Everybody knows that fad diets can mean fast weight loss, but most people don’t keep off the weight that they lose this way. All the same, most people love a quick fix, and there are a lot of reasons why you might want to follow a restrictive eating plan for a short time to get some fat off fast.
This might be for a wedding or another big event. Lots of people want to lose weight for their high school reunion! It’s motivating to think of people you haven’t seen for ten or twenty years admiring your svelte figure. Or maybe your doctor has said you cannot have an operation until you lose ten pounds.
Most of the best diets are aimed at losing weight slow and keeping it off. A fad diet can have the opposite effect. It’s effective for fast weight loss, but afterward, you will probably gain that weight back… unless you then switch to a longer term diet plan. And that is possible. Don’t rule it out!
In fact that could be the best way to lose weight – kick start your loss with a fast weight loss plan, but then instead of going right back to eating all the fast food you had before, switch into a healthier diet program.
So with all of that understood, let’s look at some of the so-called fad diets that are out there, and consider how effective they might be.
1. Fasting for Fast Weight Loss
Fasting literally means not eating anything. But there are different types of fast. The strictest is like what Muslim people do during Ramadan – they don’t let anything pass their lips from sunup to sundown, not even water. Now this would be very dangerous if you tried to do it 24 hours a day, because a person can die of thirst very quickly. But of course they eat and drink at night time.
In fact, most religions have some form of fasting in their practice, although it may be very different. Christians often fast for Lent. Lent is 40 days, almost six weeks, and of course it doesn’t mean we don’t eat anything for all of that time. For most people, it means giving up meat, following a vegetarian or vegan eating plan, or perhaps temporarily quitting “luxury” foods like things with sugar.
A “water fast” is where you consume nothing but water. Some people do this for 24 hours every month, and they say it helps their bodies to detox. Others do this with the aim of losing weight, maybe for up to 3 days, under medical supervision.
Then people talk about “intermittent fasting”. This has become popular in the last few years. But even this means different things to different people. It can mean, for example, eating nothing for a 12-hour (or more) window between dinner and breakfast – kind of like the Muslim fast, but at night instead of in the day time.
Or it can mean eating less calories on some days and more on others. For example there is the 5:2 diet where you eat your normal diet for 5 days but restrict your intake to 500 or 600 calories on the other two days a week. This restrictive diet on the two days is known as fasting in that system.
A warning: if you are on any type of medication, fasting is a bad idea because it can mess with the effects of your medicine. If you plan to try any kind of fasting, consult with a doctor first. It’s not worth risking your health, even for fast weight loss.