FAD Diet

Table of Contents

In recent years, an increase in fad diets that promise fast and easy weight loss. These diets have gained popularity due to the desire for a quick fix to weight loss and the ease of access to information through the internet. Fad diets are popular for a short period and often lack scientific evidence to support their effectiveness or long-term benefits. The article will discuss the dangers of fad diets, why people are attracted to them, and what healthy weight loss should look like.

What are Fad Diets?

Fad diets are promoted as a speedy and easy way to lose weight. They often promise rapid weight loss without needing exercise or calorie counting. Fad diets come in many forms, including low-carb diets, juice cleanses, and detox diets. They often eliminate entire food groups or severely restrict calorie intake.

Why are People Attracted to Fad Diets?

Fad diets are attractive to many people for several reasons:

  1. They promise quick and easy weight loss, which appeals to people looking for a quick fix.
  2. They often come with strict rules and guidelines, providing structure and control for those struggling with food choices.
  3. Fad diets are often promoted by celebrities or influencers, which can make them seem like a fashionable choice.

The Dangers of Fad Diets

Fad diets can be dangerous for several reasons:

  1. They often eliminate entire food groups or severely restrict calorie intake, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies. For example, a low-carb diet may eliminate fruits and whole grains, important sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  2. Fad diets can lead to fast weight loss, resulting in muscle loss, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalances.
  3. Fad diets often promote unsustainable habits, which can lead to weight regain.

Healthy Weight Loss

Healthy weight loss is a slow process involving sustainable changes to your diet and lifestyle. The following are some tips for healthy weight loss:

  1. Eat a balanced diet: A balanced diet includes various foods from all food groups, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
  2. Practice portion control: Portion control involves eating smaller amounts of food to help you consume fewer calories.
  3. Stay hydrated: Drinking a lot of water can help you feel full and prevent overeating.
  4. Exercise regularly: Exercise is essential for weight loss and overall health. Target for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
  5. Get enough sleep: Sleep is very important for weight loss because it helps regulate hormones that manage hunger and metabolism.

The Negative Side of Fad Diets

Nutrient Deficiencies

Many fad diets are based on extreme and unbalanced dietary principles, often excluding or severely restricting certain food groups or nutrients. For example, the Atkins diet is based on a low-carbohydrate and high-protein diet, which can lead to deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The juice cleanses diet is based on a liquid-only diet, which can lead to deficiencies in protein, fat, and certain vitamins and minerals.

These nutrient deficiencies can have negative effects on physical and mental health. For example, a lack of fiber can lead to constipation and other digestive issues. In contrast, a lack of vitamins and minerals can weaken the immune system and increase disease risk.

Weight Cycling

Fad diets often promise rapid weight loss, but this weight loss is often not sustainable in the long term. Many people who follow fad diets regain their lost weight and may even gain more weight than they lost. This cycle of losing and gaining weight is known as weight cycling, and it can negatively affect physical and mental health.

Weight cycling has been linked to an increased chance of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions. It can also lead to a negative body image and decreased self-esteem, leading to disordered eating behaviors and other mental health issues.

Disordered Eating

Fad diets can also lead to disordered eating behaviors, such as purging, binge eating, and restrictive eating. These behaviors can have negative effects on physical and mental health. They can even lead to eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.

Restrictive eating behaviors can also lead to an unhealthy relationship with food, where certain foods are seen as “good” or “bad,” and feelings of guilt or shame are associated with eating certain foods. This can lead to a negative body image, decreased self-esteem, and even depression and anxiety.

Unbalanced Nutrition

Many fad diets are based on extreme and unbalanced dietary principles, which can lead to an unbalanced and unhealthy diet. For example, the Paleo diet is based on a diet that mimics what our ancestors ate during the Paleolithic era, which excludes grains, legumes, and dairy. While this diet may be high in protein, it can also be low in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

An unbalanced and unhealthy diet can negatively affect physical and mental health. For example, a diet rich in saturated fat and low in fiber can increase the risk of heart disease and other chronic health conditions. A diet low in carbohydrates can lead to low energy levels and brain fog, which can negatively impact cognitive function and mental health.

Lack of Individualization

Fad diets are often promoted as a one-size-fits-all solution to weight loss, but everyone’s nutritional needs and preferences differ. What works for one person may not work for another, and following a fad diet without considering individual needs and preferences can harm health.

Individualization is important because our bodies have different nutritional requirements based on age, sex, activity level, and underlying health conditions. Following a fad diet that does not meet these individual needs can lead to nutrient deficiencies, weight gain, and other negative health outcomes.

