The Cleveland Clinic

Weight Loss:
Spotting Fad Diets

There are literally hundreds of different diets that have at one time or another been promoted as the best approach to losing weight. Unfortunately, most of them, in their efforts to succeed, involve omitting certain foods, and sometimes even entire food groups (for example, high protein diets suggest eliminating carbohydrates, a significant element of the recommended eating guidelines based on the food pyramid.)

Fad diets take form in many ways. low-fat , low carbohydrates , high protein or focusing on one particular food item such as grapefruit. These diets lack major nutrients such as dietary fiber and carbohydrates, as well as selected vitamins, minerals, and protective phytochemicals, such as antioxidants (substances found in vegetables which are protective against disease). Over the long term, by not receiving the proper amounts of these nutrients, you may develop serious health problems later in life.

For the food groups that these diets do permit, the proportions are either well above or well below those recommended by major health organizations like the American Heart Association and the American Dietetic Association, as well as the Surgeon General and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Some common claims of these diets include blaming particular hormones for weight gain, suggesting that food can change body chemistry, or touting or banning a particular food. However, they all have one thing in common: they offer only a temporary solution to what for many people is a lifelong problem. Once the diet is stopped, the lost weight is usually regained quickly. This is because none of these diets teach you how to eat right .