What's Your Diet Deficit?

Many fad diets leave out more than the carbs, fat, or extra calories

By R. Morgan Griffin
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario

Anyone who's on a fad diet is painfully aware of some things now missing from the dinner plate. Oh, how you yearn for the simple things you took for granted -- the burger with the bun, the fast food bagel that didn't require your scraping three-quarters of the cream cheese off with a napkin, the simplicity of pouring a container of half-and-half into your coffee instead of letting the mug grow cold while you wait for the waitress to bring the pitcher of skim milk.

But not everything that your diet plan prohibits leaves such an obvious hole in your life. That may not be a good thing. Without your noticing it, your fad diet may be cutting out foods that give you important vitamins and nutrients you really need.

While losing weight is obviously great for your health, it isn't the only thing you need to worry about. But that's all any fad diet is designed to do. Good nutrition is often beside the point.

"I think people lose sight of nutrition when they're dieting," says Elisa Zied, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. "But if you're not getting good nutrition, you're not going to feel well."

So besides those much-missed French fries and ice cream, what might you be leaving out of your diet? WebMD talked to some experts to find out what's missing from fad diet plans. In some cases, it may be quite a lot.