In conclusion, fad diets promise quick and easy weight loss but often lack scientific evidence to support their effectiveness or long-term benefits. They can be dangerous due to their potential to lead to nutrient deficiencies, rapid weight loss, and unsustainable habits. Healthy weight loss is a slow and gradual process that involves making sustainable changes to your diet and lifestyle, including eating a balanced diet, practicing portion control, staying hydrated, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. If you are considering a fad diet, speaking with your doctor or a registered dietitian is important to ensure it is safe and appropriate for your needs.

Here we discuss this with Monica, a nutritional coach, to get her thoughts on this topic.

NourishDoc: Hello, everyone. Well, all of us at Culprits of using the FAD Diet in our lives at one point or another. But do we understand what it means when we say FAD diet? Well, that’s what we want to understand from Monica. Monica is a nutritional coach. She is joining me, live from India, and is a retired professor. Welcome, and thank you so much, Monica Ji.

Nutritional Coach Monica: Thank you for welcoming me, Amrita.

What Do We Understand By FAD Diet?

NourishDoc: Okay, so let’s understand the definition of the FAD diet. What does it mean when we use the word FAD diet?

Nutritional Coach Monica: FAD diets are meant to give quick and fast results and are marketed that way; mostly, celebrities endorse them, so the population thinks it is meant for everyone. Whereas FAD diets do not take into account the health conditions of an individual, which is very important, especially after the COVID, there are lots of other health issues which are coming up nowadays which have to be addressed before you embark on a journey of weight loss which is not taken into account while planning a FAD diet.

NourishDoc: Okay, so let’s talk through some examples, right? There are, like, and the fact has come every year for the last seven years, but what are some common ones? You could go back five years or even ten years that have come and gone out.

Nutritional Coach Monica: I’ve encountered some of them, and I’ll name a few. One is the meal replacement diet. Some people are fond of having quick and drastic losses for a holiday or a wedding. They go on three to four weeks of meal replacement; these are shakes available. So, meal replacement diets are one, and juice, vegetable juice, and detox diets are the other. Atkins is; also, the Atkin diet is another. Keto, meant for a diseased condition, has become a way of life in most youth especially. They love to follow the keto diet because it gives the fastest results.

NourishDoc: Okay, and keto is. It was meant for in nineteen seventy for the kids, right? Do you want to elaborate on that?

Nutritional Coach Monica: Keto is meant for epilepsy patients primarily, and there is another condition called Red syndrome which also may use the keto diet for its patients. But nowadays most people are using it these days.

NourishDoc: Okay, so now let’s say we are using the FAD diet; I mean, there are so many like keto, which we are supposed not, it’s supposed to be used as epilepsy, for epilepsy patients, or even Atkins. If someone is using these FAD diets, how can they affect our health? That’s what we want to understand, right?

Nutritional Coach Monica: So what happens is, these diets, especially Atkins and Keto, they both primarily focus on certain food groups which are way beyond the recommendations of any health organizations, and they also belong to the elimination of certain food groups which are also required by the healthy body to maintain a healthy body. So they don’t consider whether the person feels low energy, has insomnia or has constipation. This kind of specific kind of diet may lead to dehydration by overloading kidneys to excrete the metabolic wastes of these food groups.

Examples of Keto & FAD Diet

NourishDoc: Okay, so let’s take an example. Do you want to take an example of keto with the restriction you talked about the restrictive diet, right? Some of the FAD diets are even a juice cleanse. So, let’s take one example, whichever one you want to take.

Nutritional Coach Monica: So, okay. The keto diet primarily focuses on fats, high fats, protein, and a very limited amount, five to 10%. I am not much of a fan of the keto diet. So, very low quantity of carbohydrates. Now they consume mostly meats or oils. Non-vegetarian food, meats, and cut meats are not used in certain ethnicities. Then it becomes quite problematic, especially in certain parts of the world where they are more vegetarian.

So then they are looking for a kind of meat replacement which is again processed foods devoid of all the nutrients because processing rips off all the nutrients and processes it to the level that it’s tasty with food enhancers, thereby not giving a benefit on the contrary, by taking away the nutrients that the body would require and another thing which most of the keto patient’s experience is constipation. Constipation, unless you have eliminatory excretory organs working in order, things won’t work. The body doesn’t function properly.

So, your excretory organs must be doing better, and you eliminate all the toxins from the body; for that, you may need to have more fiber in the form of vegetables, some fruits, and also water to excrete that excess protein metabolic waste that we are consuming in the keto diet which is never a mention in that they should. Secondly, they all often mention that have green tea after meals. Now green tea or black coffee hamper the absorption of micronutrients.

