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Fad diet pitfalls

Fad diet pitfalls

New fads arrive every year to try and tempt us to trick our bodies into great fat loss, muscle gain or other changes. In reality they may have a short-term effect but most of these diets are not long term, cannot be sustained and in some cases, they can even be dangerous.

Here's the lowdown on the fad diets which are trending now and why you might want to avoid them:


A shortened and ‘fun’ name for a tea detox, teatoxes are based on a specific line of different teas (there are many brands in on the act) which claim to do everything from detoxifying the body of all impurities to reducing body fat, bringing down bloating and improving skin.

In almost all instances they are packed with extra caffeine, the laxative senna and diuretic ingredients. Many of these ingredients shouldn’t be taken over a long period of time without medical supervision. Initially people may see the impression of weight loss and the ‘detox’ but it’s usually just an instant loss of water weight.

Many of these teas have side effects such as diarrhoea, electrolyte imbalance and dehydration. There’s also very little scientific evidence to back up any of their claims.

6:1 Diet

The 5:2 diet was a revelation for many so it seems people have taken it to the next level. As the name suggests, the 6:1 diet involves eating normally for six days but then, which is the extreme part, fasting entirely for one day of the week. This sixth day involves no food for 24 hours!

No evidence suggests you should ever completely fast unless necessary and it is taking the idea of reduced calorie intake over several days to a new level. Unmanaged fasting without medical supervision can affect your ability to work and function properly so is also detrimental to your quality of life.

Clean Eating

The idea of clean eating is a positive thing - removing processed and refined foods from the diet seems like a good idea. However, not when you take it too far.

Extreme versions of clean eating involve the removal of all gluten, grains, dairy and some even instruct people to eat only raw foods. Unless a medical diagnosis has told you that you shouldn’t be eating gluten, grains or dairy, you should include them as part of a healthy diet.

The idea of food being ‘clean’ or ‘dirty’ is also a worrying trend which could encourage eating disorders. 

the author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.