Avoid these fad diets if you want to lose weight – here’s what experts say you should do

Avoid these fad diets if you want to lose weight – here’s what experts say you should do


Have you ever come across a diet that promises quick, short-term weight loss?

Most likely, it is a fad diet that you should avoid.

Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight, and if a product or diet promises it, it will likely end up doing more harm than good.

Sometimes it can be hard to tell if you are dealing with a fad diet or not.

Typically, a fad diet promotes rapid weight loss, is short-term, excludes certain food groups, has no scientific backing, limits the number of calories you can eat, and comes with a strict set of rules.

Check out these fad diets to avoid, plus get tips on what to do.

HCG Diet

The HCG diet is widely regarded as an extremely unhealthy approach to weight loss.

It was created in the 1950s when British doctor Albert Simeons began promoting the diet for weight loss.

The diet, which includes supplements, was introduced in the 1950s. Getty Images

It mainly comes with two requirements. The first is that you can only eat 500 calories each day.

The second component of this diet is human chorionic gonadotropin supplementation taken daily. This drug is primarily used to treat fertility problems, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The Food and Drug Administration does not classify HCG supplements as safe for weight loss.

Medical News Today reports that HCG supplements can cause mood changes, fluid build-up in body tissues, breast enlargement in men, and blood clots.

A low-calorie diet also comes with a host of side effects including malnutrition, low mood, irregular heart rhythm and gallstones, according to the source.

Cabbage soup diet

The cabbage soup diet is not nutrient dense. Getty Images/iStockphoto

As the name suggests, the diet consists mainly of cabbage soup.

This diet consists of eating cabbage soup for seven days with one to two other low-calorie foods daily.

This diet is not, for one, sustainable, but it also lacks nutrients from major food groups.

Since this is such a short-term diet, there probably won’t be any significant weight loss over the period of time.

This diet lacks many nutrients vital to overall health. Its restrictive nature and the short time in which it is followed, causes people to regain the weight they lost as soon as the week is over.

Baby food nutrition

While baby foods have enough nutrients for babies, adults will need more than what they have to offer. Getty Images/iStockphoto

The baby food diet, like many fads, has its roots in Hollywood.

This diet makes people search their cupboards for baby food and eat several jars for two meals a day.

While baby foods contain enough nutrients for a young child, they don’t have enough for a full grown adult. Continuing this diet for an extended period of time can lead to nutrient deficiencies, according to Verywell Fit.

Plus, after consuming even several jars of food for one meal, you’ll likely still feel hungry since it’s so low in protein and fiber.

The juice cleanses

While healthy on their own, fresh juices fall short when it comes to nutrition. Getty Images

Freshly squeezed juice packed with fruits and nutritious greens is great for you, but not when it’s the only thing you eat.

If you drink juice alone without solid food, a healthy product becomes unhealthy.

Juice cleanses can lead to dehydration and kidney problems, according to Health.com, as well as increased hunger.

What should I do instead?

The best way to lose weight is to set weight loss goals and balance your diet with exercise. Getty Images

Overall, when it comes to weight loss, the best thing you can do is create a healthy balance of a nutritious diet with all food groups and regular exercise.

It is vital that you create realistic weight loss goals for yourself and maintain the understanding that noticeable changes will take time.

“For most people, a realistic weight loss goal is probably only about four to eight pounds per month,” Jessica Isaacs, a registered sports dietitian and Red Bull wellness consultant based in Los Angeles, told Fox News Digital.

A well-rounded diet should keep all food groups in play while also being mindful of portions.

“We want a balanced diet that really focuses on portion control and then a high, daily, consistent protein intake is important. We can store carbohydrates, we can store fat, we don’t store protein,” Isaacs added.

It will take time, balance and realistic goal setting to lose weight and keep it off.

Fad diets can be the source of quick fixes but not healthy, long-lasting ones.

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