8 Ways to Spot a Crash Diet

by | May 4, 2017 | Last updated Feb 28, 2022

If diets worked, there wouldn’t be hundreds of thousands of diets out there!

Scratch that. Diets do work. For a very short period of time.

Over 80% of people who lose weight on a diet gain the weight back within a year (and then some!).

Fad diets make money off of people who need to use them again and again and again. If they gave people the tools they needed to succeed long-term, they would all go out of business.

Simply put, they’re not sustainable!

We’ve put together 8 ways you can sport a fad diet:

1. You’re eating super low calorie.

Even if you were to lay in bed all day, your body would still burn calories. The number of calories your body needs to perform the most basic functions like breathing, sleeping, or thinking is as your “basal metabolic rate” and this can be anywhere from 1000-1600 calories depending on your age and sex. Your body cannot survive long-term on a diet under 1000 calories.

2. You’re told to cut out entire food groups.

Are you eating only protein and vegetables all day long? Are you not allowed to eat bread? Are whole eggs (but not the whites) out of the picture? Not only will you be missing out on important nutrients, but this is also not sustainable. Told to give up your favorite treat forever? Ya, that doesn’t work for us either. It’s about finding a healthy balance.

3. You’re not preparing your own meals.

If you’re drinking juices all day long. Not only is this very costly, but you will not be eating like this the rest of your life, which means it’s not sustainable. Once the prepared food stops, you will not have learned the skills you need to make healthy choices in real life, which is where the problems begin.

4. Or maybe there’s a celebrity behind it.

Did somebody say Kardashian? Think about it. From waist trainers to raspberry ketones and teatoxes, celebrities have endorsed almost every quick fix on the market. In fact, most celebrities have endorsed multiple diets, pills, and cleanses. So which product gave them that beach bod? Then again, it must be nice to get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for a few minutes of your time?

5. You’re asked to overhaul your diet overnight.

Starting Monday you will go from eating steak and french fries for dinner to eating a small garden salad with fresh vegetables, 3 oz. white fish, and a spoonful of almonds. Doesn’t seem to realistic, does it? Overhauling your diet overnight is unrealistic and can feel very restrictive. Slow and steady wins the weight loss race. Making small changes every day is the best way to make a lasting change.

6. … or make no changes at all.

Ever heard of a magic pill that will help you lose weight without lifting a finger? These types of claims that you can lose weight without changing your habits just aren’t true. And even if there is some initial, temporary loss, they usually work by helping you lose a few pounds of water weight — not true body weight.

7. You’re promised extreme results.

Reaching your goal weight in a few weeks? Rock solid abs without any activity? Do these results seem too good to be true? Chances are they are! You don’t know what work went into most before and after pictures. And you certainly don’t know the ways in which they’ve been edited.

8. … in a short amount of time.

Losing 15 lbs in two weeks? Yikes! Chances are if the lbs are melting off this quickly, what you’re doing is not healthy. In general, the quicker you lose the weight, the quicker you’ll gain it back. Losing 1-2 lbs a week is recommended for healthy, lasting weight loss, and something that you can strive for every single week.