Image of a ketogenic diet, a popular fad diet that doesn't often work for people

While you might have been the football star of your high school years, there’s no shame in admitting if you can’t exactly fit into the jeans you wore back in those good old days.

If your midsection has been feeling a little spongy and out of shape lately, you might be tempted to jump on the latest diet trends to try shedding that excess poundage just in the nick of time for summer.

Before you swear off anything but kale and water for the next 10 days, though, you might want to have a look at a list of fad diets for Dad’s bods that don’t really work.

A few minutes reading this article can save you a great deal of frustration and help you focus instead on a sustainable way of getting in shape and staying that way.

The Atkins Diet

Everyone has heard of the Atkins diet but what exactly is it?

According to the principles of this diet, if you lower your carbs and eat large quantities of protein instead, your body will be forced to burn fat since there aren’t any carbs for it to use instead.

Sounds great right?

Swapping out the potatoes in your steak and potatoes meal for even more steak doesn’t feel like a diet at all. So what’s the catch?

Well, the weight lost during this diet is mostly water, and since water loss is most noticeable in the face, it can look fairly extreme.

This is not a healthy or particularly advisable way to tackle weight loss.

The Cabbage Soup Diet

This famous diet promises that you can lose up to 10 pounds a week.

When the bulk of your diet involves cabbage soup, we can see why!

After day three, one look at that huge pile of limp green cabbage and you are magically not hungry. That or you’d go to insane lengths for a sly cheeseburger!

While restrictive diets like this can undeniably work to help you drop a few pounds initially, they aren’t healthy and frequently result in you gaining all that weight back plus even more besides after the crash diet has ended.

As an added drawback, the cabbage soup diet doesn’t include any exercise element whatsoever. For any diet plan to be truly successful and healthy, you need to incorporate both healthier eating and more exercise.

Intermittent Fasting Diet

There are a number of names for this popular form of weight loss. Whatever label is attached to it, it’s even crazier than the cabbage soup diet if you prize overall and long-lasting health rather than seeking a quick fix.

Some variations of these diets allow you to eat anything you want. The kicker is that you do this every other day. On alternate days, you don’t eat anything at all.

Others simply limit eating to specific time frames within a given day with nothing allowed for the remainder or throughout the night.

While this kind of extreme calorie deficit may result in initial weight loss, there’s an extreme catch to it…

Your body, sensing that food has suddenly been severely restricted, will kick into starvation mode. This helpful survival feature harks from back in the days before we were glutted with an overwhelming number of food choices. The inbuilt mechanism ensures that as long as the “famine” is still around, those fat cells will continue sticking tight and hard to your body just in case you need them later. When food is available again, your body will quickly reserve as much as possible in the form of extra fat since it never knows where the next meal is coming from.

While fasting diets can be effective in certain cases, they can also seriously backfire.

The Detox Diet

This is another method of dieting where there are a host of different names but the approach is roughly the same…

During these diets you fast and then follow a strict diet of vegetables, fruits, and water.

You might also be directed to take special detox teas or enemas to cleanse your system as well.

The truth is, any weight loss from this diet isn’t going to come from purifying your system. Your body already has a unique and wonderful set of organs specifically designed to handle detoxing the body, specifically your liver and kidneys. The weight loss you’ll experience from this type of diet is due to the severe caloric restrictions it imposes.

Many people report feeling better after a few days on this diet, and this is not hard to believe. It’s amazing what happens when you eject all unhealthy junk food from your diet.

The truth is though, you don’t have to starve or limit yourself in order to get this exact same boost. You simply need to eat fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains in order to feel that way all the time. What could be simpler?

Low Fat Diets

It might seem logical to cut out fat in order to lose fat, but the fact is that fats are far from the only culprit when it comes down to the tale of the scale.

Low fat diets are meant to reduce your weight, but they often end up with you packing on pounds instead!

Why is this counter-intuitively the case?

The reason is that fat is one of the macronutrients you need in order to survive, along with protein and carbs. These essential building blocks perform critical functions in your body, and you need them in order to stay healthy.

Fat is a crucial component of a healthy diet. You simply need to prioritize healthier fats.

If you get your fat content from olive oil, avocados or fish, you can take it onboard in such a way that your body can make good use of it. Diets that simply cut out all fats completely will only lead to major health issues down the road.

Wrap-Up

The bottom line?

Diets are simply not a replacement for making healthy food choices. The road to a leaner body is through gradual weight loss, and replacing more those salty snacks and other junk food with nutritious alternatives. It really isn’t rocket science and the diet industry tends to overcomplicate things when it’s a basic question of transforming your habits alongside an achievable, enjoyable exercise regime rather than seeking a magic bullet that will lead to the body of your dreams.

Those extra pounds didn’t arrive overnight, and it makes sense that true weight loss can only occur over time as well.

For a healthy weight loss plan that will give you back your high school figure, start switching out poor food choices for healthier ones, and add a little exercise into your day.

These small changes can add up on a grand scale over time without a diet that shocks your body.

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