Fads diets are driven by emotions and typically concentrate on one product that is aggressively promoted. Their popularity spikes and then rapidly declines and dies out. Diet trends rise slowly and are driven by consumers’ needs. They incorporate a variety of foods that can be integrated into a lifestyle and sometimes become a standard go-to in the repeat-dieter’s repertoire.
Fad diets are popular and every year a new one pops up with grandiose promises for quick results delivered to a weight-conscious public. They are usually based on a single product and have limited appeal to a narrow group of consumers. Most fad diets seem to work in the beginning, but are nearly impossible to follow for lasting results. A good example of a fad diet is the Atkins diet. In the short term, the diet works by drastically reducing carbohydrates in the diet and replacing them with protein. Without carbohydrates, the body begins to burn its own stored fat. This can result in side effects such as constipation, kidney and liver damage. Carbohydrates are a part of a nutritious diet needed for healthy brain function and sustained energy. In the end, the dieter may be thinner, but not necessarily healthy.
Trend diets are a close second to fad diets, but they generally incorporate several products that are applicable to many different consumers’ lifestyles. A trend sometimes expands and grows beyond the initial program while maintaining the elements that originally appealed to the dieter. Some of the most recent diet trends include the low-carb Paleo Diet, Detox Diets and the Blood Type Diet. It is difficult to know if any of these currently popular diets are destined to be keepers, or if they will rise and fall quickly in a blaze of glory. Many of today’s popular diet trends could go either way.
Healthy eating, not weight loss, should be the main goal when embarking on a new diet. A person can attain weight loss with almost any diet, but a lifelong commitment to a new way of eating must be achievable or it will result in see-saw dieting and ultimately be unsuccessful and unhealthy. Diets that have proven to be healthy, reliable, and sustainable require a combination of eating all the food groups in moderation and frequent, low-impact exercise.