• By Vivien Williams

Mayo Clinic Minute: Problem with fad diets

July 7, 2017

For many people, losing weight is a constant battle. Some try fad diets to jump-start the weight-loss process and drop pounds quickly. Mayo Clinic experts say fad diets are not the best way to lose weight.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Journalists: A broadcast-quality video package (0:59) is available in the download. Read the script.

Raw food, detox, cabbage soup, the three-day flush. The list of fad diets is long. Mayo Clinic family medicine specialist Dr. Summer Allen says many fad diets work by drastically slashing calories.

"If anybody calorie restricts themselves to 500 to 600 calories in a day, they’re going to lose weight.”

But, she says severe calorie restrictions are not realistic long term.

“I think, for a lot of people, restricting themselves from things in the long term, they end up craving it even more.”

Dr. Allen says successful, sustainable weight loss is all about lifestyle changes. Fill your plate with fruits and veggies, whole grains and lean meats. And definitely get moving. Be more physically active.

“Start small. So start with a day a week, as far as your activity level, and then work toward the five days or six days a week of activity.”

Sure, fad diets may help jump-start your weight-loss goals, but, for long-term success, focus on healthy lifestyle changes.

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