Why Fad Diets Don’t Always Work: The Truth Behind The Appeal

When you hear the words “fad diet,” what comes to mind? 

You might have your own definition, but you can probably also think of several common fad diets that have been popular over the years. From South Beach to Atkins and from Keto to Paleo, trying to keep track of different diet plans can make your head spin. 

People tend to go for fad diets in order to see results quickly. With summer right around the corner, you can probably expect some people in your life to start “cutting out” certain things, too. Or, maybe you’ve even considered it yourself.

But, before you jump onto a diet bandwagon, it’s important to consider a few things. First, fad diets don’t always work. Many times, people find themselves gaining weight back once they stop the diet. Second, they might be pretty extreme and potentially unhealthy. 

With that in mind, let’s look at why fad diets continue to be so popular, and why you might want to avoid them. 

The Desire for an Instant Fix

To say we live in a fast-paced world would be an understatement. People have gotten used to instant gratification in almost every way of life. If you want to buy something, you can click a button or tap on your phone, and it’ll be on your doorstep the next day. 

If you want to connect with friends, they’re a text message away. 

How long do you wait for a website to load? Studies have shown that if a site doesn’t fully come up in a matter of seconds, the user will move on. 

The psychological desire for immediate results has carried over into physical appearance. And, in many cases, it works. You can follow makeup tutorials on YouTube or receive Botox injections on your lunch break to change the way you look almost right away. 

So, it should come as no surprise that people want a diet plan that works just as quickly. That’s one of the biggest reasons fad diets are so popular. They claim to help you lose a substantial amount of weight in a short amount of time. And many of them do just that. Some people swear by certain diet plans because of the extreme weight loss they experienced. 

But is it worth it? Furthermore, is it healthy? 

The Frustration with Fad Diets

Fad diets can work for losing weight quickly. But, have you ever wondered why the popularity of most of these diets fizzles over time? They’re called “fads” for a reason. 

Cutting out any specific food group from your diet, especially in the somewhat extreme ways fad diets require, will certainly cause you to lose weight. The problem? It’s not sustainable. 

No one wants to live a life where they must count carbohydrates forever. No one wants to constantly question if something is “keto” or not. It becomes exhausting, annoying, and frustrating. So, once people lose the weight they want, it’s not uncommon for them to ease up on their own restrictions. 

Unfortunately, that causes the weight to return rather quickly. 

The best solution for weight loss and a much healthier way to take care of yourself is through traditional diet and exercise. You don’t need to deprive yourself of one specific food group. Rather, take the time to understand what your body needs, and make healthy food choices every day. 

While a “quick fix” might be tempting and exciting, the science behind weight loss is much more convincing. It takes time, effort, and dedication. No one wants to be on a “diet” forever. Instead, results tend to be long-lasting by making lifestyle changes and choosing healthier food options and staying active. As the old adage goes, slow and steady wins the race.