Weight loss ‘fads’ typically attract a lot of stigma for being ineffective or otherwise unhealthy. However, the problem with most of them is that they are so intense or difficult that most people who try them, give up too quickly before they get to see the actual results.
Despite the stigma, there are actually a couple of so-called weight loss fads that are backed by science and have been proven to work, when people stick to them long enough for the lower numbers to show up on the scale.
Let's take a look at a few examples:
1. Juice Cleanses
Juice cleanses are mostly healthy, but you’ve got to do it right for it to work. While there are dangers to non-organic, chemical-based drinks, plant and fruit-based juice cleansers actually provide a lot of benefits, especially when it comes to flushing out toxins and managing one’s weight.
The tricky part here is sticking to the recommended dosage/instructions for intake, which are usually provided when you purchase these cleanse. For instance, some cleanses are recommended for a week, while others must only last three days for optimal results. If you don’t follow this suggested intake, you can’t be surprised if the number of the scale is not showing any improvements.
It’s actually unfair how a lot of people still consider veganism a ‘fad,’ because it has been around long enough to prove that it can help people achieve weight loss goals in a healthy way. A vegan diet allows for very little saturated fat into your body, while keeping you well and full of plant-based foods.
Aside from helping you lose weight, there are tons of ethical and environmental considerations that make veganism a popular choice for a lot of people.
3. The Atkins Diet
The Atkins diet involves a four-phase plan that eases the body into cutting down on carbs while allowing them to eat as much protein and fat as they normally do. Low-carb diets have always been effective in weight loss and various other health improvements. It is a pretty intensive plan so most people drop out after one or two phases, which is why this is still considered a ‘fad’ diet. However, all you need to know about the Atkins diet is that its proponent is a cardiologist. So how bad can it be, really?
4. Paleo Diet
A paleo diet involves mirroring what our ancestors used to consume -- zero processed foods, and a hundred percent lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. The restrictive nature of the paleo diet is not for everyone, and most people are only able to stick with it for a couple of weeks before officially giving up. However, if you are able to sustain a diet of mostly whole foods, it can never be bad for you. After all, a diet that encourages balance and the elimination of junk food is beneficial for a multitude of good reasons.
5. Weight Training
Weight training is highly efficient in keeping your metabolic rates high by promoting muscle growth. In fact, this intense workout plan continues to burn calories in your body hours after you’ve finished a session. How cool is that?
6. Interval Training
If you’ve heard conflicting opinions about high-intensity interval training (HIIT) before, we wouldn’t be surprised. This is not a structured workout system that will provide you with specific exercises to do and the repetitions you need to achieve, so some people feel lost and unsure if they’re doing the right thing when trying out interval training.
However, it’s actually pretty simple. You just have to bust out intense exercises for a short period of time, alternated with recovery periods. It might only last for less than 30 minutes, but it burns a lot of calories in such a short period, leading to relatively fast weight loss.
So the next time you come across a diet or workout plan that’s classified as a ‘fad,’ don’t count them out as ineffective just yet. Take a look at both scientific research and your personal capability to sustain this ‘fad.’ More often than not, it is your compliance that will determine if such fads work for you, far more than their innate qualities and specifications.