As waistlines are getting thicker and thicker, we are constantly looking for quick fixes to combat the bulge. There are many diets available whose advertising seems too good to be true. The problem is that these are crash or fad diets that promote rapid weight loss without affecting the nutrients your body needs.
Social media is awash with fad diets, many of which work by drastically reducing calories, causing more harm than good.
Still, why are fad diets plentiful and there’s always something new to hook people? Because the fad diet is attractive, seductive and promises “magic results” in a short time, something we all crave; a simple way to cut more inches.
If you’ve tried a fad diet before, you’ve got plenty of company. But for most, it doesn’t work. The reason is that fad diets can give you quick weight loss in the short term, but many are difficult to follow, have arbitrary rules, and some can put your health in jeopardy.
Some interesting facts about fad diets
What is a fad diet?
A fad diet is based on hype, not science, and probably has more to do with a marketing scheme, celebrity endorsement than proven effects studied. The fad diet involves eating high-fat, low-carb, or high-protein foods that promise a quick fix, like a magic food or food combination that can change your body chemistry.
Fad diets can often result in short-term weight loss for some people, but more often than not, diets don’t deliver on their promises.
When you start a fad diet, you are shocking your body into a routine it is not used to. By losing weight very quickly, you can send your body into survival mode. This comes in the form of a sluggish metabolism, which must sound very unpleasant for anyone trying to lose weight.
These extremely low-calorie fad diets also typically deprive your body of the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals you need to function. Also, they have strict rules to adhere to.
Within a few weeks of being deprived of vital nutrients, you will likely end up eating all the unhealthy foods, resulting in more weight gain and harming your body – the usual fad diet tale.
5 popular fad diets
Many fad diets have gained fame in recent years. Some of them are effective while some are not very. But most of them have one thing in common: stay away from your favorite food group, CARBOHYDRATE.
#1 Atkins Diet
The Atkins Diet is the most popular low-carb diet. It consists of 4 steps, including a 2-week induction first phase that reduces carbs to 20 grams per day, allowing for unlimited amounts of protein and fat.
Believers of this diet can gradually add their carbs in 5-gram increments to decide their critical carb levels to lose weight and maintain the loss.
However, you really need to stay low-carb for your entire life, even if you’ve reached your weight goals. Otherwise, you’ll regain the weight you’ve lost, which is almost real with any low-carb diet.
#2 Ketogenic Diet
Keto is the hottest diet that everyone has heard of. The concept is to eat very low carbs, moderate protein and a very high fat diet to lose weight.
The diet works by shifting your body into a state of ketosis to obtain energy derived from the breakdown of fat in the body in the absence of carbohydrates as an energy source. This results in weight loss.
However, the problem arises because the diet is extremely rigid and difficult to follow. This puts additional stress on organs that need carbohydrates as their primary fuel for energy. Switching from glycogen to ketones is the mountain’s own job and being on a low carb diet for an extended time can be dangerous and unsustainable.
#3 Detox Diets
Detox diets, detox products are the buzzwords in the health industry. The idea behind “detoxing” is that consuming these products will cleanse your body of “toxins” and in turn, help improve health and encourage weight loss.
Every day, at all times, our body has the ability to detoxify itself of all toxins with the help of detoxifying organs like liver, kidney and skin. We can help the process by eating more fiber-rich foods and staying hydrated. Going on a juice diet or a raw vegetable diet is not necessary.
#4 vegan diet
Vegan diets have been criticized for being unbalanced and extreme because they contain no animal products. Vegan diets can be healthy or unhealthy, depending on the food choices made.
You’re unlikely to lose weight by going vegan if you don’t cut back on your calories. You may want to be extra careful to get enough protein, iron, zinc, vitamin D and calcium.
Vegans also have the potential to develop a B12 deficiency, which can cause irreversible neurological effects.
#5 Paleo Diet
The Paleo Diet is based on the diet our ancestors ate thousands of years ago. The diet limits several food groups such as milk, legumes and grains and promotes lean meats, fish, fruits and vegetables.
