What Are The Dangers Of Fad Diets To Your Health?

 

Are you into fad diets? You think you just want to be fit. But, how can it be risky or dangerous to your health? Find out more below.

Fad diets can be best described as a quick means of weight loss that are often only popular for a brief period of time.

It needs to be understood that the weight loss claims made by advocates of these diets are not only fleeting but unhealthy as well.

And to start, let us check the different categories of these fad diets:

High-Fat, Low-Carbohydrate Diets 

Millions of Americans have joined the low-carb craze and started high-fat, low-carb diets such as the Atkins Diet, and the Zone Diet.

They are made up of about 60% fat, 10% carbohydrate, and 30% protein. These diets say you can eat high amounts of fat and protein while getting very low amounts of carbohydrates in the form of vegetables.

The main premise of the low-carb diet is that a diet low in carbohydrates leads to a reduction in the body’s production of insulin. The end result is that fat and protein stores will be used for energy.

So you stuff yourself full of unlimited amounts of meat, cheese, and butter, and only eat a small portion of carbohydrates.

People who start the diet usually lose a great deal of weight, but it’s not permanent weight loss. Instead of burning fat, they lose water and precious muscle tissue.

Furthermore, these diets are low in several nutrients and contain excess amounts of cholesterol and saturated fats, substances that increase the risk of heart disease.

The high-protein, low-fat diets induce ketosis, which accelerates weight loss. Ketosis is an abnormal body process that occurs during starvation.

It causes fatigue, constipation, nausea, and vomiting, none of which are part of a healthy lifestyle. The long-term side effects of ketosis are documented to include heart disease, bone loss, and kidney damage.

fad diet_dangers

Moderate Fat Diets

Next, there are the moderate fat diets. Moderate fat diets include diets like Weight Watchers, the USDA Food Guide Pyramid, and Jenny Craig.

These diets are made up of about 25% fat, 60% carbohydrate, and 15% protein. They encourage the intake of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and essential fatty acids found in foods like olive oil and salmon. These diets are usually nutritionally balanced if the dieter eats a variety of foods from all categories.

For example, Weight Watchers operates on a point system where foods get a number of points based on calorie, fiber, and fat content. Dieters get a specific number of points they can use for the day.

While it’s not encouraged, they may choose to spend most of their points on carbohydrates instead of balancing it out. This could lead to deficiencies in nutrients such as calcium, iron, and zinc.

However, if followed properly, these diets are probably the most successful for losing weight and keeping it off.

diet

Low and Very Low-Fat Diets

Finally, you have your low-fat and very low-fat diets. Diets in this category include Dr. Dean Ornish’s Diet and the Pritikin Plan, among others. They are made up of about 13% fat, 70% carbohydrates, and 16% protein.

These diets are mostly vegetarian and do not recommend eating a lot of meat. Like low-carb diets, you can eat unlimited amounts of certain foods.

Because you cannot eat a lot of meat, these diets are deficient in zinc, vitamin B12, and essential fatty acids. Also, it is so restrictive that people have a hard time staying on it for life and end up gaining their weight back.

Another diet that falls into the superfood category is the cabbage soup diet. This one, along with some other unadorned diets, has supposedly originated from hospitals.

Diets such as the cabbage soup diet have been allegedly used by patients the week before undergoing heart surgery.

By the end of the week, after having only eaten cabbage soup and fruits and vegetables , one is supposed to lose anywhere between 10 and 17 pounds.

Unfortunately, one cannot maintain such a restricted diet for any prolonged period without feeling the ill effects of such a poor diet, such as vitamin deficiencies and the toxic repercussions of cannibalized muscle tissue.

Another dubious diet plan is known as food combining. Proponents of this type of dieting preach that you are overweight because you eat the wrong types of foods together. The requirements of this diet seem pretty random.

For example, the diet might state that you can eat a banana only at breakfast. This makes no sense, as your stomach can digest different foods at any time of day.

The goal of this plan is to consume fewer calories, but there are more efficient and healthy ways of doing this.

See also  Why Blackberries Called Black Pearly Clusters Of Nutrition?

Crash diets dehydrate you, low-calorie diets put your body into starvation so you can’t lose one more pound; and high protein diets stress your kidneys and clog your arteries.

You need both protein and fat in your diet, as both serve important metabolic and physiological roles in the body. Fad and crash diets, such as the ones described above, are not only unhealthy, but they also cause rebound weight gain.

dangers of fad diets

The Bad of Fad Diets

1. Diets that promise quick and easy weight loss are usually based on eating more of one food type and less of another.

These do not provide the benefits that you would get from a balanced diet. They may suggest you take supplements, but many supplements are not absorbed by the body unless they are taken along with the foods that the diet has banned. After a few weeks, if you stick to it that long, you may begin to develop nutritional deficiencies.

2. Fad diets are often boring and overly restrictive.

After the novelty of the first day or two, you will not enjoy your meals. You will then start to crave food constantly and will break the diet. You may even feel guilty, thinking it is your fault that you did not lose weight.

