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Fad Diets Are Insufficient For Weight Loss

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A fad diet is a trendy weight-loss plan that typically promises dramatic, unrealistic weight loss results. In a world where ones’ pants size measures their self-worth and where one number on a scale depicts self-love, it’s no surprise that many have bought into the belief that fad diets were the answer. In fact, I fell victim to this belief as a thirteen-year-old while dealing with two different types of eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. I was 5’0 about 100 pounds and wanted to lose ten pounds. I read numerous articles, where I was completely blinded and oblivious to any sort of marketing scheme, the advertisements and claims had me sold. Losing four-five pounds in one week seems great, right?

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Most certainly, but a question you the reader must be able to answer. Are you starting this proclaimed diet to fit the status quo or to better your overall health? Because despite what you may think, these fad diets can be detrimental to your health. They are extremely expensive for pure convenience, promise short-term results and convey a heavy focus on solely weight loss, lacking nutrients and inflicting harm to your metabolism. Behind all the glitz and glamour, fad diets are fueling an addiction. Marketers aim to spark this euphoric high when starting a new diet. Using celebrities and “testimonials” to buy the consumer in. Yet, they usually leave out a big disclaimer. Fad diets are simply not sustainable they can lead to severe physical and mental repercussions. If you want to lose weight you must be ready to make adequate lifestyle changes that will not jeopardize your overall health. The latest and greatest “quick fix” is simply not worth your physical health. Some may say losing five to six pounds is too good to be true-that’s because it is. The media fails to shine light on the negative side effects resulting from these fad diets that promote unrealistic weight loss goals.

In fact, it is extremely dangerous and can evoke irreversible damage when losing weight that quickly. These diets are no stranger to cutting out key nutrients and food groups that nourish the body to function properly. For instance, if the dietary protocol prohibits you to eat any carbohydrates or fat in your daily intake, this will lead to nutritional deficiencies that stem problems of their own. Resulting, in cases of both hair and muscle loss. Above all, you are tampering with your metabolic rate and hindering your internal hunger and fullness ques. Therefore, it’s no surprise that developing high levels of cholesterol, excess sweating, increased levels of fatigue, high risk factors for hypertension and type two diabetes are common after a few weeks of deprivation. Your body is struggling to find it’s homeostasis, your internal organs and hormones are compensating. Stimulating fast weight loss directly affects your thyroid and gallbladder’s duties and functions. Each organ has specific duties to perform to regulate bodily functions. In relation to your thyroid, reduction in T3 production and other hormonal imbalances such as cortisol, estrogen, progesterone and insulin are commonly reported Point blank, these diets are not customized to the individual’s needs. With no knowledge of the individual’s medical history or potential risk factors, these diets cannot be considered safe for everyone. So, the next time you think about trying out that new fad diet on the market, consider the long term affects you are making to your physical wellbeing.

To someone struggling with body insecurities, these gimmicks on the quest to lose a couple pounds or become “healthier” can cause a downward spiral. These fad diets do not teach the individual how to adapt healthy habits necessary to sustain a well-rounded lifestyle. With the sudden elimination of food sources and harsh restrictions, the dieter is more than likely to experience intense hunger and cravings which may cause an over obsession toward food. Not to mention, the individual may develop food anxiety. This effects every aspect of the new dieter’s life; they tend to become more irritable and distant from others. Reasons being it is difficult to focus on anything else when your body is crying out for hunger. In more severe cases, a fad diet used to shed a couple pounds, turns into an extremely unhealthy relationship with food and a series of eating disorders. If the individual resorted to the fad diet, they were probably in a vulnerable state to begin with. and the problem with promising results is simply if the individual does not get them. This causes a domino effect. After a failed attempt the individual is lacking confidence and has a poor body image. So, the spiral continues-the chronic dieter picks up the latest and greatest trend. But when does it stop?

Statistics have shown that about 65% of people who successfully complete a fad diet will end up gaining all their weight back in less than three months…and the average adult tries to implement a fad diet four times per year. Why is that? These diets are only sustainable short-term. Many people are quite familiar with the catch phrase, lose “x” number of lbs. in “x” number of days, because it is all over the media and quite enticing. The search for instant gratification and fast acting results is more than prevalent. In most fad diets, the center focus is on fast-acting results but stem from deprivation and restriction. Some diets on the market require a liquid based diet, some cut out entire macronutrients and others significantly decrease calories so of course you’ll lose weight. But, from a biological and physiological stand point, your body goes into starvation mode thus enabling a roller coaster effect. After weeks of dieting and restricting yourself, you hit your target weight loss goal and stray away from your diet. You fall right back into your old patterns but instead your relationship with food is the worse it has ever been. You’ve been depriving yourself and end up binging on large quantities of food and since your body is in a very stressed state it’s storing more fat than usual. Resulting, in a rebound period and a substantial amount of weight gain.

As one can see, fad diets will certainly provide short-term results, but they are limited to just that. The fine print is what matters-the potential side effects could be life changing. Fad dieting is something that resonated with me personally, as I fell victim to its appeals at a young age. Though I suffered from the adverse effects discussed above, thankfully I have developed a healthier, balanced lifestyle since, and have found my passion helping others do so as well. Through science based nutritional methods, I can teach my clients how to reach their goals in the most healthy, sustainable way possible. This is the most fulfilling career path for me, because I know firsthand how much of an impact one’s mental and physical health can have on their overall wellbeing. While people are often eager to risk everything just for the instant gratification of immediate weight loss, I ask you: are you willing to GIVE everything to develop a lifestyle that will lead to your most healthy, happy, and balanced life?

03 December 2019

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