In today’s age, there are many diet and fitness fads that people follow blindly. They think that these are an easy way to good health. But such quick fix diets can be disastrous
By Luke Coutinho
With an increasing focus these days on staying fit, many diet and fitness fads have surfaced. While some people swear by these fads, there are others who think these are harmful to health. All fad diets have two things in common — they’re too restrictive and hence boring; and they may give quick results but may affect overall health. They are only a temporary fix to a long-term eating and lifestyle problem one may have.
The body is made up of millions of cells that perform important functions. Each cell requires nutrients that are important for its function. For example, cholesterol (fat) is required for maintaining the structure of the cell. So, a diet completely devoid of cholesterol does not help your body cells at all. Some fad diets often neglect micro-nutrients important for various functions like optimal brain function, maintaining the health of the skin or the body cells, while others ignore one of the macro-nutrients such as fats or carbohydrates, also important in their own way in the body.
Often, the social stigma associated with being overweight and pressure from peers to be in shape, prompts many individuals to follow a fad diet. Teens and young moms may be vulnerable to this trend.These factors, combined with lofty claims by advertisers that promise weight loss within days, make people opt for fad diets. Fad diets may be popular because they give quick results that are visible. What people miss are the health hazards these diets cause later.
The first question about a weight loss plan should be whether it is healthy or not. With most fad diets, you are likely to lose weight due to the reduction of water and lean muscle, while still retaining excess fat in the body. This is a disaster.
Unfortunately, many fad diets like the high-antioxidant diet, protein bar and protein shake diet, juicing diet, fruit-focused diet and so on, fail in fulfilling the nutritional needs of most people. The resultant signs are muscle cramps, confusion, dehydration, hair loss, lack of concentration, fainting, etc.
There are many such fad diets that focus on some nutrients only to help you achieve your goals faster. However, they remove the focus on other important nutrients. As a result, as you will most likely end up treating and correcting some other nutritional deficiency later.
The author is an expert in integrative and lifestyle medicine, holistic nutrition; exercise physiologist and Founder, Pure Nutrition.
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