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 Fad Diets: A Big No

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    This article is directed to Health Journal – Inspiration for Better Living, in hopes to further research among all Fad diets. This will inform you of the risks Fad diets have to our health, and how readers should stay away from them. Now Many of us would like to lose a few pounds. However, you shouldn’t get tempted by the ever increasing range of ‘quick fix’ and ‘miracle’ options making unrealistic weight loss promises with minimum effort. Since 1980 the number of people suffering from obesity has doubled on a worldwide level. According to the latest figures published by World Health Organization (WHO) (2015), almost 2 billion adults (39%) were overweight (Body Mass Index, BMI ≥ 25kg/m2), with 600 million of these (13%) being obese.

    Both being overweight and obese is characterized by excess fat mass in the body (WHO, 2015). The main factors causing obesity involve excessive calorie intake, unhealthy eating habits like consuming processed food, sedentary lifestyle. A fad diet is the kind of plan where you eat a restrictive diet with few foods or an unusual combination of foods for a short period and often lose weight very quickly. However, most people then get fed-up, start overeating and choose less healthy foods and pile the pounds back on. Such fad diets seem to make weight loss simple by proposing taking a hard line about food choices. But repeat dieters and health experts alike know that setting severe limits on food choice is recipe for failure.

    Such restrictive diets can be unbalanced and lead to dangerous nutrient deficiencies. People can feel ‘zapped’ of energy. It’s not surprising that the extremist approaches to food selection are not endorsed by major health organizations. Any diet that restricts calories will lead to weight loss. Because they severely restrict food choices, fad diets are typically very low in calories. The promoters of many fad diets would lead consumers to believe vegetables, particularly those high in starch content, are fattening. This is untrue! Starchy vegetables are generally low in fat or fat-free and low in sodium. Starchy vegetables provide so much more than calories many are also high in essential vitamins and minerals. Weight loss of fad diets can be fast but fleeting. Our metabolism is such that the body can only shed about one to two pounds of body fat per week while keeping lean body mass and fluid stores intact.

    Losing more than two pounds per week is a clue that body fluid and/or lean tissue, not fat is being eliminated. What’s more, weight that is lost rapidly is generally regained equally rapidly once the individual goes ‘off’ the diet. Practice caution with fad diets since there isn’t enough good research to support their effectiveness or safety for the long term. A sound weight management program should be based on scientific research and have flexible menus featuring a variety of foods. It should recommend regular exercise, gradual weight loss, and guidelines for weight maintenance for long-term success. Fad-diets can be tempting as they offer a quick-fix to a long-term problem. However, they can risk your health and you should only follow advice from a doctor or dietitian. The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to make healthier choices, eat a nutritionally balanced and varied diet with appropriately sized portions, and be physically active.

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     Fad Diets: A Big No. (2022, Mar 17). Retrieved from

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