With an abundance of new diets cropping up almost monthly, you’ve got to wonder whether they're a sham diet or not. Some diets sound good in theory, but actually implementing the plan in everyday life is a totally different story! Just when you think you’ve heard it all when it comes to diet trends, a newer and supposedly better one will come along. If you’re wondering whether you’re dealing with a sham diet or not, take a look at some of these warning signs of a bad diet and find out!
1. Quick Fix
One of the warning signs of a sham diet is when the diet promises a quick fix. Does it promise to get rid of a lot of fat in a matter of days? Maybe it claims to help you shed ten pounds in a week. Whatever the case, anything that makes claims to quickly help you get something done quickly will either not work or the weight will return as fast as it left! With weight loss, you want to pace yourself and do it the healthy way so the weight stays off.
2. It’s Too Restrictive
Another warning sign of a bad diet is when an eating plan is too restrictive. Yes, eating healthy does require some discipline and restriction to some extent but a bad diet will have countless rules and restrictions. Restricting yourself from eating the foods you love can only intensify cravings, which might later lead to weight gain. Stay clear of any diet that is too restrictive with foods, such as liquid diets, and only allows you to eat certain things, it could lead to trouble later.
3. It’s Packaged
Processed foods are a big no-no, so any diet that consists of eating only packaged foods should raise a big, red flag! Some diets promise weight loss by eating only packaged meals and snacks but really, how healthy can it be if it comes in a box? Furthermore, if you’re eating only pre-packaged meals, you don’t really learn how to prepare healthy foods and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Once you stop eating the packaged foods, you’re totally on your own!
4. It Bans Foods Groups
If you’re thinking about starting a diet that requires you to ban a whole food group or two, you might want to rethink it. We all need sensible portions of all types of foods and removing certain foods or food groups can mean trouble in the long run. Banning foods or food groups can lead to a lack of nutrients, which can have side effects like irritability, weakness or even a slowed metabolism.
5. It’s the opposite of Your Current Diet
Starting a diet that’s the opposite of your current way of eating isn’t necessarily a sham diet, but more of a bad diet. Imagine a meat lover trying to go vegetarian for the sake of weight loss or a vegan going on the Paleo diet. That’s crazy talk, right?! If you want to start a way of eating that you can stick with, look for something that is similar to how you eat now, and something that is flexible.
6. You Have to Buy a Lot of Products
One of the big diet trends of the past that is still around are diet pills. While some supplements can be helpful in weight loss, relying solely on diet pills to do all the work for you is risky. Also, any diet that requires you to buy a bunch of products, whether it be nutrition bars, pills or snacks, can be a bad idea because a healthy lifestyle and long-term weight loss don’t come in a package and don’t have to cost you a lot of money.
7. Bogus Testimonials
We often see advertisements for weight loss pills and plans with lots of seemingly genuine and appealing testimonials. While it’s easy to be persuaded by these testimonials from people who have similar body types or lifestyles as us, if it’s not backed by academic studies, you really can’t trust it. If a diet claims to have scientific proof, do some research on it before you buy into anything. It’s your body and health we’re talking about so don’t take any chances!
Diet trends come and go but eating a sensible, healthy diet and exercising will always be a safe and sure bet. Before you try any kind of diet, make sure you do some research on it first. Some diets can cause unwanted side effects and some are just plain nonsense. Don’t waste your time or money on something that’s unproven or a rip-off in disguise! Have you ever been taken in by a sham diet?