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Weight Loss: Spotting Fad Diets

There are hundreds of diets. Some are great. But then there are the fad diets, which may take some weight off, but not for long, and not without risk.

Fad diets don't give you all the nutrients you need. They may be way too low on calories, too. Or they may cut out entire food groups, or promise weight loss miracles.

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Their results don't last long. When you're done with the diet, and you go back to eating the way you used to, you're likely to gain back the weight, and maybe more. This is because fad diets don't teach you how to eat right.

9 Signs of Fad Diets

Fad diets often have one or more of these traits:

  1. Promises a quick fix
  2. Strongly warns against a single product or regimen
  3. Sounds too good to be true
  4. Oversimplifies complex research
  5. Is based on a single study or testimonials
  6. Makes dramatic statements that scientific groups reject
  7. Tries to sell you a product
  8. Is based on studies that independent experts haven't reviewed
  9. Eliminates one or more food groups

To lose weight and keep it off, go with exercise and a good diet with moderate portions.

In general, a balanced diet of whole, unprocessed foods is ideal.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on August 03, 2012

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