Fad Diets: A Bad Weight Loss Strategy?

Going on a diet is has become an unshakable trend of the 21st century. But like most trends, people follow fad diets without reaping its benefits or understanding the importance. Fad diets shock your body, sending it into starvation mode. You’ll experience rapid weight loss, but you’re not actually losing any fat; instead, you’re using your body’s stored supply energy. With many self-proclaimed health experts, there isn’t a shortage of diets that claim to give you the best of results. If you decide to follow a diet, follow it religiously, not by making it a one week or month program. Modifying these diets to fit certain time frames may have drastic changes on your health and lifestyle. Some negative effects of Fad Diets include irritability, tiredness and lethargy, depression and eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia. This happens because your body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs to make energy.

The common risks of fad dieting are basically of two types:

  • Short term risk is nutritional deficiency which causes hair loss, giddiness, low energy levels, anemia, etc.
  • Long term risks include osteoporosis, (as your body leaches calcium from your bones to make up for calcium deficiencies in your crash diet plan), damage to the brain, kidney, heart and other vital organs.

The key is to not eat less or starve, but to eat right. A common misunderstanding people make is crediting weight loss to starvation. The ideal diet will not encourage periods of starvation to lose weight, but will keep those hunger pangs away with sufficient food to eat. It is a biological fact, that the human body needs nutrition to ensure survival. Hence our body mechanisms are geared towards safeguarding fat and not losing weight. The major drawback of this regimen is the drop in your metabolic efficiency, where your body switches to conserving calories. Women tend to gain weight easily in comparison to men because of their biological and reproductive functions. Hence, it is inadvisable for anyone to use starvation as a tool for weight loss. The whole game is to revive up the sluggish metabolism.

So what is the ultimate solution? You should look at weight loss as a long term plan. Try to lose weight slowly, at a rate of 0.5-1 kg a week! Here are some tips that you could also follow in order to lose weight:

Eat within the first hour of rising.

Eat a small snack every 2 hours.

Hydrate yourself well.

Avoid refined sugar in beverages like tea, coffee, lassi and fresh lime.

Stay away from artificial sweeteners.

Healthy eating is a lifestyle not a “diet” so imbibe it.

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