Fad Diets: How to Spot Them & What Really WorksBy Elisa - Jenny Craig
Fad diets are nothing new and seemingly pop up every few months, declaring yet another food group to avoid or elixir to drink. But what has stood the test of time on the journey of weight loss is the tried-and-true, and most importantly, healthy, philosophy of eating a well-balanced diet while staying active. We tapped our Jenny Craig Nutritionist, Monica Ropar, to help explain the fad diet phenomenon and talk about what really works.
It seems as more and more scientific testing is conducted around weight loss and nutrition, food trends have been popping up as quickly as the next fashion line. From juice ‘cleanses’ to shunning bread—it can be confusing to figure out what’s simply a fad—or if it’s a plan that can deliver long-term results and health benefits.
What exactly is a “fad diet?”
Usually, a fad diet takes an extreme, “quick fix” approach to losing weight—typically eliminating certain food groups altogether.1
Most of the time, if you do achieve results and return to your regular routine, you’ll likely see the scale tick back up—and just like that, you’re back to square one. Why? Because fad diets aren’t sustainable. And as you return to your normal eating habits, you’ll likely return to your original weight, or worse, gain back even more from feeling deprived.
How to spot a fad
By spotting a few key terms, you’ll likely be able to identify a fad diet from a program that yields long-term results. Watch out for plans that cut out entire food groups, promise extreme results in a few days or claim certain foods will accelerate your progress.2
What really works
There are a few areas to consider when evaluating a weight loss program that will work. First, ensure the plan is nutritionally sound. You should have a good balance of protein, a variety of vegetables and fruits, healthy carbs, and healthy fats to cover all essential and health-promoting nutrients. Secondly, does the program set realistic goals? Usually, losing 1-2 pounds (or 1% of your current weight) per week is considered a reasonable goal.3 However, you may lose weight more rapidly when you first begin a program as your body adapts to a new way of eating. Let it motivate you to keep going!
Another thing to consider: does the program provide help when it comes to changing your habits? If you’re considering losing weight and want to learn how to keep it off, having an accountability partner or personal weight loss consultant can make all the difference in your results. In fact, one study conducted over a two-year period found that a weight loss program with structured support yielded greater results than a program that relied on self-help.4
Finally, can you maintain your new, healthy lifestyle once you aren’t trying to lose any additional weight? Sustainability is key. If a program teaches you healthy portion sizes and how to eat a well-balanced diet that you can continue on your own, you’ll be setting yourself up for success.
Are you looking for a sustainable weight loss program? Jenny Craig can help you achieve your goals. With a personal, dedicated consultant and a balanced meal plan, our program is designed to set you up for success! Contact us today to book your free appointment.
Edited by Elisa - Jenny Craig