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Fast facts on fad diets: Why they usually aren't sustainable

They may work in the short term, but they may derail your plans long-term.

CLEVELAND — If you skipped spring break and now you're scrambling to get that beach bod, you may be tempted to try a fad diet. There are dozens of them, from keto, paleo, raw, intermittent fasting, low carb, low fat, and the list goes on.  

If you just need to lose a few pounds quickly, sure, a reasonable fad diet will work. But it's not sustainable, and it may backfire on your plans long term. 

"Any weight loss that you're going to lose, you're going to end up gaining it back, plus some more," Cleveland Clinic dietitian Beth Czerwony says.

There is no "one size fits all" diet that works for everyone, because every body is different. Your weight loss may depend on your gender, life stage, metabolism, underlying health issues, medication, and a host of other factors. 

Also, if one worked for you in the past but doesn't seem to be working now, there's a reason. 

"Our body has memory of previous diet attempts," Czerwony explained. "So when we're 20 and we do the grapefruit diet or whatever for three days because we want to fit into a dress, no problem. And then we go back to it maybe a year or two later, and it's not as successful because your body remembers and says, 'How dare you try to starve me?'"

If you have more than 10 pounds to lose, Czerwony recommends seeing a health care provider or registered dietitian to have an assessment and some diet guidance. You can see Czerzony's entire interview and other fad diet info on the next episode of "Rx for Life" on WKYC+, with new episodes appearing every Wednesday.

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