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Why Fad Diets Don't Work

Fad diets can be unhealthy and usually fail in the long run. The key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is permanent lifestyle changes while achieving a healthy lifestyle balance.

The Atkins diet, the juice cleanse, the lemon aide diet? Heard of one of these? Maybe you’ve even tried one. These are just a few of the ridiculous fad diets out there meant to tempt you into a temporary quick fix. Fad diets tend to limit your nutritional intake and can be unhealthy and usually fail in the long run.

The main problem with fad diets is that they promise (and sometimes deliver) radical weight change. Many of these diets fail to distinguish between fat, muscle, and water weight, with the result that the dieter tends to lose a combination of all three. Why is this bad? Because muscle is metabolically active. This means that muscle actually helps you to burn more calories. When you lose muscle, it means you will have to eat less daily to just maintain your current weight.

Another problem with these diets is that they do not teach you how to eat better for the long term. Once finished with the fad diet, most people go back to their regular eating and exercise habits. Their weight creeps back on and often times they gain even more than where they started. Many fad diets will result in some loss of body fat, since they typically include reducing calories. These diets can also wreck your metabolism which can cause rapid fat gain once you go off the diet. This is the reason that only 5 percent of people who go on diets will actually keep the weight off.

The key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is not about making short-term changes.  offers a variety of programs that can help you improve your health and well-being. Check out: Pathway to a Healthier Weight, New Kids at the Y, Living Compass, the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, or even Something’s Cooking. In these programs, you learn to eat healthy, to incorporate daily exercise, and make permanent lifestyle changes while achieving a healthy lifestyle balance.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Randy1949 August 16, 2012 at 06:06 PM
One excellent lifestyle change a person can make is to give up soft drinks in favor of plain water, which can be made interesting with a dash of lemon. After several years of doing this, I find soft drinks repulsively sweet.

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