Why Are Fad Diets Bad? The Risks and Benefits of Fad Diets
Popular Fad Diets
It’s easy to spot a fad diet; in fact, hearing about them is hard to avoid. While diverse in what foods you can and cannot eat, they usually have one thing in common, which is the exclusion of certain foods or food groups.
Fad diets that have become household names include:
- Keto: This low-carb diet requires you to avoid carbs, consuming less than 50 grams a day so that your body can remain in a state of ketosis, which burns body fat.
- Atkins: Another low-carb diet, Atkins encourages the consumption of proteins and fats while drastically cutting carbs to 20 grams or less a day.
- Paleo: Also known as the “caveman diet,” Paleo is based on what our ancestors consumed during the Paleolithic era. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and lean meats are encouraged.
- Southbeach: This diet is a modified version of popular low-carb diets, encouraging the consumption of good carbs, fiber, and lean proteins.
- Cabbage Soup Diet: This seven-day detox specifies which foods you can eat on a daily basis in addition to a specially made cabbage soup. For instance, on the first day, you’re only supposed to eat fruit and soup. The second, only vegetables and soup.
- Grapefruit Diet: This is another quick weight loss solution that ends up flushing the body of water weight. A small amount of food is allowed at each meal, typically accompanied by grapefruit juice.
- Alkaline Diet: This diet seeks to change the body’s pH level to help you lose weight.
Benefits of Fad Diets
Fad diets aren’t intrinsically bad or harmful. Participating in them can offer a few benefits, depending on the diet and the goals it is meant to help achieve.
Easy To Follow
Gives a Better Understanding of Nutrition
Quick Weight Loss
Forms New Habits
Risks of Fad Diets
Fad diets often lead people to believe they’ve lost more weight than they actually have. Losing too much water weight could lead to rapid dehydration. Water is an important component of any healthy diet, so it’s important to remember to drink enough.
Many fad diets make people cut out certain foods or food groups to lose weight. Doing this will diminish calories and help prevent weight gain, but it can also present a range of other health issues.
Malnutrition can be a big issue when it comes to fad dieting. Certain diets that limit the amount or source of protein can cause a protein deficiency. This can present a whole slew of issues, including hair loss.
Fortunately, hair loss damage caused by protein deficiencies doesn’t have to be permanent. Hair follicles are metabolically active in the body; as such, hair growth can be impacted by a lack of protein. Often, a regimen of dietary supplements is suggested to help regain thickness in the hair.
Yo-Yo Weight Loss
If you’ve ever tried a fad diet, you understand that it’s not a sustainable way of living. Often, the weight comes back almost immediately, especially if you go back to your old eating habits. This method, also known as yo-yo weight loss, can put an unhealthy strain on the body and can lead to other unwanted side-effects and health problems.
A Greater Chance of Binge-Eating
If weight loss or trying new fad diets becomes an obsession, or results in purging methods to keep on track of your diet, you may be binge-eating. This can also occur if you attempt to stick to a relatively restrictive diet. Because fad diets often restrict certain foods, you may feel strong cravings and give in, eating more than usual when you get ahold of a particular food that you cut out to lose weight.
Fortunately, there are better, more healthy ways you can lose weight and maintain that weight loss. Consuming a wholesome, healthy diet and enjoying treats in moderation and participating in daily exercise is a great way to stay healthy while losing unwanted weight.