What are the consequences of fad diets?

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We’ve all been there. After a holiday when we’ve eaten too much food, we swear we’re won’t eat any junk food for awhile in order to shed those pounds. This is the reason fad diets are so popular, because they claim fast and easy results. In reality, most of us only make it about a week if we’re lucky with these kind of diets. Going from indulging in hundreds of calories during a holiday party to barely any calories during the following days are a cycle many people get stuck in. But what is the impact on our body from this? Fad diets actually affect our body negatively in many ways.

One of the ways these fad diets effect our body is that they alter our metabolism. This is due to the fact that when an individual follows a diet consisting of food restrictions, it goes against the natural pattern of their body telling them when to eat and stop eating. According to ­­­­Nutriformance “When dieting consists of a drastic decrease in caloric intake, your body will compensate for this “starvation mode”, which will slow the rate of your metabolism.” (Giller) This is the opposite of what a person trying to lose weight wants, because a fast metabolism is what makes weight loss easier.

Another effect is that most people end up gaining the weight back. Fad diets usually help people lose a couple pounds in a short period of time. However, most of that lost weight is simply water weight.  Once an individual goes back to their normal eating habits, they will gain the weight right back. Often times, people deprive themselves of food for so long that they end up binge eating, which results in gaining more weight than they began with. Constantly trying fad diets also makes it harder to lose weight in the future. “After a quick-fix diet, you have lost mostly water weight and muscle, so when you do gain weight back, it is not muscle, it is fat.” (Giller) This a problem because that fat makes it harder for the individual to gain the muscle mass back, and muscle is what helps a person burn more calories.

The last problem with fad diets is that they cause nutritional deficiencies in people. Since these diets restrict people from eating certain types of foods, our body is being deprived of certain important nutrients. Many fad diets prohibit the consumption of carbs or fats. However, these nutrients are an essential source of energy for us. By not consuming them it can cause your body to function improperly, which could be harmful to your health. Some health issues could be hair and muscle loss. “Since your diet is very low in calories, your body will look for other ways to get energy. One of these ways is by digesting your muscles.” (Fit Day) People can even get diseases from lack of nutrients due to fad diets.

Overall, fad diets are usually too good to be true and can  even have negative effects on our body. Countless health experts are firm on the belief that the only effective method of losing weight is making it a lifestyle change of eating healthy, well-balanced meals, and staying active. So, people should stay away from fad diets for their own good.

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2 thoughts on “What are the consequences of fad diets?

  1. Ty Austin Miller

    It can be hard to tell a fad diet from an actual healthy dietary recommendation nowadays. For instance, the Paleo Diet, also know as the Caveman Diet, always seemed like a fad to me. The concept behind the diet is that, to be as healthy as possible, we should only eat things that humans would naturally eat. I thought this was so dumb at first, but after I wrote two blogs on diets and healthy eating, I found that the Paleo Diet may be the healthiest way to be! Obviously sat away from diets that ask you to starve yourself, but be sure, also, to keep an open mind when encountering different ways of eating.
    http://thepaleodiet.com/what-to-eat-on-the-paleo-diet/

  2. Alexandra Herr

    I recently learned about fad diets in my biobehavioral health class. Beforehand, I had never even heard the term for a “fad” diet. What I learned is that they tend to have weird food combinations (one I found online was called a “cookie diet”. Cookie diet, really?! They also can be very nutritionally deficient, as one could assume with the diet displayed above. I never really considered that the weight you might be losing with it isn’t the weight you necessarily want to lose (stomach fat commonly is). Muscle and water weight loss won’t display any of the results people on these fad diets are looking for, making them more discouraged with weight loss. I liked the picture you included above, “the vicious diet cycle”, and really believe that is true for a lot of people trying to lose weight. Good post!

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