When you see someone lose weight within short span through a trendy diet program, it is hard to not jump on the bandwagon!!
Whether it is low-carbohydrate, low-fat, all bananas or no grains, we fall pray to such diets without knowing its side effect. Do they actually improve your lifestyle?
What is FAD diet?
It is nothing but a trendy and popular diet regime claiming quick weight loss in a very short period. Most of them often want you to cut down on one or more food groups.
Its not that all fad diets are bad but restricting a particular food group or groups for long term may put you at risk of certain diseases and disorders. You may lose quickly but chances of gaining back is more once you return to your original eating habits.
Remember, once you are into dietary management, the goal is to reduce the total body fat and not just weight, such a weight loss or rather fat loss is easy to maintain in long run.
Are they worth continuing for long?
There are 3 macro-nutrients essential to human body apart from vitamins and minerals. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Each one has unique characteristic to improve overall health. Restricting a particular group or too much intake of a particular food group may harm body function over the period.
Primarily our body gets energy from carbohydrates. Glucose, obtained when carbohydrates are broken down into simpler form is considered to be a brain food. One cannot perform well in their activities if devoid of carbs.
Hypoglycemia literally known as low blood sugar or low blood glucose, occurs when the glucose levels in the blood drop below normal. While hypoglycemia is often associated with diabetes, it can be caused by a lack of carbohydrates in healthy people.
Few more symptoms include; headache, nausea, difficulty to concentrate, muscle wasting, constipation or diarrhea.
Quality of carbohydrates is very important while choosing food. Opt for complex carbohydrates than simpler ones. Example; eating more whole fruits (avoid juices), raw salad, green vegetables, whole grains will help in weight loss.
Proteins being helpful in improving muscle strength, if taken in excess pose health risk. Excess consumption of proteins produce excess nitrogenous waste putting load on the kidneys in order to get rid off it. Too much consumption over the period may lead to kidney damage.
Chronic dehydration and unpleasant body odor, indigestion and nausea are a few side effects.
Over consumption of proteins has found to hamper athletes performance.
Scientifically, restricting protein intake up to 0.8-1.0 gm/kg of body weight is acceptable.
Avoid processed meats, opt for lean protein sources like pulses, dals, eggs, nuts, fish or poultry.
High-fat diets may also pose some serious risks which must be considered.
No matter what type of diet you follow, you must still eat fewer calories than you burn to lose weight. Fat contains more than twice the calories of protein and carbohydrates, making it easier to take in too many calories.
High fat diets typically involve limiting your consumption of high-fiber foods like fruits and grains. Without fiber maintaining digestive health is difficult, you can easily become constipated and experience abdominal bloating.
The most serious risk of high fat diets is heart disease. High-fat diets typically recommend foods high in saturated fats like beef, bacon and dark-meat poultry.
Over consumption of trans fats like dalda or margarine pose heath risks. Rather go for unrefined oils, MCTs or homemade ghee (clarified butter) but in moderation.
Some extreme diet plans posing serious health risk
Very-Low-Calorie Diets (VLCD)
These diet supply between 200 and 800 kcal per day. Diets providing as low as 800kcal per day may prove fatal if continued in long run.
Fasting is done as apart of religious sentiments. Sometimes it may be used as an extreme effort to lose weight. Following such method may produce serious neurological and hormonal imbalance.
Psychological disorders of extreme dieting
The side effects of extreme diet plans for prolong period leads to hormonal imbalance, a person may suffer with psychological and potentially life-threatening eating disorders like Anorexia nervosa and Bulimia nervosa (Binge eating/purging effect).
In young girls it may cause amenorrhea, a sudden loss of menstrual cycle.
Practical approach towards weight management is important
Listing few points which may help someone change perception towards weight loss,
- Setting realistic goals towards weight loss.
- The ideal rate of weight loss would be 0.5 grams per week.
- Do not obsessed by calorie counter.
- Prefer home cooked food over low calorie commercial foods.
- Avoiding use of appetite depressant. They do more harm than good.
- The last and important one is self determination and mental control which will get you through.