Unfortunately, most of the products and diets (as seen on social media) promise results that are not backed by research; however, there are things we can look for to help us tag something as a potential fad. 

With unlimited access to information everywhere we go, it is easy to be consumed with the next latest and greatest trend. This is especially true when it comes to diets and nutrition trends. Social media can bombard someone with short clips from influencers pushing a particular diet, product or supplement.

Unfortunately, most of these products and diets promise results that are not backed by research; however, there are things we can look for to help us tag something as a potential “fad.” 

Think Long-Term  

When it comes to changing our food choices, we always want to focus on lifelong changes. Many times, fad diets will have a specified end date anywhere from seven to 30 days. We should avoid these types of diets because they are not able to be sustained long term.  

Rather than a quick fix, focus on changing your diet as a lifestyle change. This could be as simple as reducing intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, late-night snacking or drinking more water.

Guaranteed Results

We have all heard the phrase, “if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.” This same principle can apply to fad diets. These quick fixes will often promise anything from weight loss, total body detox, a metabolism reset, improved body pH and even glowing skin. 

The body is an amazingly complex organism that can do what it needs without miracle elixirs like chlorophyll drops or apple cider vinegar shots. Do these supplements do damage? In general (for the healthy person), probably not, but you should always consult with your doctor before starting a new supplement. 

Severe Restrictions

Fad diets will call for several restrictions and limitations on what foods can be consumed. More times than not, the list of foods that can be consumed is much smaller than foods that can’t be consumed. For many fad diets calories, protein and carbohydrates are severely restricted. We want to make sure we are providing daily adequate nutrition to our body with the plan we choose to follow. 

The Nutrition Plan to Follow

So, what should we do when it comes to nutrition? Although it doesn’t sound riveting, the healthiest nutrition plan is a balanced diet with each of the following items at a meal: 

  • grains (with half being whole grains) 
  • lean protein 
  • a serving of non-starchy vegetables
  • a serving of fruit 
  • water 

While nutrition is important, an overall healthy lifestyle also includes adequate hydration and regular exercise with both weight-bearing and cardio activities. Be careful of diets that promise amazing results but don’t have anything more than testimonials to back their claims. The best nutrition plan is well researched and peer-reviewed! 

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