Fad diets today continue to increase in popularity all America. They are popular due to the fact that they work in the short-term, meaning the results of one’s weight loss show immediately in abundant amounts. However, the diets do not work long-term because they are hard to follow, and once an individual stops the fad diet, they will usually gain the weight back. They seem restrictive in calories or exclusive in certain types of foods. Many fad diets can be dangerous, especially when they deprive the body of essential nutrients or rely on excessive quantities of potentially harmful foods.
The Atkins Diet, one of the most popular fad diets, is found to be dangerous in many ways. It is a diet that involves serious restriction of carbohydrates and increasing protein and fat calories. Due to the increase in the dieter’s fat intake, there is an increase buildup of plaque in the blood vessels that supply the heart; therefore, the chance of heart disease is very high. Consuming to much protein puts strain on the kidneys, which can make a person susceptible to kidney disease. A dieter’s body will also miss out on vital nutrients supplied by fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
This could lead to vitamin deficiencies. Another threatening fad diet is the Lemonade Diet Master Cleanse. This diet claims to dissolve and eliminate toxins, and melt fat at an average of two pounds per day for most dieters. This regimen is a fasting diet and consists of a mix of lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and purified water for 10 to 40 days and beyond. The danger involves severe calorie restriction. Also, water loss and dehydration are the results due to the laxative effects.
The laxative effect of the diet will further acidify the individual’s blood and this can cause an abnormal increase in the acidity of the blood and extracellular fluids, known as acidosis. Dr. Marc Lawrence, a board certified Physician Nutrition Specialist located in Los Angeles, do not believe the diet is safe and claims he treated many patients in the Emergency Room for weakness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea as a result of Master Cleanse. The author of this diet, Stanley Burroughs, published in 1976, claims that he diet will fight off “colds and flu,” but actually since there is inadequate nutrition, it will weaken a person’s immune system. Finally, the Grapefruit diet is another risky weight reduction plan. The diet was developed in the 1970’s. The idea of this diet is that grapefruit contains enzymes that burns fat more quickly and increases a dieter’s metabolism. This diet also promotes weight loss, but only with the tremendous cut in calories and poor nutrition. Most grapefruit diets recommend eating ? grapefruit or 8 ounces grapefruit juice 3 times a day.
The grapefruit diet is apt to be a very low calorie (800-1000 calories per day), low carbohydrate, and allows dieters to choose from only a limited amount of foods. Muscle cramps, dizziness, anemia, and fatigue are side effects a person will experience when on this diet. The poor nutrition causes an electrolyte imbalance that is likely to lead to irregular heartbeats. Researchers of Vanderbelt University verify that the grapefruit diet actually slows down metabolism and causes the breakdown of muscle. This also includes the breakdown of cardiac tissue and possible damage to the heart as the outcome.
The loss of muscle tissue includes cardiac tissue, resulting in possible damage to the heart while on the diet. Beyonce Knowles, a famous celebrity, is a living example of who successfully lost weight from the Grapefruit diet. The movie star admits to using the crash diet to lose 20 lbs for her role as Dina in the hit movie “Dreamgirls. ” According to Beyonce, she would never recommend the grapefruit diet to anyone unless it is necessary and you have proper help. She announced she “was cranky” on the diet, while those around her, on the set, ate Krispy Kremes. She stated that there are healthier ways to lose weight.
Fad diets such as the Atkins diet, Lemonade diet, and Grapefruit diet are really not the safest and healthiest way to go when promoting weight loss, so it really is not worth putting the individual’s health at risk. So what is the best solution? According to the weight loss section of the Mayo Clinic website (viewed September 14, 2009), the most convincing data indicate that eating a balanced diet and achieving adequate exercise are still the most effective tools for weight loss. However, the key is to avoid “compensation” and maintain a realistic tally of calories burned by exercise versus calories consumed, regardless of their source.