Fad Diets Short on Promise
Fad diets are a sort of diet plan or aid that aims at losing weight, usually in a relatively short time. Fad diets attract a large number of people who suffer from weight problems and are helplessly looking to some way of arriving at a shapely physique. The problem with fad diets is that their fat-reducing effect is temporary and results in quick regain of weight. What is worse is that most of these diets are harmful to health.
Fad diets are not as new as they might seem at first. These date back to the mid-19th century when an obese Londoner was prescribed such a diet on experimental basis. Now, after a century and a half, fad diets have become popular among people with weight problems. Teens and young adults especially flock to fad diets for answers to weight problems.
Fad diets are usually centered on a higher consumption of fats or proteins while stressing to go easy on or, in some cases, completely cut out carbohydrates. It is the low intake of carbohydrates that brings about rapid weight loss. In fact, this rapid loss is the loss of water that glycogen has stored. With loss of glycogen, the large amount of water stored in it is also lost and body weight drops. The fats are still there and as the fad diets are given up, the body regains its proportion of water lost. Weight is put back on as fast as it was lost.
Normally, carbohydrates remain the source of energy for work. With fad diets, the carbs are no longer there so the body starts using the stored fat, breaking it down. This may appear beneficial but in fact it is not. In the absence of carbs, fats cannot be completely oxidized and put to work. Hence, the body feels fatigued and weak. In addition, the ketone molecules resulting from the fat-breakdown accumulate in the blood and are excreted out via urine, causing dehydration.
Given the harmful health effects of fad diets, it is important for us, especially the weight-conscious people, to recognize and beware of these diet plans. Watch out for diets that:
• Promise quick weight loss
• Publicize before and after pictures
• Present weight-loss testimonials
• Tend to limit natural food choices
• Require a large sum of money
Fad diets may be popular, but they can greatly hurt your body. Be careful with any diet or exercise program and ask your doctor to be sure it is safe.
The Dangers of Fad Dieting
Almost everywhere you turn, fad diets are appearing. They often deliver results, but at what cost? Is there a healthier but still effective option?
You’re joining your friend for lunch. She looks great. She’s shed the extra twenty pounds that she’s been carrying since college, and she’s dressed in a slinky black outfit that makes you a bit envious. When you question her about it, she tells you she’s been on the Atkins diet. She proceeds to recount how she ate a pile of bacon for breakfast, and some pork rinds for a midmorning snack, and you feel your eyes widen in shock when she orders a double cheeseburger off the menu. Is this really a smart diet?
“Are you really going to eat that?” You stare in awe at the size of the two monster hamburger patties. She quickly peels the bread off her burger, discarding it on the side of her plate.
“Sure,” She quips. “I can eat all the meat I want, cooked anyway I want.”
With all the fad diets circling around, it’s important to evaluate a diet before signing on. Is it really a smart diet? Sure, your friend looks amazing, but can it really be healthy to eat a pound of bacon and greasy burger meat every day? It doesn’t sound like a smart diet. The fact is that your body needs carbohydrates for energy, and people on the Atkins diet have reported fatigue and even experienced high blood pressure.
The same is true of low fat diets. While you may drop weight fairly easily by limiting your fat grams, it’s not really a smart diet. Your body actually needs some fats. These fat-free foods are often loaded with extra sugar to make them taste better.
There are literally too many current fad diets to list. Most of them include loading up on a particular type of food while depriving yourself of other foods. In the case of diets like Atkins diet, you are not allowed to eat carbohydrates. What you aren’t being told is that this is not a smart diet. Not only does your body need carbohydrates, it also shifts into carbohydrate starvation mode when you finally splurge on one, storing it as fat. Your body doesn’t know when it will get this type of fuel again.
Most physicians will tell you that a smart diet consists of a variety of different food groups. This means incorporating every group (even carbohydrates) in moderation.
The bottom line is that to lose weight, you simply have to cut calories. Although most people acknowledge this would be a smart diet, they often crave the immediate results that some not-so-smart diets offer.
Perhaps you’ve tried smart dieting. You’ve selected the proper foods, you’ve even developed an exercise plan, but you’re miserable. The weight isn’t coming off all that quickly, and quite frankly, you’re just starving. That’s the reason you binged on the pizza from Dominos last night, and it’s probably the reason you thought you deserved that extra helping of mashed potatoes. If only you could stick to a smart diet without feeling deprived.
Your Diet is in Your Own Hands
Fitness is a lifetime goal and you need to stay active for the rest of your life. Fitness is not a one time achievement, you must actively pursue it.
An active lifestyle is worth more than gold for the benefits it provides. It all starts with eating healthy food as the foundation. From there you will be able to recover from most illness quickly or hardly get sick.
Disease and illness are almost always preventable by knowing what you are putting in your mouth. The rest is just knowing your genetics and keeping a family history. What did your mom and dad die from? What killed your aunts and uncles? They are your parents’ siblings. Then, what did your grandparents die from? Also note their occupations if known.
That is a good start. Most of these were caused by diet, or lack of it, or from some physical reason or accident in the past. Many times the near-poverty and hard times during the Depression took their toll later in their lives. Next would be exposure to things like asbestos or other chemicals on the job.
For example: if your dad smoked like a chimney, which was the norm and encouraged, and worked in construction pre 1950, he was probably exposed to asbestos and would most likely would have developed lung cancer later in life, which probably killed him.
Knowing things like this can help you live a longer life. Asbestos exposure is limited nowadays and cancer treatments have improved, with more patients surviving. Smoking is a definite “no thank you”, and discouraged strongly.
Being fit will help prevent most physical disability and carry you through any accidents or injuries, helping you heal quickly. Good nutrition will bring you the rest of the way.
Any thing you can do to become more fit will help. Look around and see what you can fit into your schedule. Maybe walk more or join a gym. Build strong core muscles first and keep a personal fitness baseline, constantly pushing forward to the next level. Think of it as insurance for the future.
Accidents are accidents and cannot be foreseen, so live your life without thought to them, other then to be careful and use common sense as you go about your day.
Your future is in your hands, choose now to be healthy and fit and be accountable to yourself, for the rest of your life.