Archive for the ‘Fad Diets’ Category

Fad Diets – Skinny Celebrities Can Afford the Health Costs. Can You?

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

fad-diets-featured-imageOne of the issues we face dieting is learning how to manage hunger. Whether its that mid afternoon slump, or mid morning cravings, being hungry for too long is a fast way to derail all our good intentions to turn over a new lettuce leaf.

Different strategies have in the past been proposed to deal with hunger. Some people find drinking a glass of water every time they are hungry helps. The model Gisele Bundchen is a real advocate of this approach. And judging by her stunning figure, she’s a good poster girl for increasing your fluid intake. Water has many benefits for the body, and people often simply don’t drink enough. There’s even a book on the subject that presents the view that many diseases in old age are related to a kind of entrenched state of dehydration (“Your Body’s Many Cries for Water” by F.Batmanghelid,MD).

Whilst diets composed mainly of soups are fairly common (think the Cabbage Soup diet and Liz Hurley’s favorite, the Watercress Soup Diet), this is not the healthiest way to approach soup. Nor is it likely to lead to long tern success. Diets that focus on just one vegetable or type of food are not only very boring to go on, they do not provide the range of nutrients that the body needs to function well. Could hunger actually be the body’s way of saying, ‘I need some nutrients’. Sustainable weight loss is not achieved by setting up an unrealistic eating plan that is painful to follow for more than a week and leaves you fantasizing about food all the time. Unless of course you don’t mind going to bed hungry for two years like Liz did after her son was born.

Starvation and nutrient restriction lead to loss of muscle mass and bone density. Not to mention fatigue and other possible health problems if followed long term.

The irony is that soups, including cabbage soup and watercress soup, are really good for you. They are easy to digest, and can be prepared ahead and frozen. That way you have a low kilojoule snack that is often high in fiber ready at the helm as a quick pick-me-up when hunger strikes between meals.

miso-soupAnd some soups have surprising health benefits. For example, the Japanese Miso soup has been linked with preventing liver cancer, breast cancer and skin cancer, with theories also proposed about a benefit to skin due to linoleic acid. Whether this is found to be true, it is a delicious base for your favorite vegetables, and very easy to prepare from scratch. It takes only about ten minutes to prepare, and when garnished with grated ginger is a fantastic energizing soup when you are tired.

Neither soup nor water alone will lead to weight loss, and neither should these strategies be used to extremes and become a substitute for following a healthy, balanced diet. But they provide a way to minimize excursions into old habits we are trying to change as we address the lifestyle choices that led to gaining excess weight in the first place. And by providing the nutrients your body actually needs, you’ll be creating a change in the quality of life experienced day to day.

Fad Diets: Why Are They Bad?

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

 

BCCH-TheDangersofFadDietsIt is not surprising that many people wonder why fad diets are bad when they seem to get results. You will find many sites on the internet claiming significant weight loss in just a few days. That type of weight loss is always temporary. It is usually 90% water which will be put straight back on as soon as your body rehydrates, which it must do if you are not going to suffer severe health problems or die.

Other fad diets are not so obviously crash diets with outrageous claims but they are over hyped diet plans that tend to be fashionable for a while and usually make a lot of money for the inventor in associated product sales. In the best cases these are good nutrition plans which will help you lose weight, but which you could probably have gotten for free from your doctor. In the worst cases they will prove so difficult to follow that you will give up after a week.

The bad of fad diets

lose-weight-fast1. Diets that promise quick and easy weight loss are usually based on eating more of one food type and none of another. These do not give the benefits that you would get from a balanced diet. They may suggest you take supplements but many supplements are not absorbed by the body unless they are taken along with the foods that the diet has banned. After a few weeks, if you stick to it that long, you may begin to develop nutritional deficiencies.

2. Fad diets are often boring and over restrictive. After the novelty of the first day or two, you will not enjoy your meals. You will then start to crave food constantly and will break the diet. You may even feel guilty, thinking it is your fault that you did not lose weight.

american_heart_association_logo_34083. Most fad diets do not follow recommendations of the American Heart Association and similar bodies for fat levels in the diet. Often the diet will recommend high fat foods and low carbs which if taken long term, could result in heart disease. The promoters may tell you that the diet is only intended to be followed for a short time. But you probably will not reach your goal weight in that time, and then what? You either continue with a plan that is not good for your health, or stop and probably gain back what you lost.

4. Many fad diets do not help you to incorporate enough servings of fruits and vegetables in your weight loss program, or give you the variety of foods that your body needs.

5. Quick weight loss diets are just a temporary solution and do not help you to make permanent changes to your eating habits. Permanent changes are the only way to remain at your target weight once you reach it. Fad diets encourage yo-yo diet-binge cycles of fast weight loss and equally fast weight gain. This is worse for your health and your self esteem than if you had stayed overweight all the time.

Whatever the publicity materials may say, these diets will not help you in the long term. The best way to sustain weight loss is to eat a varied and healthy diet, do not overeat, exercise regularly and avoid fad diets.