There is lots of hype surrounding fad diets. When so many people boast of miraculous weight loss results with diets like the cabbage soup or no carb craze it can be easy to get sucked in. Don’t be fooled. Fad diets aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Here’s why you should stay away from them.

Quality counts

When it comes to optimal health our bodies do best with a variety of vitamins and nutrients. A good balance of protein, carbohydrates, fiber and fat gives you the best chance of getting a full complement of both. Diets that restrict entire food groups are likely also to narrow exposure to important sources of nutritional fuel. In the long-term, nutritional deficits can negatively  impact overall health.

On a dietMake it a habit to eat for good health

Apply a dual focus on nutrition and weight loss rather than a singular focus on weight loss. Both are possible. Make it a goal to consume good for you foods in reasonable portions. Aim for five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Fruits and vegetables have high nutritional value yet are low in calories. Make veggies more interesting by roasting of adding a squeeze of lemon for deeper flavor. Serve fruit with low fat Greek yogurt for an extra treat. Drink plenty of water, too.

Fad diets aren’t sustainable

While it is true that many have lost weight on a fad diet, it is also true that they often gain the weight right back. That’s because sooner or later normal eating habits will return. Better to find new ways to enjoy old favorites – think macaroni and cheese with whole wheat pasta instead of white – instead of cutting out all carbs.  Remind yourself to reduce portions by using smaller plates and filling at least half of the plate with veggies.

Good food = Good energy

Fad diets usually lead to nutritional deficits. That means you may have less energy to exercise. Exercise is an important part of any weight loss/management plan. Skipping it means you are skipping the opportunity to build muscle and rev up your metabolism. Less muscle coupled with a sluggish metabolism actually adds up to weight gain rather than the weight loss you want.

photodune-7291831-diet-xsFad diets are boring

With so many delightful choices why create limits? There are so many food experiences to be had, there is no real need for fads. Experiment with new kinds of foods and new ways of preparing. Who says food has to be full of fat and calories to be delicious?

Fad diets should be avoided because they can lead to nutritional deficiencies. They also don’t support long-term weight loss or give you the fuel you need to be your best. Instead, eat a variety of good for you foods. Enjoy treats in moderation, and exercise regularly. You will lose or maintain weight, feel great and develop lifelong healthy habits.