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Fad Diets And Their Unrealistic Weight-loss Claims

Fad Diets And Their Unrealistic Weight-loss Claims

Every now and then there is a Buzz in the health groups and people start following the latest and trendiest Fad Diets. If you are one of those health-conscious person who have been getting curious about the new trendy diets which few of your friends have started following and  have  advised you to follow then this food story is for you because these Fad diets are provide a quick-fix to weight-loss and at times in the face of weight-loss may do more harm than good. 

Well “fad diets” literally mean those kinds of diets which became fashionable and grew in a very short period of time exclusively by “preying on our temptation for a thinner waistline without any exercise”. These fad diets generally are not based on any scientific evidence but interestingly they do result in weight-loss though only for a short period of time, which adds up to their popularity. Using these diets, one may shed some weight in the short term but in the long-term, you may gain more weight than ever before. Most of these diets focus primarily on regular consumption of one of the ingredients like proteins etc., which often result in some chronic diseases like osteoporosis, high blood pressure etc. Hence before starting to follow any trending diet, observe the pros and cons of each diet presented here which will certainly help you in taking an informed decision rather than an ignorant one.

What is a Fad Diet What is a Fad Diet


You may laugh it off that just eating only pizzas can help you with losing weight but it is true and a Pizza shop owner Matt McClellan did so! In his quest to prove people that pizza is more than just being tasty, Matt ate only pizza thrice a day for 30 days and reported significant weight loss albeit he exercised quite heavily during those 30 days. Followers of pizza diet need to eat around 8 slices of pizza for each and every day for 30 days in order to shed around 20 pounds of their weight. Though pizza can be a delicacy for many, eating too much of anything is an insane idea. Despite the pizzas recommended in this diet are thin crust and of vegetable/meat toppings, it has faced severe criticism on account of being nutrient-depletive type of diet. Also those having gluten-sensitivity will not be able to follow this diet since the main ingredient in the pizza base is wheat.

Eat Pizza and loose weight Eat Pizza and loose weight Image Credit

TACO diet

Taco diet recommends to eat vegan tacos as their only meal for straight 30 days. Can you seriously imagine that! Eating tacos day in and day out! Even though Tacos constitute a healthy diet, it is hard to imagine eating tacos as your meal thrice a day and that too for straight 30 days but the book ‘Taco Cleanse’, written by Austin researchers claims only this for those who want to lose huge weights within no time. This book contains around 75 taco recipes and owing to the people’s desperation for quick weight loss, it has been a worldwide bestseller, even when this book is more of taco recipe book rather than a guide to losing weight. The promoters of this diet have faced great criticism on the part of the book where they claim that ‘consuming only taco-based diets detoxifies body and as such results in weight loss’ as most of the researches have shown that only human body can detoxify itself and not consuming any diet.   

Taco Diet Taco Diet Image Credit


Military diet is one of the most popular and effective diet plan available for loosing weights in quick time frame( around 4-5 kgs in just 8-10 days). While there are other diet plans which promise even quicker weight loss, one may wonder what makes this diet plan so popular! Well the answer is its simplicity and effective results. Military diet involves 2 phases of diet intake with the first one being of 3 days while the second one is of 4 days. In the first 3 days the followers are recommended to follow a strict diet plan with a calorie intake of less than 1400 calories while the second phase of the diet is without any restrictions with recommended low calories. Military diet highly appreciates to enhance water intake while lowering caffeine and alcohol. Though researches are going on to validate the claims of this diet, a very high portion of its followers have had drastic weight loss and that too in such a short span of time. Military diet allows a balanced and complete diet unlike other diet plans which focus only on single nutrition based diets and this has been one of its key factors for being so popular for such a long period of time.

Military Diet Plan Military Diet Plan Image Credit


Atkins belong to the monotonous fad diets category where the diet plan followers are required to consume food items devoid in carbohydrates. The main logic behind this idea is that when our body will consume lesser carbohydrates then in order to meet the daily requirement of energy, a process called ketosis will be performed wherein the stored fats will be burned so as to provide the energy to our organs. As a ramification of this, extra deposit fat content of our body responsible for overweight will be lost giving us a leaner look. Atkins is a 4 phased diet, out of which the first ‘induction phase’ is the most weight-losing 2-week period where carbohydrate consumption is negligible. After this phase the rest of the three phases focus mainly on reintroduction of carbohydrates in our diet for sustained following of Atkins diet. Though this diet has a reasonable number of satisfied followers, following this diet is not commendable for two reasons- first, consuming no carbohydrates will, in most cases, lower the body’s metabolism rate and second, its followers may experience prolong fatigue with no instant results in weight loss.


