Many diet plans or products promise that they have found the secret to weight loss and give the impression that by simply adopting their diet or using their product, your weight struggles will vanish forever, however, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Before starting a new diet or product, it is important to do a little bit of research to ensure that not only will it help you to lose weight and keep the pounds off long-term but will also be safe and result in a healthier you. Here are some fad diet red flags to watch out for:
1) No exercise necessary- Exercise and healthy eating are both essential to losing weight and keeping it off. Aim for 30-60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. To make sure you stick with it, chose activities you enjoy. Also remember that exercise can be broken up into 10 minutes segments throughout the day and doesn’t all have to be done at one time.
2) Promises quick weight loss- Steer clear if a diet or product promises that the pounds will melt off fast. Weight that comes off too quickly often results in lost water, muscle or bone mass rather than fat. Although it may take a little patience, slow and steady weight loss of ½ - 1 pound per week is the best way to go and most likely to result in long-term success.
3) Extremely restrictive or excludes entire food groups- Before starting a diet, ask yourself, “Can I see myself eating this way, a year from now… 5 years from now… 10 years from now”? If the answer is no, then find a new plan. Diets that are too restrictive may result in quick weight loss but can put you at risk of nutrient deficiencies and are difficult to maintain for the long-term. For a diet that promotes long-term weight loss and better health, find one that allows you to eat your favorite foods in moderation and includes all food groups including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat or fat-free dairy foods.