Diet Fads: Why They Hurt You in the Long Run

Today, more than ever, it is popular to pay attention to your diet and the type of ingredients you buy; one can even call it a trend. You will often hear of people starting a new diet to lose weight, eliminate toxins, and/or lessen bloating. Some of these diets are believed to be healthy and help with certain medical conditions, even if not proven by experts or recommended by your physician. The thing is that while one diet may work for your friend, it does not mean it will work for you. 

Not to mention the underlying problems an inappropriate diet may cause and lead to serious health issues. These so-called diet fads have always been present, but thanks to modern communications and the Internet, it is easy to get the information on these diets that spread like wildfires. So, before you change your diet thinking it is for the better, there are some things you can do to make sure it is safe and effective.

What Is A Diet Fad

Sad man looking at his dish containing barely salad

The precise diet fad definition would be — a trendy dietary plan that can help you lose weight fastbringing a lot of health benefits in the process. The popularity of these diets should not come as a surprise since every New Year, you or people you know have made a promise to lose extra weight. Thanks to the fashion and entertainment industries, both men and women are constantly under pressure to look thinner. While the message about body image is improving, the diet frenzy never seems to fade out completely. 

In the last decade, the narrative of being thin has been replaced by ideas of a healthy body. Besides the popularization of exercise and encouraging people to have more physical activities in their lives, the diet has also been heavily promoted as a means toward living healthily. For example, the Atkins Diet suggests a significant reduction in the intake of carbs so your body starts burning fat as the main energy source. While this diet does yield results, it can also lead to some serious conditions like joint pain, gout, and kidney stones [1]. Both the American Diabetes Association [2] and the American Heart Association [3] have issued warnings against this fad diet. 

Another in the category of most widespread fad diet types is the Dukan diet. This diet sounds perfect since you can eat as much as you want as long as it is foods from the Dukan list. This list includes 72 animal-based and 28 plant-based foods you can eat in four phases, promising a rapid and certain loss of weight. This high-protein diet also came with health risks, like cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and kidney disorders [4]

Other famous diet fads are the Blood Group Diet where you eat foods based on your blood type and the Raw Food Diet, which has you eating raw ingredients. If approached systematically and cautiously, a diet can provide results while being healthy, you just need to be patient and ready to give it time to work.

Where To Start

Nutritionist Doctor is writing a diet plan

Every time you want to change your diet drastically, be sure to see your doctor first. Weight gain may be due to some health conditions, such as thyroid disorder, diabetes or hormonal imbalance. If it is, your diet may need adjustment by a nutritionist, which could include taking medications and incorporating more physical activity. 

Using both exercise and diet as your weight loss regime can be more effective than opting for only one of these methods. In this case, your nutrition plan needs to be properly set to meet the needs of your daily calorie burns so you do not feel fatigued and exhausted throughout the day. The world health organization recommends having 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five times a week for health reasons. If you want to tone your body or lose weight, you may have to work out harder. 

Another extremely important topic on dieting are macronutrients, which are necessary for energy and for your body to function properly [5]. Macronutrients are divided into three groups: fat, protein and carbohydrates. Diet fads typically exclude some of these macronutrient groups or favor one greatly over another, which can be efficient for losing weight but can also be detrimental to your health. The best approach is to make changes in the quality of some foods to gain the best and healthiest results [6]

For example, choose good fats over bad ones; examples of bad fats are trans fats and saturated fats, which can lead to heart disease and weight gain. There are also good carbs, like legumes, whole grains, nuts, whole fruits and vegetables. The main idea, however, is to eat moderately, particularly however it would pertain to your lifestyle, health and goals you are looking to achieve.

Making The Right Choice 

Diet fads may hurt you in the long run but can inspire you to think about your nutrition more carefully. If you want to live a healthy life, lose or maintain your current weight, you need to create a strategy and consult with medical experts before starting. Just changing your dietary habits can be enough, but not necessarily healthy. Adding physical activity into the mix can help a lot, but there are other resources you could try tapping into as well, like infrared therapy. 

Spending time in an infrared sauna can also help with weight loss [7] and to eliminate retained water since it promotes healthy perspiration. It can also help one to relax and improve sleep [8], another valuable element for a diet to work and the body to properly use macronutrients [9]

Don't Bother With Diet Fads 1. Diet Fad: a trendy dietary plan that can help you lose weight fast 2. Losing weight rapidly is not a healthy method 3. It's better to eat a well-balanced diet while maintaining an exercise routine 4. Always check with your doctor before making drastic changes to your daily diet


[1] Ghanim Salih Mahdi. (2006). “The Atkin’s diet controversy.” Center for Biotechnology Information, May–June 2006,

[2] Franz MJ, et al. (2006). “Evidence-based nutrition principles and recommendations for the treatment and prevention of diabetes and related complications.” Center for Biotechnology Information, January 2002,

[3] St Jeor ST, et al. (2001). “Dietary protein and weight reduction: a statement for healthcare professionals from the Nutrition Committee of the Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism of the American Heart Association.” Center for Biotechnology Information, October 2001,

[4] Wyka J, et al. (2015). “Assessment of food intakes for women adopting the high protein Dukan diet.” Center for Biotechnology Information, 2015,

[5] Alicia L Carreiro, et al. (2016). “The macronutrients, appetite and energy intake.” Center for Biotechnology Information, July 2016,

[6] Drapeau V, et al. (2004). “Modifications in food-group consumption are related to long-term body-weight changes. Center for Biotechnology Information, July 2004,

[7] Kim, Sungwoon, et al. (2017). “Does treadmill walking with near-infrared light applied to the abdominal area reduce local adiposity and body weight?” Center for Biotechnology Information, October 2017,

[8] Mero, Anitti, et al. (2015). “Effects of far-infrared sauna bathing on recovery from strength and endurance training sessions in men.”, The National Center for Biotechnology Information, July 2015,

[9] Sene-Fiorese, M, et al. (2015). “The potential of phototherapy to reduce body fat, insulin resistance and metabolic inflexibility related to obesity in women undergoing weight loss treatment.” National Center for Biotechnology Information, October 2015,