The word ‘Fad’ means a trend, a whim, a craze. That’s exactly what fad diets are: Crazy diets!
Fad diets are mostly imbalanced in their nutritional approach. They may lack required energy, protein and vital vitamins and minerals that are essential for health, and run a high risk of leading to nutritional deficiencies. They are not only unhealthy, but also counter-productive to our final goal: an ideal body.
Scientifically designed balanced diets based on sports nutrition will make us lean & athletic, provided we workout right. Fad diets on the other hand will simply make us lose weight by a loss of shapely muscle & weaken us very much like illness does. It will lower the basal metabolic rate & set the person up for further fat gain the moment he gets off the fad diet (commonly known as the Yo-Yo syndrome.) These fad diets will not even allow the body to workout intensely to reach peak fitness levels.
We all need to wake up to one fact – Fad diets do not work. They do not produce sustainable weight loss. They do not change our body composition to that ‘sculpted, toned’ body we all yearn for. But scientific balanced diets do. And beautifully fast!
But the common man finds it easier to believe in ‘magic’ than in science!
IDENTIFYING A FAD DIET
How can you tell what is a scientific diet and what is pseudo-science or ‘fad’?
To find out, ask 3 simple questions:
1. Does the diet exclude one or more of the major food group(s)?
Each food group supplies essential nutrients, and all food groups have to be balanced for an individual as per his/her requirement. Exclusion of any food group (e.g. cereals/ pulses, fruits, vegetables, milk or meats) is the first sign of imbalance and nutritional deficiencies.
2. Does the diet promise you a ‘quick fix’? Are its claims ‘too good to be true’? For example: unrealistic targets of 4-5kg weight loss per week?
Since fat oxidation is a physiologically slow process, scientific facts and data of scientific weight loss programs show that loss of excess body fat can only occur at an average rate of ½ kg per week, going up to 1kg per week in a metabolically active body. A diet promising 4-5kg weight loss per week is obviously targeting loss of body fluids and lean tissues, which are denser and heavier.
3. Does the diet make strong sweeping statements with no scientific basis?
For example: “Avoid salty foods as they cause weight gain.” Sodium does not cause fat gain and needs to only be avoided by hypertensives and those with problems of fluid retention.
“Avoid all oils for fat loss”. Good quality essential fats are a must for normal body functioning and actually help in faster fat-burning and lowering of cholesterol levels.
If your answer to any of the above 3 questions is YES, then it is definitely a fad diet. DON’T FALL PREY!
(This is an original article written by Gauri Murthy)