If you find yourself being skeptical when watching infomercials about new diet products, while perusing a website promoting a new weight loss supplement, or watching a video on YouTube that promises stunning weight loss results, you are wise to be cautious. It can be tempting to believe that the diet or supplement advertised will work because of your strong desire to lose weight. Avoid falling prey to the fad diet trap by using these six tips to help you discern whether or not a particular diet falls into the fad category.
Does the diet promise you can lose weight with no dieting or exercise?
One of the hallmarks of a fad diet is the promise that you can lose weight with no effort on your part. Avoid any diet that makes such promises as years of research have proven that the only effective way to lose weight is through a healthy diet. For example, a study published in the April 2011 edition of the journal “Obesity” found that combining a healthy reduced calorie diet with regular exercise was the most effective weight loss method.
Does the diet not require a lifestyle change?
Permanent weight loss requires you to make concrete lifestyle changes. A fad diet that tells you it is possible to lose weight by still eating whatever foods you want and staying sedentary is not promoting a lifestyle change, but rather just trying to make money.
Does the diet guarantee fast results?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you lose between 1/2 and 2 pounds a week while dieting. Be skeptical of any program that promises you can lose 10 or 20 pounds in a week or even a month. Rapid weight loss is often the result of unhealthy eating habits, a reliance on supplements, or extreme exercise.
Are there unbelievable testimonials?
Although testimonials can be inspirational, it is easy for unscrupulous weight loss companies to fabricate impressive before and after pictures using photo editing software. Companies with unbelievable testimonials on their website or in an infomercial have often hired actors to represent their product. If you are tempted by a testimonial in an advertisement, do your own research to determine if the company is reputable.
Does the company claim their product is “Physician approved?”
Be wary of any company that promises their supplements or program is physician approved, particularly if the claim is also accompanied by unrealistic promises or questionable testimonials. Although the doctors may be legitimate physicians, their specialty may not be weight management. Instead of believing in “physician approved” claims, ask your own doctor whether he or she endorses the program you are interested in trying.
Does the diet claim to work for every person?
There is no one diet that will work for every person because each person has unique needs. If you are a diabetic, have heart disease, or suffer from other medical conditions, your weight loss program should be carefully tailored to your individual needs. For example, if you have diabetes, you must follow a diet designed to correctly control blood sugar and if you have heart disease, you may need to follow a low-fat diet.
The abundance of weight loss programs available makes it easy to be swayed by false claims and tempting testimonials. Always check with your doctor or nutritionist before trying any diet that you feel may be making unrealistic promises. Remind yourself that lasting weight loss is your goal and requires you to make positive lifestyle changes and healthy food choices.