Critics have always pointed out that eating the same food our prehistoric ancestors ate is impractical due to modern sedentary activity and lifestyle changes. Simultaneously, when saturated fat and protein are consumed much more than recommended levels, the risk of kidney and heart disease increases.
A Balanced Diet Plan (Indian)
A nutritionally balanced Indian diet focuses on lacto-vegetarian guidelines and emphasizes the importance of including grains, fruits, vegetables, lentils, good fats, dairy and spices in the dish. While it’s okay to enjoy treats occasionally, limit your intake of sugary drinks, fast food, and fried foods.
Observation: Below is a 7-day sample diet menu that contains three meals that focus on fresh, nutritious foods. You can adjust it to the calories and food preferences of your choice.
Breakfast: Multigrain Paratha with curd and sliced papaya.
Lunch: Mixed vegetable salad + dal mix + aloo baingan tamatar ki sabzi + wholegrain roti.
Dinner: Curry Low Fat Paneer + 1 Missi roti.
Breakfast: Apple and cinnamon porridge cooked with milk and topped with almonds.
Lunch: Chole curry with brown rice and carrot and onion salad.
Dinner: palak dal with cottage cheese and roti.
Breakfast: poha sprouts with curd.
Lunch: Wholemeal roti with soy nuggets and mixed vegetable salad.
Dinner: Palak paneer with brown rice, pulao with vegetables.
Breakfast: Simple Daliya with a glass of milk.
Lunch: Salad with rajma curry and quinoa.
Dinner: Soy nuggets with potato and mixed vegetables.
Breakfast: Mixed Sambar (1 cup) + 2 Idlis.
Lunch: Curd + Palak Chole (1 bowl) + Steamed rice (0.5 katori).
Dinner: Moong Dal vegetable khichdi with cottage cheese and green salad.
Breakfast: 2 large Besan Chillas with green garlic chutney.
Lunch: Vegetable sambar with brown rice.
Dinner: Sprouts and vegetable dahlia salad.
Breakfast: 1 cup cooked oatmeal + 2/3 almonds + 2-3 raisins + 1 cup skim milk
Lunch: Sabut mung curry + bhindi sabzi + roti.
Dinner: Fried paneer with mixed vegetables and a fresh spinach salad.
Fad diets will always be there, and plans that look too good will continue to appeal to people’s desire to lose weight quickly on a scale.
Most fad diets are not sustainable, balanced, economical or practical for most people. It can also reduce your health numbers and lead to serious health problems when continued for long periods.
However, just because the diet is set for weight loss doesn’t mean it’s the only way or the best way to go.
To achieve lasting health goals, you need to choose a healthy way of eating that you can enjoy and adhere to for a lifetime. Not for a week or two.
5 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A. Food-specific fad diets are based on the assumption that certain foods have specific properties that can trigger weight gain or loss – but in fact, no food can. Successful sustainable weight loss is all about lifestyle changes, not short-term fads. By following fad diets, you are likely to win/lose to the original wherever you start.
A. If you follow a fad diet for several years, then due to a drastic reduction in calories, the body goes into starvation mode and feels like it has to survive on a reduced-calorie diet. So when you go back to a regular diet, the weight accumulates. This not only throws your metabolism off balance, it also drains your wallets.
A. No. If you consume less food at any given time, your weight will go down, but this is usually just a temporary result, and you could be doing more harm than good. When you’re so hungry, your body craves foods high in fat and sugar. So instead of skipping meals, try to eat several smaller meals throughout the day and swap out bad snacks for healthier options.
A. As all mothers around the world say, eat your vegetables, eat your fruits, and your body will thank you later. In fact, fruits and vegetables are known to be high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that your body needs to function optimally. Almost any diet can help you reach your body goals when calories are managed properly, without limiting your food choices.
A. If you lack nutrients and vitamins and limit them due to restrictions imposed by a fad diet, this can have long-term harmful effects related to nutrient deficiency. This can include anemia, bone disease, depression, and more. This is reason enough to avoid a severe calorie-restricted diet and occupy healthy ways..