Another example is that vitamin C is also required for micronutrient absorption, especially iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc, which are present in vegetables. If vegetable consumption goes down, the absorption of nutrients doesn’t happen, leading the body into more and more poor conditions, ultimately making you more unwell than making you look. It may look, and it may help you lose weight. But it takes away the body’s energy and vitality, which is not healthy for sure.

What Happens if We Eliminate Carbohydrates Daily?

NourishDoc: Absolutely, and I also want to ask you if they also limit carbohydrate intake, which you just said could be very, very small. But what happens to our body if we eliminate carbohydrates daily, right? The other deterrent is the negative part that can also harm our bodies.

Nutritional Coach Monica: See, the carbohydrate limitation is one thing, but reducing it to such a low level may lead to if you ever notice if you go on a fast, especially a water fast you will notice that you will be yawning way more because your brain requires a certain amount of glucose. If glucose is not provided to the brain, it gets duller when you continue the diet.

So hence, the body requires a certain amount of carbohydrate, which provides energy to the body and the brain. That is given primarily by carbohydrates along with fiber and other nutrients, and carbohydrates are, say, carbohydrates, rich foods that don’t come with just carbohydrates. They come along with other nutrients which are also required for the body. So that is essential that we must continue taking in some quantity, at least not eliminated.

Moreover, if you continue a keto diet, the keto diet never lasts a lifetime. So once you stop the keto diet, you gain weight as quickly as you lost, pushing the body into a yo-yo syndrome where they quickly lose weight and then regain bounce back again, sabotaging the body’s metabolism. So, next time it gets even harder to lose weight.

Suppose a person continues back and forth, gaining and losing weight. Ultimately, they do not lose weight and become fatter by the day because it’s not a long-lasting diet. It gives quick results, and you can only be on it for a while. It’s not a lifestyle; moreover, it doesn’t consider any lifestyle habits that are also required for a healthy life. It’s primarily based on the food groups, eliminating and including certain food and others.

Best Way to Lose Weight

NourishDoc: We must understand why we should not go on a FAD diet. So, what is it that we should do? Because all of us won’t lose weight, right? Most of us, not all of us, try all these measures like we are talking about the FAD diets. But if people want to lose weight, what is the way that you recommend as a nutritionist?

Nutritional Coach Monica: One thing one must understand is that you must have realistic goals. There are certain things that you must keep in mind health comes before weight loss. If you overlook the health and get weight loss, it is useless because you can’t maintain it. So, go slow, have a balanced, healthy diet which may make you lose weight slowly and gradually, and maintain it because you are using your local ethnicity situation and consuming foods that you have grown up with, not capturing the other side, other markets and taking diets which are not to your region at all.

That makes much difference to every individual in how they consume, look at, love, or hate food. You have to have a harmonious relationship with food. You cannot look at it as though it will add to your fat. You have to enjoy food to live well, follow a healthy, balanced diet, and go slow. Be patient, results do show, but they take time.

As most clients say, ” Oh, I have been fat; I have gained weight.” People take years to gain weight and want to lose weight in 2 months. Give your body at least half the time you gain weight to lose that weight and go slow, and it shows results. Healthy diet plans often show results.

NourishDoc: Thank you for educating us not to go on FAD diets. We all get so tempted by looking at those beautiful marketing campaigns and everyone looking beautiful out there. So, that’s what happened. They lure you into getting into these FAD diets, right?

Nutritional Coach Monica: That’s right, and this is primarily a marketing gimmick that everyone wants to look like that. However, everyone is a different individual with a different body shape. So it’s very important. What suits you may not suit the second body or second person. So it’s one like one shoe doesn’t fit all.

NourishDoc: Absolutely, and we’ve been talking about personalized nutrition and constitution in many of our other sessions about Ayurveda, which we are not talking about today. Today’s topic was understanding how harmful fat diets can be to our bodies and being very careful when and don’t be glued to FAD diets. Try to maintain a healthy diet. Anything else you like to add before I wrap up this beautiful session from you?

Nutritional Coach Monica: Yes, just one last thing. Only go for FAD diets after considering your health conditions; that is most important. Going into fat diets without considering your health condition is not the best option for anybody. It’s more harmful than beneficial.

NourishDoc: On that note, thank you so much. Everyone, stay tuned. We are launching a new app. So, stay tuned. I’m super excited; keep giving us feedback as you always do and supporting us with that. Thank you and namaste, and have a great evening.


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