Fad Diets Are Bad Diets

Fad Diets

The definition of a fad diet is subjective. The term is often used to deride what is considered to be a poor diet intended for rapid weight loss. Fad diets experience temporary popularity and promote unconventional eating patterns that lead to short-term weight loss with little concern for long-term weight maintenance. Fad diets take form in several ways: low-fat, low-carbohydrates, high-protein, or emphasis on one type of food. For the food groups that these types of diets do allow, the proportions are either well above or below those recommended by the American Heart Association, the American Dietetic Association, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These diets limit vital nutrient intake such as carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Without the proper amount of nutrients, severe health conditions can develop later in life. The following are some of the most popular fad diets:

1. The Master Cleanse Diet

2. The Grapefruit Diet

3. The Atkins Diet

4. The Cabbage Soup Diet

The following is a list of example fad diets in addition to the above mentioned:

Acai Berry Diet

Cambridge Diet

Morning Banana Diet

Negative Calorie Diet

Oatmeal Diet

Paleolithic Diet

Raw Food Diet

Slim-Fast Diet

South Beach Diet

Stress Eater Diet

Sugar Busters Diet

Zone Diet

Weight Loss Without Fad Diets

The best diet is a lifestyle that enjoys healthy food, exercise, and optimal health.

To lose weight, more calories must be burned than taken in. Since one pound equals 3,500 calories, caloric intake must be reduced by 500-1000 calories per day to lose approximately 1 to 2 pounds per week. The key to successful weight loss is a commitment to permanent changes in diet and exercise habits.

Here are some healthy weight loss tips:

  1. Eat a variety of foods: lean protein; complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables; and good fats, like omega-3 fats from fish and monounsaturated fats from avocados, nuts, and olives or olive oil.
  2. Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
  3. Cut down on bad fats, like saturated fats from animal prodcuts and trans fats from fried foods, snacks, and fast foods.
  4. Maintain portion control.
  5. Exercise at least 30 minutes every day.
  6. Never skip meals.
  7. Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. This can speed up the metabolism. Five to six per day is recommended.
  8. Drink at least 64 ounces of water daily.
  9. Avoid empty calories like high-sugar sodas and fruit drinks.


1. American Dietetic Association | http://www.eatright.org
2. American Heart Association | http://www.heart.org
3. U.S. Department of Agriculture | http://www.usda.gov
4. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research | http://www.mayoclinic.com
5. WebMD | http://www.webmd.com
6. Health Magazine | http://www.health.com
7. http://www.themastercleanse.org
8. http://www.grapefruit-diet.org
9. http://www.diet.com/g/cabbage-soup-diet
10. Atkins Nutritionals | http://www.atkins.com
11. U.S. Food and Drug Administration | http://www.fda.gov
12. http://www.everydiet.org
13. http://www.livestrong.org
14. U.S. News & World Report | http://www.health.usnews.com
15. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | http://www.cdc.gov

Final Project
Intro to Digital Humanities
ENGL 2393


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