The Myth of the Fad Diet

10 Fad Diets that don’t Really Work

In today’s impatient world, people try to find ways to achieve instant gratification—whether it’s work, play, communication, health, or beauty. As a result, so many diets promising much weight loss in a short amount of time are making the rounds. Some diets are genuinely good for you and result in lifestyle changes for the better, but others are ineffective and can even endanger your health. Unfortunately, many people still try them hoping to get thin quickly.


Here are 10 fad diets that don’t really work:

1. The Dukan Diet. This diet was first presented by French doctor Pierre Dukan, and encourages protein intake in place of carbs. The diet has four phases: the first allows the dieter to eat as much pure protein as he/she wants, the second allows protein and vegetable intake, the third allows the addition of fruit, cheese, bread, and other starchy products, and the fourth lifts all food restrictions six days out of the week, encourages dieters to take the stairs, and requires a protein-only day. This diet is ineffective in the long run because while you do lose weight, what you’re losing is water weight as a result of the lack of carbs rather than actual fat.


2.  The 17-Day Diet. Developed by Dr. Michael Moreno, this diet also encourages the avoidance of carbs. Dieters are told to avoid carbs and certain fruits after 2 p.m., and are told to walk for 17 minutes a day. While this diet provides good advice in that it encourages dieters to replace unhealthy foods with healthier alternatives, the 2 p.m. restriction actually does not do anything to help you lose more weight. Neither does walking for exactly 17 minutes for 17 days.

3.  The Atkins Diet. Proposed back in the 1970s by Dr. Robert Atkins, this diet also replaces carbs with protein. Many people like the fact that fat, such as butter and oil, is acceptable on this diet because the fat content is theoretically burned in lieu of carbs. However, as with the Dukan Diet, the promised 15-pound weight loss from this diet is just mostly water weight and not fat. The excess protein consumption can also lead to kidney and liver damage because the body needs to work harder to process all that meat.

4.  The HCG Diet. This diet involves “calorie-counting”, cautioning dieters to consume only 500-800 calories per day. Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), a pregnancy hormone, is either ingested as a pill or injected into the body to help facilitate weight loss. This diet doesn’t work in the long term because the limited caloric intake is very difficult to maintain, and does not allow you to get the nutrients you need each day. HCG also actually doesn’t do anything to aid the weight loss process.

5.  The Chewing Diet. This diet is one of the most dangerous on this list because it is practically equivalent to bulimia. The idea is that you chew your food very thoroughly and then spit it back out so that you can absorb some nutrients and enjoy the flavor while avoiding the calories. But this diet results in acid reflux because your body is anticipating the food you never swallow, and the constant chewing causes tooth decay.

6.  Soup diet. Mostly done with cabbage soup, this diet encourages the consumption of just soup and other low-calorie foods for one week to shed 10 pounds. However, this diet does not have a long-term eating plan, and causes you to suffer from diarrhea in that week

7.  Juice fasting. This diet involves imbibing juices that supposedly contain all the nutrition you need in a day, and promises much weight loss along with physical detoxification to cleanse your body. However, the weight shed during such diets is water weight and colon debris as your body undergoes detoxification. Plus, it’s extremely expensive (if you’re getting your juices ordered) and time-consuming (if you’re preparing the juices yourself).

8.  The Master Cleanse. This popular weight-loss method was endorsed by celebrities like Beyonce, Demi Moore, and Ashton Kutcher, and involves drinking a mix of lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup. However, the Master Cleanse is intended to be a detoxification regimen, not a diet plan, and can’t be sustained in the long term.

9.  The Cookie Diet. This diet was developed by Dr. Sanford Siegal, who came up with a recipe for a healthy cookie that could take the place of two meals. Four to six of these cookies reportedly packed only 500 calories, and for the remaining meal, dieters are encouraged to ingest a meal that clocks in at 1,000 calories. This diet gets boring after a while because replacing two meals with cookies every day gets old, which causes you to crave other foods and feel even hungrier.

10.  The Acai Diet. Named for the Amazonian berry, this diet rose in popularity after the acai berry was reported to have weight-loss benefits. Dieters are required to incorporate acai into their meals as juices or capsules. However, the weight-loss properties of the acai berry haven’t been proven, and considering the high prices at which the supplements are sold, it just doesn’t seem worth it.


Fad crash diets are never a good way to go if you’re looking to lose weight. The best way to lose weight is through a healthy, varied diet that cuts down on saturated fats and empty calories like burgers, sodas, and sweets, in combination with a healthy exercise regimen. Join a course at a gym, a studio, or a fitness college like ACPE Academy that gets you moving daily to properly burn the calories you take in. And if you’re considering going on a strict diet, it’s always best to see your doctor first to determine if it’s going to have adverse effects on you. Many doctors can recommend you to a good nutritionist who can craft an effective eating plan tailored to your body’s needs.

Author bio:


Adeline Erwin is a budding lifestyle writer based in Sydney, Australia. As a part-time fitness instructor, she motivates people to get back into shape, using only the most natural means possible. She is also a strong advocate of eliminating junk food from the typical school child’s diet. On her spare time, she loves doing arts and crafts projects with her 2 adorable daughters, ages 6 and 8.



Tags: , ,
This entry was posted on Thursday, October 24th, 2013 at 3:31 pm and is filed under Health and Wellness, Weight Loss, Diet, and Exercise. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “The Myth of the Fad Diet”

  1. {Lester|Leonard|Larry|Derek|Michael|Ryan|Elsie|Roger|Hector|Carl|Dave|Clinton|Jacob|Glenda|Daniel|Brett|Mitchell|Greg|Gretchen|Luis|Clyde|Antonio|Wayne|Travis|Corey|Jim|Jeremy|Mathew|Jeff|Gary|Evan|Joel|Jay|Henry|Rick|Jean|Harry|Stephen|Jennifer|Oscar|Kel

    I must comment here, which is not something I normally do! I take pleasure in reading a website that can make people think. Additionally, thank you for allowing me to comment!

Leave a Reply

Your comment

Powered by WP Hashcash