3. Most fad diets do not follow recommendations of the American Heart Association and similar bodies for fat levels in the diet.

Often, the diet will recommend high fat foods and low-carb foods, which, if taken long term, could result in heart disease. The promoters may tell you that the diet is only intended to be followed for a short time. But you probably will not reach your goal weight in that time, and then what? You either continue with a plan that is not good for your health or stop and probably gain back what you lost.

4. Many fad diets do not help you incorporate enough servings of fruits and vegetables in your weight loss program, or give you the variety of foods that your body needs.

 

5. Quick weight loss diets are just a temporary solution and do not help you make permanent changes to your eating habits.

Permanent changes are the only way to remain at your target weight once you reach it.

Fad diets encourage yo-yo diet-binge cycles of fast weight loss and equally fast weight gain. This is worse for your health and your self-esteem than if you had stayed overweight all the time.

Indeed, this tremendous weight loss cannot be maintained once normal eating patterns are resumed since water constitutes a large percentage of the weight being lost.

And, to make matters worse, these diets provide no plan on how to gradually and safely reduce calories without compromising your own health.

Whatever the publicity materials may say, these diets will not help you in the long term.  No matter how great the food is, none should be treated as a universal remedy. All diets need to be balanced as best as possible so that no ill effects arise.

diet-danger of fad diets

6 Ways Fad Diets Can Harm You

Fad diets are weight loss schemes that promise quick fixes, often involving very strict and extreme eating plans or very low caloric intake.

Unfortunately, these diets do not provide long-term benefits. If anything, they can cause serious health problems.

1. They Make You Gain Even More Weight

What usually makes fad diets very tempting are the promises of quick weight loss with little effort on the part of the participant.

Sure, everyone would love to lose weight in the soonest possible time, with minimal effort, and that is always the hook.

Unfortunately, the truth is that yes, you can lose weight with fad diets, but often it is mostly water weight.

Also, fad diets are very hard to stick with, and so while you may lose an initial few pounds, once you resume your normal diet (and everyone always does), you will gain all the weight back.

And more often than not, you gain more! This is called rebound weight gain.

Fad diets never implement or address the permanent lifestyle changes required for lasting, healthy weight management.

2. They Can Lead to Nutritional deficiencies

Most fad diets restrict your options to specific types of food, thereby eliminating important nutrients the body needs. When you’re limited to a specific type of group, you sacrifice the nutrients that you would otherwise obtain if you were eating a healthy and well-balanced diet.

Carbohydrates are oftentimes considered a no-no in many of these diets, but in reality, restricting carbohydrates can significantly hurt your energy levels, making you feel fatigued. You will not have the necessary fuel to energize your workouts and function effectively on a day-to-day basis.

See also  The Goodness of Berries

In reality, complex carbohydrates, like whole grains, actually support healthy weight loss because they contain high amounts of fiber that keep you full longer and prevent sugar spikes in the blood that keep out-of-control cravings at bay.

The same misconception goes for fat. Many fad diets attempt to turn fat into a mortal enemy, when in reality, not all fats are bad. In fact, certain types of fats, such as omega-3, are necessary for optimum health, and monosaturated fats are required for brain and heart health.

3. Muscle Wasting and Hair Loss

Fad diets can lead to hair and muscle loss because they are nutrient deficient. For one, protein is a nutrient that you need if you want your hair to grow and be healthy. Not having enough may cause hair fall and brittleness.

Muscle loss is another common problem. Because of the caloric deficits associated with fad diets, the body naturally turns to other means to get the required energy, and as a result, muscle wasting occurs.

You do not want to lose your muscle if you are planning to lose weight because having more muscle mass can help you burn more calories by boosting metabolism even when the body is at rest.

4. They Ruin Your Body’s Natural Metabolism

Fad diets often dictate how much to eat and when to eat, which goes against your body’s natural eating pattern.

Our bodies are aware when we need to eat and when we have had enough. While fad diets may give you temporary results, there are long-term implications that can affect your health permanently.

Mindfulness is a technique taught in meditation and yoga, and can help you get in touch with your body and real hunger. This is a much more effective and healthy way to lose weight.

5. They Often Lack The Element of Exercise

Most fad diets are too focused on the food intake itself, and neglect the importance of exercise. Since they often advise the intake of very low amounts of calories, exercise is often not recommended, if not restricted. This can be detrimental to your overall health.

 

6. They Are Not Sustainable

Fad diets are just that – fads. They are not meant to last on a permanent basis. These types of diets promote rapid weight loss in an unreasonable amount of time, rather than a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable for the long term.

They never address lifestyle changes, such as choosing an apple for dessert over apple pie and changing your taste accordingly.

Many people can attest that they have lost over 100 pounds over a lifetime in 10-pound spurts. Lose it, and gain it back, lose it, and gain it back, repeatedly in a vicious yo-yo cycle. Usually at the center of this merry-go-round is a fad diet turning the wheel.

