5 Major Problems With Fad Diets


The Stanford University sponsored website, Wellsphere, reports that a mere 5% of people who actually lose weight on a crash diet will be able to keep it off.

According to the Oxford Dictionary,

“Fad: an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object’s qualities; a craze.”

Just looking at what the word fad means should let you know that a fad diet probably isn’t something you want to do. However, if entering onto a short-lived and without basis diet is something that you are considering, here are five major problems that may dissuade you.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Fad diets can cause nutritional deficiencies. In fact, they can cause nutritional deficiencies pretty quickly if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Some people insist that the cabbage soup diet offers everything you need to survive when in fact it does not. If you’re looking for quality nutrition so that your body can function at its peak, a fad diet is not going to provide it to you.


Hydration is one of the most important things that you can do for your body. Moreover, water is an element of almost all cellular functions. Since water is so important any idea, diet, medication, exercise that depletes your water should be done with care. If you can’t replenish your water due to a fad diet, you run a serious risk of chronic dehydration.

The majority of weight lost on fad diets is water weight. Reader’s Digest easily illustrates that when water weight is shed to quickly rapid dehydration occurs your body burns calories and excess weight in stages so you can’t force rapid weight loss. If you see that you’ve dropped 5 pounds in three days, you’re now dehydrated!

Kidney Stones And Gout

The University of Pittsburgh School of Health Sciences wants you to know that fad diets that promote ultra-low carbohydrate content can lead to the formation of kidney stones and gout.

Kidney stones are due to a buildup in calcium oxalate in the body and often occur when a low-carb diet or is not properly hydrated. Gout is a buildup of uric acid in the body and can cause painful inflammation in the joints. If you do have a medically ordered low-carb diet make sure, you’re following your healthcare provider’s instructions, or you could end up in the hospital.

They Are Not Sustainable

According to HealthResearchFunding.org, the average American adult tries some type of fad diet 4 times per year.

Remember the definition of a fad? A short-lived and without basis on quality craze. That should have been the big red warning that a fad diet isn’t one you can stick to.

The Huffington Post points out that nutritionist Fiona Tuck says, “Sustainability of this diet is questionable. To severely restrict calories for two days a week for the rest of your life may be hard especially when eating out or over holiday periods.”

Fiona is talking about the 5:2 protocol of intermittent fasting where people choose two days out of the week not to eat. This is a typical fad diet because long-term fasting can cause crankiness and irritability. When not combined with the right diet it is almost impossible to fast two days out of the week.

Signs Of Disaster

Fad diets can be worse for some people than others. Unfortunately, many people will end up with some of these disaster symptoms when entering a fad diet. The symptoms shouldn’t be taken lightly as they may indicate electrolyte deficiencies, calorie deficient, dehydration, or other medical issues. If you experience any of the following while on a fad diet you should immediately stop and consult your physician.

  • Muscle Cramps
  • Mood Changes
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Confusion
  • Dehydration
  • Severe Constipation or Diarrhea
  • Constant Hunger


Everyday health recommends that all diet related questions be addressed by a physician or nutritionist. It is important to understand the health risks involved when attempting a fad diet.

Your health and life are far more important than eating cookies to lose weight. Fad diets should be taken lightly and any diet change should be consulted with your doctor.