Fad diets are characterized as popular eating-habit trends that promise immediate results. Beyond a quick fix, a fad diet typically promotes some type of "magic" combination of certain foods that excludes certain essential nutrients and encourages following other unnecessary rules to focus on changing your body chemistry and losing weight fast. While indeed, such fad diets have helped thousands of people lose excess weight and stubborn pounds, they're also dangerous. These regimens cut out key nutritional foods that you need for overall health and wellness. Examples of Fad Diets While many of these diets are advertised to help you shed pounds seamlessly, most of them are harmful and ineffective. Here are a few examples of fad diets: 1. Low-fat diet - Encourages you to buy products that are labeled "low-fat" but in reality these processed foods are made with more sugar, sodium and other harmful additives. 2. High-protein diet - This regimen proposes that if you eat large portions of meat and eggs for protein, you'll build maximum muscle and lose excess weight. However, meat and dairy products are loaded with added fats and exceeding your daily protein recommendations can lead to liver and kidney issues.3. All-cabbage diet - It's said that eating nothing but cabbage soup for a week can help you lose up to 10 pounds of excess weight. But these pounds shed are most often just water weight, which means you'll end up gaining it back as soon as you stop following this regimen. Additionally, this fad diet is high in sodium and low in protein, which could increase feelings of fatigue and weakness. 4. Grapefruit diet - Does restricting yourself to eating only grapefruit sound fun and healthy? Not quite. This diet promises weight loss if you eat nothing but grapefruit, but that means you won't get the calories, vitamin and minerals you need to thrive. Why Are Fad Diets So Harmful? While some of these diets may seem less harmful than others, it all comes back to one main hardship: these dietary restrictions won't have all of the essential nutrients your body needs to thrive. "Most fad diets center on eliminating certain food groups or limiting to only specific 'healthy' food choices," Anna King, a registered dietitian at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, told Indiana University Health. "Each food group provides its own unique set of vitamins, minerals and energy for the body." Because fad diets tend to completely cut out certain food groups, your body may react negatively to the inadequate vitamin and mineral intake. Some of the following symptoms could occur while following a fad diet, according to the Victoria State Government Better Health Channel:
- Fatigue and sudden weakness.
- Severe headaches.