If you have ever followed a diet, you surely must have felt stuck at some point while counting the macronutrient intake of your food. You must have also felt the guilty, especially when you wanted to eat that wasn’t a part of your diet but which was something you absolutely loved. This probably made you wonder if there was any other way to lose weight than forcefully starving yourself.
And sometimes after all this effort, you may have regained the lost weight.
If this has happened to you, there is a huge possibility that you were following a fad/crash diet.
A fad diet is a trendy weight-loss diet plan that promises dramatic results. These diets are highly imbalanced in terms of nutrients and they are unsustainable. Some of these can even be very dangerous for your health. For example –
- Keto diet –It is a low-carb, high-fat diet.
- Atkin’s diet – A high-protein, high-fat diet in which carbohydrates are severely restricted.
- Paleo diet – It is also called the caveman diet. In this diet plan, one can only consume the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans, consisting chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit and excluding dairy or cereal products and processed food.
- Juice fasting – A juice fast is a period when you only drink juices and occasionally other clear liquids, like water and tea.
And of course, there are many more diets like these.
Sounds highly restrictive, right?
Initially, a diet referred to the food a person or community habitually ate. But nowadays, dieting means eating food that doesn’t make you happy, all for the sake of losing weight.
REASONS TO QUIT FAD DIETS
Although fad diets promise magical results in a short time, they can cause many serious health problems.
1. You will always feel tired and fatigued.
These diets deprive you of calories , and we all know that calories provide energy to enable you to carry out day to day tasks. So chances are you will not have enough energy throughout the day, thus you will be left feeling tired, fatigued and dizzy. Instead of dieting, shift to a healthy lifestyle instead.
2. You can get digestive problems.
Fad diets make you eat less, and some that restrict carbohydrates deprive people of eating whole grains and fruits too, which are significant sources of dietary fiber.
Losing weight very quickly makes people more prone to diarrhea as they lose their water weight, causing dehydration. And eating a low-fiber diet can cause constipation.
Your diet must be such that it provides an adequate amount of fiber.
3. Inadequate vitamin and mineral intake may weaken your immune system.
Since fad diets are highly imbalanced in nutrient intake, you do not get the adequate amount of vitamins and minerals your body needs. Regularly eating ‘fad diets’, may cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies and the associated symptoms. This may have long-term harmful effects on the body, such as weakened immunity and can hence make you more prone to infections and diseases.
4. They are unsustainable.
It is practically impossible to follow fad diets for life since they restrict almost all food consumed regularly.
That’s where yo-yo dieting comes into play, wherein the dieter is successful in achieving the desired weight loss. Moving forward one stops dieting, but finds it difficult to manage his/her cravings, so he/she goes back to dieting again, and the cycle continues.
Hence, to avoid moving in an unhealthy direction, make sure your diet it is sustainable.
Generally, a balanced diet yields the best results in terms of long-term sustainability.
5. Fad diets have psychological effects as well.
Fad diets promote eating disorders and obsessive food behavior by making people develop an unhealthy relationship with food. People may feel guilty when they indulge in their favorite foods may develop a disordered body image of themselves, which pushes them to starve themselves even when hungry (which is an eating disorder called ‘anorexia nervosa’).
People may even feel stressed when they regain the weight lost through fad diets, causing even more psychological damage.
Therefore, it’s right, that fad diets trap oneself, so it’s always better to stay away from them.
HOW TO SUSTAIN WEIGHT LOSS THEN?
The answer isn’t a short-term restrictive diet. A long-term lifestyle change is the best solution when it comes to weight loss.
- It is advisable to reduce 400-500 calories from your diet without compromising on nutrient intake. This can help you achieve healthy weight loss.
- Increase your physical activity. One must try not to stay sedentary for more than an hour.
- No diet will do what eating healthy and mindfully does. Skip dieting, eat healthily.
- Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Everyone progresses at a different rate.
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