How To Spot Fad Diets Easily

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I have come across and continue to come across many people who fall and/or have fallen victim to fad diets. These are people that usually want to lose weight quickly in a certain amount of time or those who have lost weight on the fad diet before but gained all or more of their weight back wanting to do a fad diet again. After some time, the majority of these individuals end up throwing in the towel completely. The whole process of going on and off a diet is exhausting and I don’t want you to go through that. Therefore, in this article, I am going to teach you how to spot fad diets easily and save you some time and effort.

Here is a quick story about a client I had who fell victim to a fad diet. This particular client went on a smoothie diet. I could not tell them anything because their mind was made up on losing weight for their vacation. They told me how the program promised they would lose “x” amount of weight, about other people’s success stories, and all. In a matter of less than a week, my client quit the smoothie diet. My client lost 2-3 pounds initially but could not keep up with the demands of the diet. They showed up to sessions drained and barely able to make it through a session. Considering all that suffering, they more than likely only lost water weight.

So, in order for you to not go down the same path as many have before partaking in fad diets, I have a list of traits you should look out for. If several of these traits appear in groups, it’s a definite red flag and something you want to reconsider before trying or at least speak with your doctor, a registered dietician, or a licensed nutritionist. Let us begin, shall we?

Promises a quick fix

Lasting change does not occur overnight when it comes to weight loss. This process takes time and some people’s journey will be longer and/or shorter than others. It took time to put weight on so it will take time to take the weight off.

Guarantee you lose “X” amount of weight in “X” amount of time

Weight loss person to person varies. Calories in and calories out alone will not result in the same guaranteed amount of weight loss for everyone. Other factors besides food alone affect weight loss such as hormones, exercise, genetics, sleep, and more.

A lot of fine print or voice change in the commercial

We all have seen the disclaimers shown in tiny print somewhere or heard how the voice changes in tone and/or speed in diet commercials at the end. It gives you the sense that something is being hidden or glossed over intentionally.

Before and after pictures, and testimonials

Be cautious of those before and after pictures. Pictures can be manipulated so easily these days with the push of a few buttons on a phone adjusting the lighting, shape, and more. The testimonials could be half-truths or straight-out lies just to make a dollar.

Sound too good to be true

We all have vibes that we feel and can sense most of the time when something is clearly off or unrealistic. Trust that vibe. If the diet is so beneficial, all the forced-fed hype wouldn’t be necessary.

Products for sale

If someone promoting a diet keeps stressing and hounding you to buy products like supplements, books, and merchandise as is if needed for your success, it more than likely a fad. Save your money and focus on the fundamentals. Most credible experts give away the basics for free by focusing on educating the consumer while their products are there for additional help and structure.

Cherry-pick research

Only research that validates the diet is used to convince people. No peer-reviewed studies are used, differences amongst groups and individuals won’t be looked into, may only reference one study, or oversimplify a complex study.

Extreme restrictions

When diet restricts major components necessary for sound nutrition or asking for an extreme regimen to be followed with no valid reasoning or research to back it, that’s another sign of a fad diet. For example, you can only have sunflower seeds with cinnamon on them between the hours of 9 am and 12 noon is extreme. Extreme restrictions only apply to extreme conditions and usually, medical healthcare specialists are involved because someone may need to be monitored on something so extreme.

No support or research available

There is little to no data or evidence to support the diet. If credible non-biased experts and organizations in the field have no evidence or even a theory to support it, more than likely it’s a fad diet. I’m not saying experts always get it right and know everything but it should’ve at least popped up on their radar.

Doesn’t mention lifestyle change

When a diet completely disregards any changes in lifestyle with no goal of instilling sustainable healthy habits, it is best to steer clear. It’s not taking into account your overall well-being. One can drive themselves insane and form eating disorders messing around with fad diets.


A healthy diet is more than rules and guidelines on what to eat. A healthy diet should hit on all levels, mentally, physically, and spiritually which fad diets do but in a negative way. Fad diets can lead to discouragement, doubt, poor habits, and other issues. It’s a cycle of madness for the most part. Now that you now hot to spot fad diets easily, you are better prepared not to fall for the nonsense.

My goal is to always teach you a lifestyle approach toward your diet. Many diets work but that doesn’t mean there are healthy for you. Choose a lifestyle that enables you to feed your body the best food possible to be healthy and strong not one for a quick fix or temporary solution.

Once you find what diet that works for you and your lifestyle or while search, be sure to incorporate some physical activity in if haven’t already. Looking for something more structured? Be sure to check out some of the fitness programs I have available. Explore the blog some more and visit the health lifestyle resource page.

Be Healthy, Be Balanced, By You

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