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How to Spot a Bad Diet

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7. Avoid Quick Fixes
If a diet sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Weight loss takes time, not magic. To lose weight, you need to adopt new habits and stick with them. Quick fixes may work in the short term, but they don’t help you develop the long-lasting habits necessary for true weight loss.
8. Watch Out for Promises
Many popular diets make specific claims. Does a program promise a 10-pound weight loss in one week? Do you need to buy or eat certain foods or products? Unrealistic expectations are a warning sign, according to the American Dietetic Association (ADA). Take a closer look, because promise-filled diets rarely work.
9. Steer Clear of Scare Tactics
Dire warnings to stay away from particular types of foods, such as bread and other carbohydrate-rich items, are scare tactics and often have no scientific basis. Cutting out a major source of calories helps you lose weight, but you also miss out on important nutrients your body needs. No single food causes weight gain or promotes long-lasting weight loss if it is eliminated.
10. Be Suspicious of Miracle Meals
Avoid programs that emphasize one food, says Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D., a weight-control expert and ADA spokeswoman. “So many diets have come and gone over the years, such as the cabbage soup diet, the spinach diet, and high-protein diets,” Taub-Dix says. “These foods aren’t miracle weight-loss foods. Eating them leads to weight loss because they are very low in calories. If you cut calories from your diet, you’ll lose weight.”

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