Why Fad Diets Won't Work

Dr, Donna Restivo

Posted on October 03 2018

The majority of us have had fad diets pushed at us since we knew what a diet was. And if you’re like most people, you’ve dabbled in a few fad diets here and there. We are here to tell you that they are called “fad diets” for a reason, as their success only lasts a minimal amount of time and in some cases, fad diets can actually be harmful to your health. Here are the top fad diets to steer clear of…



Weight Watchers. Known as one of the most popular diets out there, Weight Watchers was founded by Jean Nidetch, a homemaker who had spent her life battling her weight. She started out by inviting members into her home to discuss weight loss goals once a week. While she had zero education or training in nutrition, the diet picked up quickly and members felt a connection with each other on their weight loss journeys. The irony of all this is the fact that Nidetch ended up selling Weight Watchers to the H.J. Heinz Company in 1978, which is the company that sells ketchup, a high-fructose-corn-syrup product that is in no way healthy for you.

The main problem with Weight Watchers is the point system, which allows you to eat low-quality foods that do essentially nothing for your health. As long as you apply your points to your daily allotment, then you can eat all the unhealthy starches and sugars that you want, which ultimately raises your setpoint weight. This fad diet doesn’t encourage you to eat every few hours to ensure that your body is fueled properly, and your blood sugars remain at a reasonable level. Instead, it gives you permission to starve yourself all day and eat junk food at night, as long as you keep track of your points. When you go off Weight Watchers, you will see all that briefly lost weight re-appears.

Low-Fat Diets. Famous for restricting the good fats that our body needs to store energy, insulate us, and keep our vital organs safe, the low-fat diet was big in the 1950s and 1960s, when doctors were deeply concerned about cardiovascular disease above anything else. The thing about the low-fat-diet is that it allows you to eat as much sugar as you want, and there has been major research concluding sugar as being a cause of cardiovascular disease. Sounds a bit contradicting to say the least. Considering fat is one of the necessary macronutrients, it’s pretty safe to say avoid completely restricting it from your diet. All of those people who went on the low-fat diet, ended up getting sick and/or gaining the weight back quickly.

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