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Much like fashion trends, new fad diets rise and fall in popularity on a regular basis. Fad diets are temporary diets that promise rapid weight loss. Some common fad diets you may have heard about include intermittent fasting, the Atkins diet, ketogenic diet, Mediterranean diet, lemon detox diet, Beyoncé’s water (cayenne pepper and maple syrup) and weight loss pills (i.e. Hydroxycut). Fad diets come out frequently, and they are often promoted as the best and fastest approach to losing weight. However, once someone stops following the diet, the weight is usually quickly regained. The rapid weight gain from the unattainable fad diets can lead to negative psychological impacts, according to Reader’s Digest.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, many fad diets eliminate whole food groups that contain the necessary nutrients our body needs, leading to “starvation.” In addition, the majority of the weight you drop when you lose weight too quickly tends to be water weight, which can lead to dehydration. According to Reader’s Digest, other negative factors of losing weight too quickly on a fad diet include getting tired quickly and developing serious digestive problems, headaches and nausea.
There will always be a “new and improved” fad diet with a temporary fix. However, they are not sustainable. The best way to lose weight, according to the Mayo Clinic, is to have a calorie deficit. A calorie deficit means you are burning off more calories than you are consuming. Most dieticians and nutritionists recommend losing no more than two pounds per week. One pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories. To calculate a weight loss averaging two pounds per week, take your 7,000 calories (two pounds per week), divide it by seven (days in a week), and come up with a deficit 1,000 calories a day. If you would want to lose one pound per week, you’d want to reduce your calorie intake by 500 calories a day. It is important to consult with your healthcare provider before changing your calorie intake and starting an exercise plan. Your healthcare provider can give you an accurate plan that is based on personal factors such as activity level, body mass index (BMI), your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and your medical history.