It is almost impossible to go a day without hearing the words “fad diet.” The question is, do people understand these diets, from a juice cleanse to a fasting diet, that they are following? With many of these diets, your body is not getting the nutrients it needs.

Instead of “fad diets,” choose a lifestyle diet to follow. Fad diets are diets that market quick ways to lose weight, but don’t always mean in a healthy or easy way. A lifestyle diet is a diet that a person follows daily, and chooses to because of the health benefits.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying a bowl of strawberry ice cream or a slice of cheese pizza if you are choosing to follow and healthy and balanced diet every day. Your goal should be to try and follow a balanced diet and not limit yourself to  something such as eating only kale and celery.

Paleo Diet: Try


Photo by Daniel Schuleman

The Paleo diet, or paleolithic, is a diet based on the ideas of early humans, and only eating simple foods that would have been available in prehistoric times. Is it technically a fad diet?

Immediately you may think of meat and more meat. Yes, meat is included but is also includes fruits, vegetables, seafood, nuts, and seeds. It excludes dairy, grains, processed foods, and alcohol.

Some disagree with the no dairy and no grains aspect but this diet has been shown to help prevent heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. The high protein and fiber foods will contribute to satiety, which can help aid in weight loss.

A classic Paleo dinner plate may include chicken breast, sweet potato, asparagus, and hard cooked egg. If you are still hungry for dessert, you can even try making a chocolate Paleo cake.

Low Carb Diet: Skip 


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People assume completely cutting out carbohydrates is a shortcut to losing weight. However, people forget that there is a difference between cutting out simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates, when really simple carbohydrates are the ones you should avoid.

Stay away from greasy potato chips, sugary cookies, and white bread sandwiches. However, you can still enjoy whole grains, corn and potato based complex carbs. The Physicians Committee explains, “complex carbohydrates still have fiber, while simple carbs have had almost, if not all, carbs stripped away.”

Low carb diets lead to high amounts of stress and anger (or hanger). Carbohydrates are a huge provider of energy, so instead of cutting them out completely try making healthy choices – give these Three Ingredient Pancakes a try. This fad diet is definitely one to skip.

Vegetarian/Vegan Diet: Try


Photo by Sarah Silbiger

Meat has become so idolized in the American food culture, with classic hamburgers and hot dogs, but really most of the foods that contain meat also contain high amounts of preservatives and unhealthy ingredients.

Vegetarian and vegan diets that are followed correctly can be healthy. The American Heart Association carried out research and showed that these diets can help to prevent chronic disease and avoid toxic substances from entering the body.

Most people think these two diets lack protein but there are alternative protein sources, such as nuts, seeds, and legumes. Vegans have to be more careful than vegetarians when it comes to making sure they provide their bodies with enough nutrients. Tasty vegetarian or vegan recipes include, Black Bean Burgers or Vegan Oreo Pancakes.

No Fat Diet: Skip


Photo by Emma Noyes

For years, consumers have heard the phrase “stop eating fat.” This idea is WRONG. What they should be saying is “stop eating bad fats.”

Health magazine published an article on the healthy fats you should eat, which are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are found in foods such as avocados, walnuts, and flaxseed.

Fats to avoid are trans-fat and saturated fat, which are found in foods like commercial baked goods, fried food, and processed food. Unhealthy fats can lead to heart disease, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases, as shown in research by the American Heart Association.

Omega 3’s, primarily found in fish and flaxseeds, are important fats to have in your diet.  Switch it up next time you are at the store and buy some natural peanut butter instead of a kind with added oils, or skip the microwave popcorn and make Homemade Sriracha Popcorn.

Mediterranean Diet: Try


Photo by Gregoire Durand

The Mediterranean diet has proven to be a regional diet that can help to prevent chronic disease, prolong life and help in heart health.

This diet is focused on consuming vegetables, fish, fruit, whole grains, oils, and is very low in unhealthy fats. This diet promotes consumption of healthy fats such as olive oil, which can benefit in preventing heart disease, as well as the diet is promoting physical activity.

People living in the Mediterranean have been shown to live longer, as well as have shown to live happier lives. A recipe idea in the Mediterranean diet is baked salmon on a bed of quinoa, with a glass of red wine. Check out this delicious-looking recipe for Baked Salmon With Lemon.

Detox Diet: Skip 


Photo By Ana Hsu

Ah, the proclaimed juice cleanse or detox. Celebrities everywhere are promoting these week and month long cleanses, but when all that is being consumed is juices, like kale apple or spinach peach, and your body is getting mass quantities of sugar at a time.

The problem with juicing is you are not proving your body with the daily nutrients it needs in sufficient quantities. Smoothies are better alternatives because they provide the fiber from the skin, or even better, just eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables.

If you do choose to juice, try adding chia seeds or another type of protein powder to provide energy and proteins. Even better, here are 29 Smoothies to Try, all full of nutrients that your body needs.

The DASH Diet: Try


Photo by Bernard Wen

The DASH diet is a diet that has been used by doctors for patients with high blood pressure, but is actually showing to also help with weight loss, according to U.S. News Health.

This diet emphasizes calcium, potassium, fiber, and protein. Basically, eat fruits, vegetables, dairy and foods rich in protein like nuts, chicken, or seeds.

This diet also requires cutting back on salt which has been shown to elevate blood pressure and commonly found in foods not good for your health, like pizza and french friends.

Instead, you can order a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread with a side salad (yum). You can even try making your own Avocado Chicken Salad.

The point is, eat to fuel your body with nutrients, not to fill your body with grease, fat and things you can’t even pronounce. Fad diets are not going to do anything if you just go back to an unhealthy diet afterwards. Instead choose to follow a lifestyle diet that will give you energy and make you feel great. Feel free to take the word “hangry” out of your vocab.