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Fad diets may promise dramatic weight loss, but the reality is that most do not result in the long-term success often associated with a healthy, balanced diet combined with regular exercise. Fad diets including keto and intermittent fasting, are restrictive and can even jeopardize your health. Affiliated Internal Medicine Physician Shana Weiss, MD, a Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine, specializes in obesity and weight loss. Dr. Weiss answers frequently asked questions about fad dieting.
Q. How can people spot a fad diet? A. A fad diet is something trendy—the diets are all over social media with people constantly posting about them. They usually offer a quick-fix, promising dramatic weight loss in a short time frame using a very regimented approach.
Q. What are the dangers of taking on the latest diet craze? A. Fad diets can seriously impact your health. Liver, kidney and other critical functions can be affected. For example, intermittent fasting can cause insulin levels to rise. A keto diet, which stresses no- to low-carbs, can trigger blood sugar levels to drop. Both can prompt health problems and are particularly dangerous for people with diabetes. Q. Are fad diets an effective approach to weight loss? A. While fad diets will create weight loss, they don’t offer ongoing support to maintain a healthy weight over time. Research shows that your body works hard to take you back to your pre-diet weight. Unless you have a long-term plan to maintain weight loss, you’re sabotaging your goals.
Q. Why is it important to check with a physician before starting a new diet? A. Being overweight may be a chronic condition for some people. If you have an underlying chronic condition affecting your weight, a physician can help determine the best diet for your needs and provide medication, if needed. Through bloodwork, physicians can ensure that a particular eating plan isn’t adversely affecting your body’s critical functions. We also can offer support to help patients sustain their weight-loss.