Fad diets are diets that involve rapid weight loss, but are only to be followed for a short period of time. Fad diets are also diets that quickly become wildly popular, last for a short time, then become a footnote in popular culture. Examples include the grapefruit diet, the South Beach diet, and Jenny Craig.

Another name for these fad diets are food faddism. Any time one particular food suddenly becomes a superstar, that’s a food fad. Common aspects of these fads include:

- Some elements of the food are said to have miraculous properties.
- Other foods are removed from the diet because they have negative properties that should be avoided.

The Atkins diet displays the characteristics of one of these fad diets. In this diet carbohydrates are the Keystone element that is negative and therefore to be avoided. Carbohydrates take on both of the common elements in that removing carbohydrates from the diet creates a near magical metabolic state in which fat is burned at an incredible rate. This diet had a number of short periods of extreme carbohydrate avoidance, followed by long periods of sustainable low carbohydrate eating. However, many people are able to continue the Atkins diet for years.

As with many have diets, Atkins popularity was extreme and short-lived. For a number of years anyone who thought of dieting thought about the Atkins diet . Entertainment magazines were full of movie stars and music stars and sports stars who claimed amazing weight loss and fitness all due to the Atkins diet. Although still around today, the diet is far from as popular as it was at its height.

Many fad diets can be quite dangerous. Even a diet like the Subway diet, as first presented in the commercials, could have problems. At its center was a young man named Jared who had lost hundreds of pounds in only a year by eating Subway sandwiches. In reality Jared cut his caloric intake from over 10,000 calories a day to only 900. Doctors agree that weight loss on that scale isn’t healthy. The diet did include many positive aspects such as exercise, like walking.

Beware of fad diets. You’re better off learning how to eat well on an everyday basis and maintaining a program of rigorous exercise.



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