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Fad Diets


Fad Diets
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Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.6

     challenging words:    cutback, hazardous, low-fat, popularity, quick-fix, well-rounded, physician, teens, realistic, additional, nutrition, consult, fast-paced, therefore, diets, traditional
     content words:    United States

Fad Diets
By Jennifer Kenny

1     Anyone who has ever wanted to lose weight has probably wanted to do it quickly and painlessly. It's easy to get swept away by plans that appear to offer that possibility. However, the reality is that quick-fix diets don't usually work. These quick-fix diets are known as fad diets.
2     Classically, a fad diet is a diet that promotes losing weight quickly. It usually enjoys popularity for a short period of time. In fact, its popularity usually comes and goes. Certain characteristics typically unite fad diets. What are they?
3     A fad diet usually focuses on the quick fix, not on realistic weight loss that includes lifestyle changes. It usually promises a large amount of weight loss a week, which is considered more than two pounds per week. How can a fad diet do that? Each fad diet has its own angle. For example, some may drastically cut back on calories. A diet should not encourage eating less than 1,200 calories. The body reacts to this drastic cutback as near starvation and dumps water from the body. Therefore, that drastic or fast-paced weight loss is water, not fat. Doctors generally agree that it's nearly impossible to lose more than three pounds of fat each week. When eating returns to normal, the body will begin to store more water again, causing the weight to return.

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