Fad Diet Pitfalls


In general, diets that eliminate certain foods contradict a basic principle of Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating, which is to eat a variety of foods from each food group every day.  The effects of most of these fad diets are short-lived.  They can also do damage to our health, to our self-esteem, and to our wallets. 


Fad diets typically promise more than they can realistically deliver.  Before deciding to try a program, the following points should be considered.  (The validity of the program should be questioned if the answer is "no" to any of these queries):


·        Does the program recommend that you talk with your doctor first?


·        Has a registered dietitian designed the program or is there one available to talk to you?


·        Does the program use the Body Mass Index (BMI) to help you set healthy and realistic goal weights?


·        Is the recommended weight loss no more than two pounds per week?


·        Is the program based on Canada’s Food Guide with a selection of foods from all of the food groups?


·        Does the program provide at least 1,200 Calories (5,000 kilojoules) per day for women and 1,500 Calories (6,500 kilojoules) per day for men?


·        Does the program allow for personal eating styles as well as individual nutritional needs?


·        Does the program encourage regular enjoyable physical activity, which is suited to your lifestyle and your physical condition?


·        Do you have the option of not buying special products, special foods, supplements, or treatments that are considered a part of the program?


·        Are magical claims or high-pressure sales people involved in any part of the program?





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