Jan. 1 signals a new calendar year, and for many Americans, a “new year, new me” mentality. In fact, according to Business Insider, getting in shape is consistently the most popular New Year’s resolution in the United States. While making lifestyle changes, as approved by a doctor, is not a bad thing, turning to a fad diet to achieve a resolution of getting in shape is not ideal or healthy. What’s a fad diet? Fad diets typically promise quick weight loss, oftentimes through unhealthy and unbalanced dieting. A diet can be considered a fad if it:
- Claims to help you lose more than 1-2 pounds per week
- Promises that you’ll lose weight and keep it off without giving up fatty foods or starting an exercise program
- Bases its claims only on “before and after” photos
- Limits your food choices and encourages you to only eat a specific set or type of food
What are the dangers of fad diets?
Fad diets can lead to things like gout, poor athleticism, heart disease and—ironically—poor, long-term weight- loss control. If you’re looking to get in shape or lose weight this year, make lifestyle changes that encourage portion control, exercise more, avoid empty calories and eat a well-balanced diet. Keep in mind that forming healthy dieting practices now will keep you on track with your long-term weight-loss goal.