Everyone wants to lose weight quickly. This has led to a number of fad and/or crash diets hitting the market all of which claim to help you lose a lot of weight very fast. Some of the more common ones are The Atkins diet, Zone diet, Cabbage soup diet, Blood group diet, The three day diet, South beach diet, Pritikin Plan, Ornish diet and the Grapefruit diet. Older diets tend to fall out of fashion and get replaced by newer ones. While some of them may help you achieve short term weight loss, they are extremely hard to sustain for long and can be detrimental for your overall health. Weight lost during fad diet regimes usually returns the moment one stops following it. These diets usually consist of elimination one or more necessary food groups. Let us take a look at the some of the more popular ones:
One of the most popular fad diets of all time, it was introduced by Dr Atkins. It recommends low carbohydrate and high protein intake. It comprises of four phases –Induction, Ongoing Weight Loss, Pre-Maintenance and Lifetime Maintenance, all with a carefully controlled level of carbohydrate intake. Fat and protein foods like meat, cheese and egg are recommended while carbs like pasta, bread and sugar are restricted in Atkins Diet.
Why it’s bad for you: Carbohydrates are needed by the body to regulate protein and fat and to maintain adequate functioning of the brain. Lack of carbohydrate put the body in a state of ketosis (accumulation of excessive amounts of ketone bodies in body tissues and fluids due to incomplete metabolism of fat). Much of the weight loss while following this diet comes from fluid loss which puts additional load on the kidney.
The diet given by Dr Barry Sears recommends an intake of 40% of calories from carbohydrates, 30% from protein, and 30% from fats. According to Dr Sears, this ratio allows the body to achieve a hormonal balance. Food items like chicken breast, egg whites, fish, most sea foods, mushrooms, tofu, vegetables, and fruits are recommended and food items like potatoes, bananas, white bread, pasta and sugar are restricted.
Why it’s bad for you: Within each group there are certain foods you need to eat and certain items you need to avoid. Elimination of certain foods can lead to poor intake of vitamins and minerals which in the long run harm your metabolism and immune function. Also this diet is very complicated to follow.
Cabbage Soup Diet
This is a seven days diet which allows eating as much cabbage soup as you want along with a few select foods like fresh fruits, brown rice, banana, baked potato, skim milk, beef, tomatoes, which vary depending on the day. This diet promises that you’ll lose 10 pounds weight loss in one week.
Why it’s bad for you: The major part of the weight loss from such diet comes from muscle mass and water instead of fat loss. Also some dieters have claimed to have headaches and cases of flatulence.
Blood Group Diet
This was designed by Dr Peter D’Adamo, which assigns each blood group a specific diet. According to him, by following a diet designed specifically for your blood type, your body digests and absorbs food more efficiently, with the result that you lose weight.
Why it’s bad for you: Some healthy and nutritious foods are restricted for certain blood groups; this can result in a poor intake of nutrients needed for good health. For example cutting out dairy products recommended for blood group O will lead to poor intake of calcium.
The 3 Day Diet
The 3 Day Diet is one of the most popular fad diets. It is particularly popular among people who try to achieve short-term weight loss. It outlines a strict menu to be followed for three days followed by 4-5 days of normal eating.
Why it’s bad for you: Mostly the weight loss is due to fluid loss. Usually lost weight is gained back when a person resumes normal eating; in fact due to the fact that during those 3 days you eat very less most people tend to gain even more weight when they resume eating normally.
Basically fad diets don’t work because of the following reasons. They
- Tend to emphasize on very strict diet or eliminations.
- Emphasize on particular food group and neglects other important nutrients.
- Not sustainable.
- Rebound weight gain once normal diet resumes.
- Following a fad diet can lead to side effects and serious health problems.
With severe restriction of calories or elimination of certain foods, the body may not get the nutrients it needs. Most fad diets restrict carbohydrate intake which is the major source of energy. When your body goes without certain foods for so long, you’ll begin to crave those foods, and end up overeating.
Fad diets cannot replace a well-balanced weight loss plan customized according to individual needs that controls calories, includes exercise and allow a wide variety of healthy foodsFirst Published: Nov 26, 2012 at 9:30 AM