This is also one of those diets which are based on ketosis for weight loss. Like Atkins diet, Ketogenic diet also stresses upon the consumption of high fat and protein, which is  low carbohydrates diet though in a stricter sense. Ketogenic diet has long been related with successfully lowering the frequency of seizures in epilepsy and also in people suffering from blood pressure and sugar related problems. But apart from these side advantages, Ketogenic diets are not usually recommended by nutritionists owing to the risk of damage it may cause to kidney and liver and because of its non-sustainability in long-term usage. Even the weight loss which may occur is generally due to loss of water weight and not because of shedding of fat and hence once the diet is stopped one may regain the weight with hastier pace. So before for such low carbs fad diet you must always take some advice from any expert nutritionist rather than blindly becoming a prey to the marketing strategies of promoters of these diets.

Most talked about Diet Most talked about Diet Image Credit


Whenever a new type of dietary plan appears in front of us, it is generally bolstered by some interesting and new sort of concept backing its promise of so called ‘quick weight loss’, which enables it to enthrall the consumer market and create a buzz about itself. Same goes true for dissociated diets as well which holds juxtaposed consumption of alkaline and acidic food responsible for weight gain. As such this diet recommends eating of food of only one food group at a time as an effective solution for weight loss. This diet fosters the use of green vegetables and whole grains over meat and refined food items which eventually leads to weight loss because the diet that you then be consuming will certainly be having a lower calorie content. But the whole reasoning of ‘alkaline + acidic= weight gain’ is completely absurd and has nothing to do with weight. And the apparent focus seems to be on ‘improving digestion’ rather than on ‘weight loss’, besides depriving our body an agglomerate of diverse nutrients.

Dissociated Diet Dissociated Diet Image Credit


Imagine a diet which promises weight loss while giving you the liberty to eat anything you feel like and that too at any point of time. Astonishing right? Well it is exactly what the wild diet offers! Wild diet unlike its contemporary dietary plans, recommends to eat each and every food item unless and until they are natural and not refined. This diet also stresses upon having a meal when and so you are hungry unlike other strict dietary plans in which you will have to eat thrice a day or more, even reluctantly. Though this diet may not deliver quick results, yet it is so popular because it can be easily followed for a very long period of time ceaselessly.

Looks promising Looks promising Image Credit


Golo diet has been the most searched about diet among the fad diets category in 2016. Basic idea behind the weight-loss claims of this diet is based on ‘optimization of insulin’ in the body (insulin is that hormone produced by our body which regulates glucose in our blood). The followers of Golo diet need to take a Release Weight Loss Supplement, with every meal, which is claimed by its makers to be 100% natural insulin optimizer. While the supplement does in fact contain some essential minerals, in no way does it assures how it optimizes insulin. Though many of its users have reported weight loss yet the losses have not been significantly greater than for those who are on a normal healthy diet. Due to lack of scientific evidence supporting Golo’s hasty weight-loss ways, this fad diet does not guarantee any assured results for quick weight loss.


Dukan diet is also one of those diets (just like Atkins, Ketogenic etc), which promote low carbohydrates and high protein content in its diet plan. But Dukan dietary plan has a bit relaxed rules and is spread over mainly 3 phases which are Attack Phase(max weight loss approx.. 5kgs), Cruise Weight loss (around 1 kg weight loss in 3-4 days) and Consolidation phase( min weight loss). The first phase is based on high protein diet with zero carbohydrates(2-3 days) while the second phase allows the followers to include non-starchy food items along with protein contents in their diet. The most interesting aspect of this diet is its consolidation phase in which the normal food items are included in the diet with stress being on the less starch and more proteins. This consolidation phase is rather much more unique because it helps its followers to continue this diet for as long they want. But since it is a fad diet, one should always do thorough research and concern nutritionists before resorting to this sort of diet.

Dukan Diet Meal Plan Dukan Diet Meal Plan Image Credit


As the name suggests, mono diet is nothing but sustaining your regular consumption on only one food item which may be fruits and veggies like apple, bananas, cabbage or may even be chocolate. The promoters of this sort of diet are many and they have backed up their idea of losing weight by the scientifically invalid reasoning that by consuming one single type of food will increase body’s metabolism rate and hence accelerate weight-loss. In fact this diet has yielded results not because of the above fact but because the generally taken food items like fruits etc. are low in calories and hence help in weight-loss. Even when this sort of diet will lead to nutritional deficiencies and psychological disruptions (because of cravings), it has been popular owing to its simplicity since it does not involve any recipe book or any such calorie-counting after each meal.

There is a chocolate diet too! There is a chocolate diet too! Image Credit

After reading above, you must have observed that most of the diets that are presented under the tag of ‘lose 20 kgs in 30 days without any exercise’ are not at all backed up by any scientific reasoning and as such they become popular only because of our temptation of quick weight loss without any hard work. But like any other achievement in life, hardwork and discipline are prerequisites for achieving ‘weight-loss’ too. So eating healthy food and having a lifestyle which includes exercising daily is more than sufficient for maintaining a desired body weight perpetually.

About the Author: This Article has been written, researched and shared by Shobhit Dwivedi, who is an engineer by degree, a gourmand by heart and loves to research and write about food, health and fitness to satiate his passion for them.  You can follow Shobhit on Plattershare.

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