‘I have to lose weight in 10 days for a wedding’ or ‘I need to shape-up quickly to fit into my dress’ – how often do we think about these things and look for quick solutions? In an attempt to lose weight quickly, many people knock the doors of fad diets. They may come to your rescue at times like these but beware – they do more harm than good to your health. Renowned nutritionist Neha Chandna explains why fad diets are bad for you including seven popular ones like cookie and liquid diet.
First and foremost, there are no shortcuts to weight loss. You haven’t put on all the weight overnight, so how can you expect to lose it at a lightning speed? These days, everyone wants to lose weight in the blink of an eye and to achieve their dream body, they resort to fad diets which definitely work but for a short period of time. They help you lose weight from your muscles and bones leaving you feeling weak and ill. And once you go back to your normal routine, you gain all the weight or even more in no time. You do the math and see what’s the whole point of following some diet regime which is short-lived, deprives you of nutrients and has many hazardous effects on your body?
The best way to lose weight is to eat the right food, at the right time, in the right quantity, and exercise daily for 45 minutes to one hour. The point is to lose weight gradually rather than rapidly. A lifestyle change is the answer to losing weight than falling into the trap of fad diets. So how do you know if it is a fad diet? Here are some tips.
How to spot a fad diet
· It promises exaggerated results in few days which is too good to be true
· Will mostly have rigid eating rules
· It restricts you from eating a lot of food groups like carbohydrates, fats, etc
· It promotes ‘magic foods’
· The diet is sold based on a few testimonials without any research or studies done on its effect
· It doesn’t involve much exercise along with the meal plans
Ill-effects of fad diets on the body
· Causes constipation
· Leads to weakness
· Loss of concentration
· Muscle loss
· Health risks like osteoporosis and many more
While there are a number of fad diets that keep cropping up every now and then, especially when they are endorsed by celebrities, here a few popular ones to stay away from.
Cookie Diet: Invented by Dr Siegal, this a diet in which one has to eat nine cookies a day that makes up to 500 kcal and then have a 500 kcal dinner, totalling up to 1000 kcal every day.
Why is it bad: This diet gets monotonous and can cause nutrient deficiencies.
Baby Food Diet: This diet is about eating 14 jars of baby foods throughout the day and a sensible dinner. The baby foods include mashed fruits and veggies.
Why is it bad: It does not meet your nutrient needs and is low in protein. Eating like an adult is recommended.
Cabbage Soup Diet: This is 7-day diet which focuses on having as many bowls of cabbage soup every day with some fruits and vegetables.
Why is it bad: This diet is bland, boring and makes you feel weak and resulting in poor concentration. The biggest drawback is that it makes you gassy and bloated.
Liquid Diet: The idea is to cleanse the body and rejuvenate it with juices, water, clear soups.
Why is it bad: It is again very low on protein and can make you really weak. Not recommended to do it more than a day.
Atkins Diet: Written by Dr Robert Atkins, this is the most popular fad diet which aims at reducing the main source of energy – carbohydrates to up to 20g/day and focuses more on vegetables, fats and proteins.
Why is it bad: The side-effect of this diet is, it recommends more than 30% fat intake which is above the recommended allowance and can lead to extreme ketosis which can cause damage to the organs in the long run.
Blood Type Diet: Created by Dr Peter D’Adamo, it focuses on eating some and avoiding some foods as per your blood type. It follows a ‘one size fits all’ concept.
Why is it bad: It bans a lot of health promoting foods making eating out difficult and some people may be healthy despite eating foods forbidden for them.
General Motor’s Diet: This is a 7-day diet plan which is based on the intake of specified food items which include raw vegetables, fruits, juice, and lean meat. It restricts the intake of any dairy products and promises weight loss of 10 pounds in week. Each day is restricted to 1-2 raw foods in unlimited amounts.
Why is it bad: This diet can make you weak and hungry, leads to the inability to exercise, depression and body pain.
To avoid any damages to your body, do not opt for any fad diets. Just eat balanced meals and engage in physical activity to see the difference both physically and mentally. The process may be longer and less dramatic unlike fad diets, but the results will be long-term and benefit your body’s health than spoiling it with extreme restrictions. So, the next time you think about opting for any such diet, remember, it’s a fad… err bad idea!