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Fad dieting or bad dieting?

Karen Scobie

Loosing weight (and keeping it off) is hard. In fact, it is very hard. It is therefore no surprise that thousands of people everyday are tempted by the alluring advertising of fad diets that promise to help you loose a large amount of weight in a matter of weeks. Fad diets can be especially inviting if you have been trying to loose weight for sometime but without success. However there are more cons than pros to consider before trying a fad diet. 

Contrary to what most magazines, tv ads or indeed the internet claim, fad diets can actually make you gain weight. Although they do help with short term weight loss (which is a result of the common fasting methods), long term weight loss is a different matter all together. Once the weight is lost, the dieter will often return to bad eating patterns and habits causing the regain of previous weight.

The reason that fad dieting can promise to help us loose so much weight in little time is because of the fasting element. The 5:2 diet especially, which entails eating what you like for five out of seven days and the other two are restricted to consuming a measly 500 calories. This causes participants to binge eat on whatever food they like for five days in preparation for practically starving themselves for the other 2 days of the week. 

Although this can help to loose weight, it can also come with nasty side effects. Such as bad breath, sick feeling and faintness caused by the constant roller coaster of under eating and over eating. Once you stop the diet and return to a normal lifestyle, chances are that you will gain all the weight that was lost plus a few extra pounds. 

Certain fad diets can forbid you from eating certain types of food. For example they can limit your carbohydrate intake or any type of fat from you diet. Carbohydrates are a vital part of our everyday food intake because of the energy they provide. Taking them out of your diet can have consequences. Depriving yourself of these nutrients can result in fatigue and loss of function. 

With fad diets come nutritional deficiencies and with nutritional deficiencies come health conditions. Such as hair and muscle loss caused by a lack of nutrients. Often with fad diets there is an absence of enough of each food group. Protein is essential for healthy hair and growth. When there is a reduction of protein intake, your hair can loose its health. Bad hair health can cause dryness and ultimately hair loss. 

Additionally, muscle loss is a common and significant effect of fad dieting. In fad dieting, our diets can become very low in calories causing our bodies to look for energy in other places. The next place they will get energy from is our muscles. This can be very damaging to the process of weight loss because our muscles help us burn fat even when we are resting. 

Other side effects include kidney stones, gout, ketosis and an inquired risk of chronic disease such as heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure and osteoporoses. 

There are no shortcuts to weight loss or a healthy lifestyle. The key to loosing weight is to balance your blood sugars with a balanced diet and regular exercise. There is no generic way to solve everyones weight issues, the process must be tailored to suit your needs. To begin with you should seek professional help. To get started book a consultation with me now or visit my website to get some tips and ideas on how to be healthy.