Fad Diet Friday – Inaugural Edition

3 min read

Oh the fad diet! A quick fix! The latest concoction or solution to trick your body and lose some of that weight you have been wanting to lose. Many of you have been there and tempted by a well-marketed diet plan. Maybe it was a 1a.m. moment of weakness with a “Hollywood Diet” infomercial. Regardless, while fad diets may come in all shapes and sizes and some may sound very convincing and scientifically derived, they typically are not. Typically fad diets invoke some time period of very strict caloric restriction while emphasizing the intake of a single food or limiting of certain nutrients.

For the next few Fridays, I will go through and emphasize a fad diet and point out all of the problems with the diet program. In general, it is important for you to understand a few things about nearly all fad diet programs.

  1. Fad diets typically do a very nice job of stimulating weight loss in a brief period of time. However, remember that the number on the scale tells you nothing about what is being lost. In many scenarios, a sizable proportion of the lost weight occurs as water weight due to reduced intake of fluids as well as decreases in glycogen stores. When caloric intake is restored this weight comes back very quickly.
  2. You will lose some fat, but you will also lose fat-free mass. In fact, a review article on diet and weight loss studies concluded that approximately 25% of the lost weight occurs as fat-free mass (Weinheimer, Sands, and Campbell 2010) and another study illustrated that if protein intakes are not adequate while maintaining an energy deficit that a significant proportion of lost weight will be fat-free mass (Pasiakos et al. 2013).
  3. An excellent study in 2011 demonstrated that during periods of intentional weight loss followed by regaining of the weight that each cycle resulted in progressively less fat-free mass (Beavers et al. 2011). This pattern is problematic and sets the stage for future difficulty in losing weight, but more importantly maintaining that weight loss as less tissue is present to drive movement and stimulate significant calorie burning.

Briefly, very few shortcuts exist to healthy, sustained weight loss. While fad diets are popular options due to their ability to quickly stimulate weight loss, the weight that is lost oftentimes creates a cycle that ultimately makes weight loss harder to maintain.  Now if you are looking for results that will stick, reach out to our staff of N.A.S.M. Certified Personal Trainers and we’ll go over every single detail with you to get you on the right track and get you permanent results!

-Dr. Chad Kerksick is an Assistant Professor of Exercise Science at Lindenwood University with a PhD in Exercise, Nutrition and Preventive Health. His research and expertise center upon study the impact of exercise and nutrition interventions on health and performance. You can follow him on Twitter at @chadkerksick.


Beavers, K. M., M. F. Lyles, C. C. Davis, X. Wang, D. P. Beavers, and B. J. Nicklas. 2011. “Is lost lean mass from intentional weight loss recovered during weight regain in postmenopausal women?”  The American journal of clinical nutrition 94 (3):767-74. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.110.004895.

Pasiakos, S. M., J. J. Cao, L. M. Margolis, E. R. Sauter, L. D. Whigham, J. P. McClung, J. C. Rood, J. W. Carbone, G. F. Combs, Jr., and A. J. Young. 2013. “Effects of high-protein diets on fat-free mass and muscle protein synthesis following weight loss: a randomized controlled trial.”  FASEB J. doi: 10.1096/fj.13-230227.

Weinheimer, E. M., L. P. Sands, and W. W. Campbell. 2010. “A systematic review of the separate and combined effects of energy restriction and exercise on fat-free mass in middle-aged and older adults: implications for sarcopenic obesity.”  Nutr Rev 68 (7):375-88. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00298.x.















The post Fad Diet Friday – Inaugural Edition appeared first on 1st Phorm.

Chad Kerksick PhD
Chad Kerksick PhD

Also in Articles

Berry Cool BCAA Popsicles
Berry Cool BCAA Popsicles

1 min read

Who wants some absolutely delicious BCAA Popsicles? 

Well, Emily Frisella does it again with these delicious treats, just in time for summer ... and aside from the ridiculously good flavor, there are less than 36 calories per popsicle! 😱 [...]

Read More
What Are Digestive Enzymes?
What Are Digestive Enzymes?

6 min read

Have you ever heard of digestive enzymes? Do you know what they do?

In this article, we’ll explain what digestive enzymes are and what they do.

We’ll also explain how you could benefit from consuming more of them as well as how they’re different from probiotics. What Are Digestive […]

Read More
HIIT Cardio: Optimize Results with Fast, Effective Workouts
HIIT Cardio: Optimize Results with Fast, Effective Workouts

8 min read

Are you getting the most out of your workouts, or simply "punching the clock" when you show up at the gym? It's true that any movement is better than no movement, but why not minimize your time investment while maximizing the results that can be achieved?

If you are tired of subpar results from your workouts, then it might be time to [...]

Read More

Join the Legion of Boom