There is no secret to weight loss and maintenance, nor are there any miracle products that will transform an overweight person into a super-model or an athlete overnight. If you want to lose weight, and increase your level of fitness, you must burn more calories than you consume. If you want to lose weight and still maintain a healthy diet and proper nutrition, you will keep away from trendy, fad diets.
How to Spot a Fad Diet
Fad diets come in all shapes and sizes, but many share some commonalities.
* They promise dramatic results, such as a loss of more than 2 pounds per week.
* They promise that the weight will be lost without benefit of any lifestyle change or increased exercise.
* They severely limit the portions of food you are allowed to consume.
* They restrict the types or combinations of foods that you may eat.
Fad diets are popular because they are well-advertised and make fantastic claims of large amounts of weight lost over short periods of time. They have an abundance of testimonials from clients who sing their praises and make consumers feel that they, too, can be one of the success stories. Fad diets are usually based loosely on scientific theories, and so they sound reasonable. They may even aid in temporary weight loss. But beware – the benefits are often short-lived, and the potential risks can far outweigh those benefits.
What is Wrong with Fad Diets?
Although a dieter may initially lose weight by following a fad diet, there are countless stories of the weight being gained rapidly as soon as the diet was ended; in many cases, the dieter gains even more weight than they lost on the diet.
Many fad diets offer a menu that is completely unbalanced, which can lead to health complications. Diets that promote low or no-carbs may prevent a dieter from getting enough antioxidants in their diet, exposing them to greater risk of cancer. This type of diet promotes high cholesterol which can lead to heart disease, stroke and cancer. At the same time, these high protein diets usually can lead to a calcium deficiency, leading to osteoporosis, and a deficiency in fiber leading to chronic constipation.
The theory behind high-protein, low-fat diets is this: Your body normally burns carbohydrates for energy. When deprived of the glucose present in carbs, your body will instead burn fat to produce energy. This phenomenon is called ketosis, a very unhealthy state which could lead to health problems such as gout or kidney stones. This is extreme, and luckily, can easily be avoided with the intake of some carbohydrates each day (at least 100 grams, according to WebMD.com).
For diabetics, the risk is even greater. Increased cholesterol and blood pressure present very high risks for diabetics. In addition, the reduced caloric intake associated with many fad diets can cause quick drops in blood sugar.
So the next time you evaluate a weight-loss option, the best advice is to approach your choice from more of an overall health perspective. Don’t sacrifice your long-term health and overall well-being for the short-term gratification of a few temporarily lost pounds.