I'm sure you have seen the ads on the internet, on television, or on your friend's social media page. Try this new diet! You can lose 10 pounds in one week! Sound too good to be true? That's because it generally is. Fad diets are are known for their 15 minutes of fame and then they fade out of popularity because they do not generate any real or long term results. If we actually could lose 10 real pounds in a week wouldn't everybody be doing it? When you lose that whopping 5 pounds the first few days of your diet it is usually from dropping water weight, and your body is no longer retaining carbohydrates which can make you feel less bloated. This is why we lose so much weight our first week and seemingly none the second! Hang it there though! It will start to melt off when your body adjusts to your new health regimen. Fad diets rid you of all your water weight and carbohydrate retention and you can lose a few pounds, but as soon as you start eating again the weight will come back on because it is not real weight loss. Here is example of a fad diet that claims you can lose 1-2 pounds a day over a 30 day period. I have also included some of the risks associated with this diet.
On this diet, users will either inject or sublingually take a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG. The dieter will then restrict their calorie intake to 500 calories a day and can only consume a small, and very strict, variety of foods for about 30 to 40 days. The hormone will then, in theory, use your body's fat for fuel. This level of calorie restriction can cause severe health problems such as irregular heartbeat and imbalance of electrolytes. It is also important to note the Food and Drug Administration calls this fad diet "reckless" and advertising that hCG promotes weight loss is illegal! A direct quote from their website states: "FDA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have issued seven letters to companies warning them that they are selling illegal homeopathic HCG weight-loss drugs that have not been approved by FDA, and that make unsupported claims." If that's not enough to dissuade you than try reading some of the reviews. Some users state they have had extreme fatigue, muscle weakness, confusion, dizziness, and hair loss. Losing weight is hard work. The hCG diet is just a band-aid.
Fad diets will almost certainly set you up for failure. A dieter will jump from one fad diet to the next looking for quick fix. When that need is not met it can decrease self esteem and self worth and ruin your body's ability to sense real hunger cues. If you want long term, meaningful results you are going to have to work hard for them! What questions do you have about fad diets? Is there a specific fad diet you would like me discuss? Let me know in the comment section!