Many dieters are tempted by the hundreds of fad diets available as they see these as a way of shedding their excess weight as quickly as possible. Weight loss can seem such a slow business so anything that promises to get the pounds off fast with seemingly little effort can be very appealing. However, these fad diets do not work in the long term and can have an adverse affect on your health. In this article we take a look at some of the risks.
Fad Diet Risk #1: Nutritional Deficiencies
A lot of fad diets involve either cutting whole food groups from your diet, such as carbohydrate or fat, or eating large amounts of others, such as protein. This will have an effect on the amount of nutrients and vitamins you are consuming, and you may become deficient in some. Other fad diets involve replacing meals with bars or shakes, which can also cause deficiencies. Following a restrictive diet long term can cause weakness, fatigue, illness or even organ failure.
Fad Diet Risk #2: You Are Not Learning Healthy Eating Habits
Eating a restricted diet or replacing meals is not sustainable in the longer term, and eventually you will need to come off the diet. However, the fad diet has done very little to train you to eat a healthy, nutritious diet, and chances are you will go back to your old eating habits and regain all the weight you have lost. If the diet has been too restrictive, you may find yourself binging on the foods you have been cutting out, and can end up heavier than before you started.
Fad Diet Risk #3: You May Slow Your Metabolism
A very restrictive diet can cause the body to think that it is starving and so it will slow down the metabolism to counter this perceived threat. Studies have indicated that ignoring your body’s hunger signals can also affect the metabolism. This will mean that your weight loss will eventually grind to a halt, and when you start eating normal amounts, your body will store these extra calories in an effort to replenish fat stores ready for the next ‘famine’.
Although they often promise quick weight loss, fad diets end up being the long route in disguise, as you will inevitably regain all the weight you have lost and more. The best diets to follow are those which don’t restrict any food groups and include a wide range of healthy food. You should feel that you could stick to the diet quite happily for the rest of your life.