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ALABAMA A&M UNIVERSITY, Ala.— Don’t fall victim to fad diets in the new year. These diets often promise individuals quick weight loss and other health benefits if they follow a specific set of guidelines. However, these claims are often made without any scientific basis.

What’s Wrong with Fad Diets?

Fad diets are popular for losing weight. However, they tend to only be popular for a given period of time. These diets can result in quick weight loss, but often involve unhealthy and unbalanced eating plans.

“Even though fad diets help individuals to lose weight quickly, the weight is just as quick to return once you go back to your old eating habits,” said Andrea Morris, an Alabama Extension nutrition and health specialist.

These type of diets frequently consist of eliminating food groups. By eliminating food groups, a body is deprived of important nutrients. Fad diets generally fail to teach long-term healthy and sustainable eating habits.

Healthy Weight Loss

The best way to lose weight is not by dieting, but by changing a lifestyle. Losing or maintaining a healthy weight should not be a short-term goal. Instead, people should commit to making changes they can sustain for a lifetime.

  • Maintain a healthy eating pattern. Eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains and limit intake of solid fats, salt and sugar.
  • Participate in regular physical activity. Adults need at least 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity each week.
  • Balance the amount of calories consumed and used. Calorie needs are based on several factors such as age, height, weight, gender and physical activity level. Discuss calorie needs with a registered dietician or physician.

More Information

Tools, such as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, MyPlate and the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, are great resources to help people make better lifestyle choices. Remember, we do not have a cookie cutter life so, finding solutions that work for a certain lifestyle is important. Talking with a doctor is the best way to start and maintain a new healthy lifestyle journey.

For more information, visit www.aces.edu for more health and wellness tips.

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