and family can impact your mental health.

If your fad diet keeps you away from friends and family, then it can make you feel isolated.


Fad diets can quickly become expensive if you aren’t watching your spending habits. Most of these diets require subscriptions or you to buy books. They also make most of their money by selling you products that will help you lose weight, including supplements, teas, and weight loss accessories. Diets that require you to spend money on prepared meals add an unnecessary cost to your monthly bills when compared to making your healthy meals at home.

Fad diets

Are Fad Diets Unnecessary?

The short answer to this question is yes, fad diets aren’t necessary to help you achieve and sustain your healthy weight loss goals. Choose the diet you believe you can sustain for the rest of your life and stick with it if you truly want to see lasting changes on the scale. Remember to not compare your results to others, healthy weight loss takes some trial and error to find the right methods that work for you.

Better Health Channel, Department of Health, Government of Victoria, Australia: Weight loss and fad diets

American Association of Clinical Endocrinology: Fad Diets Explained by Karl Nadolsky, DO, FACE

British Dietitians Association: Fad diets, Food Fact Sheet

Everyday Health: The 10 Most Famous Fad Diets of All Time

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