How to Spot a Fad Diet
  • Quick fix promises
  • Involvement of “magic foods” or special food combinations
  • Exclusion of a particular food group, for example, carbohydrates
  • Unproven claims that are based on limited scientific study
  • The suggestion that certain food combinations can alter one’s body chemistry

heart-healthy food

A Better Way

Instead of going for fad diets, the best way to lose weight is a gradual transition to a healthy lifestyle.

By combining regular exercise with a healthy, balanced diet, you are sure to achieve your weight goals and be able to keep it off for the long term.

Losing weight starts with a plan. Figuring out what changes you need and want to make and sticking to it will help you stay on track. Determine what sort of foods you are going to eat and stock up.

Find out where you are going to work out and how often you can fit it in your schedule. Making these and other plans related to your weight loss will be an important key to your success.

If you find yourself hitting a plateau in your weight loss or fitness goals, try mixing up your exercise routine a bit once in a while. Work different muscles and areas of your body and you may be able to burn off more of the fat that your previous routine wasn’t targeting.

Whatever weight-loss regimen you assemble, make sure it is one you can stick with. Behind every goal to lose weight is a second, implicit goal: Keeping the weight off.

To do this, you need a routine that can be converted into a life-long process. Avoid extreme programs that will be unsustainable in the long run.

Small Changes

Start by making small changes with the foods you choose. Replace three desserts a week with a piece of fresh fruit. Substitute French fries with a side salad or steamed vegetables at lunch two times per week. Then increase it to three times, and so on.

See also  Power Up With Alkaline Foods: Your Ultimate Guide to Healthy Eating

Assess your kitchen and begin to gradually remove all unhealthy snacks and foods from the fridge and cupboard. If you don’t know what is healthy and what isn’t, find out. Replace all that you have removed with better choices.

You may be tempted to cut fat out entirely. But it’s important to remember that fat has a high satiety value in foods, so a little will go a long way.

Case in point: baked potato chips may have no fat, but because of that, they don’t trigger your satiety level as quickly as regular or even the “fat-free” chips do. So, you’re tempted to eat the whole bag.

It is better to eat a small amount of high-quality, high-fat food, like a small, high-end dark chocolate bar – than to gorge on large quantities of low- or non-fat foods. You’ll be more satisfied without having to say “No” to treats.

gym-room-exercise

Exercise

Begin an exercise regimen by taking a two block walk every day, then keep adding a block every two or three days. You cannot imagine how fast you become acclimated and fit and with gradual increases, you will be walking a mile before you know it, without even noticing how you got there!

Do some type of strength training, be it with weights or bodyweight exercises, three times per week.

Building lean muscle mass will boost your metabolism and make you stronger and healthier, which will improve your overall quality of life.

Success!

In the long run, there are no true short cuts to weight loss. A successful weight loss program takes time and determination, along with exercise, healthy eating, and portion control.

It is not difficult to implement small changes that, together, make a big difference in your weight, health and how you feel. The best part is that you will NEVER have to go on another diet, fad, or anything else again.

 


POINTS TO REMEMBER

Fad diets can be best described as quick means of weight loss that are often only popular for a brief period of time.

High-Fat, Low-Carbohydrate Diets

  • Moderate-fat diets
  • Low and Very-Low Fat Diets

The Bad of Fad Diets

  1. Diets that promise quick and easy weight loss are usually based on eating more of one food type and less of another.
  2. Fad diets are often boring and overly restrictive.
  3. Most fad diets do not follow recommendations of the American Heart Association and similar bodies for fat levels in the diet.
  4. Many fad diets do not help you incorporate enough servings of fruits and vegetables in your weight loss program, or give you the variety of foods that your body needs.
  5. Quick weight loss diets are just a temporary solution and do not help you make permanent changes to your eating habits.

6 Ways Fad Diets Can Harm You

  1. They Make You Gain Even More Weight
  2. They Can Lead to Nutritional deficiencies
  3. Muscle Wasting and Hair Loss
  4. They Ruin Your Body’s Natural Metabolism
  5. They Often Lack The Element of Exercise
  6. They Are Not Sustainable

How to Spot a Fad Diet

  • Quick fix promises
  • Involvement of “magic foods” or special food combinations
  • Exclusion of a particular food group, for example, carbohydrates
  • Unproven claims that are based on limited scientific study
  • The suggestion that certain food combinations can alter one’s body chemistry

A Better Way

  • By combining regular exercise with a healthy, balanced diet, you are sure to achieve your weight goals and be able to keep it off for the long term.
  • Small Changes – Start by making small changes with the foods you choose.
  • Exercise – Begin an exercise regimen and do some type of strength training

TAKEAWAY QUESTIONS

– Are you into fad diets?

– What kind of fad diet have you tried before?

– Are you aware of the dangers of fad diets to your health?

– Do you know how to spot a fad diet?

– Are you committed to a long-term healthy lifestyle than the detrimental quick fix?


HERE’S THE DOWNLOAD LINK:

prcvir

 


 

Leave a Comment