A 15-day detox program guaranteed to shred those extra pounds may sound like the best thing you’ve ever heard of, but the reality of such schemes may be far different.
Dieting is a tried and tested way to drop that extra weight, but specific rules make them work. For starters, diets rarely work if you follow them alone, without any other significant lifestyle changes. Fad diets, however, throw away all the rules and claim to melt off all the fat in just a few days without you having to do anything else.
It’s pretty simple to spot a fad diet. They offer quick fixes to significant issues, focus on restricting your diet to specific food groups, have rigid rules, and claim to ‘melt fat.’ The last one has yet to be scientifically and logically proven! Rarely ever do fad diets deliver on the claims they make. So, if you want to squeeze back into your summer clothes before the weather gets warmer, you might be trying the wrong thing. If you’re still unsure, keep reading below to learn why fad diets are terrible for your health and weight loss journey.
Fad diets aren’t personalized
One of the most common side effects of fad diets is that they can cause you to develop malnutrition. Crash diets focus their claims on making you drop pounds by following a severely restrictive diet. Crash diets aren’t based on your specific health concerns and requirements and don’t have any room for personalization. They follow a one-size-fits-all approach and don’t consider each individual’s metabolism, current weight, body type, and other health issues.
Instead of following an ill-advised fad diet, getting nutrition counseling is the best way to achieve your weight and body shape goals. Counseling involves addressing your unique nutritional needs based on your genes, body type, health, metabolism, and other factors. The nutritionist then lays out the best healthy eating plan to help you reach your goals without starving yourself to death because a popular blog told you to. When you have a diet plan tailored to your weight plans and body requirements, you’ll achieve faster and long-lasting results.
Fad diets are stressful
One of the best ways to distinguish a fad diet from a well-planned diet plan is that it often offers instantaneous results. You’ll often hear of fantastical claims stating that you’ll go from a size large to a size small in no time. Most fad diets last only a few weeks, which makes their effects temporary too. You may start to lose weight while you’re on your detox diet, but you’ll begin to put it back on just as fast when you finish it. This alone can lead to steadily decreasing self-esteem and self-perception.
Even if you chose to follow these diets on and off, the restrictive plan makes them hard to stick to. Most fad diets severely restrict or entirely omit fats and carbs, which cut out a considerable portion of foods. Most fruits, vegetables, and grains have no place in these diets, and you’ll be stuck eating just a handful of foods on repeat.
Following such a restrictive regimen can intensify your cravings unlike anything else. It can also make you prone to periods of binge-eating when you’re taking a break from the said fad diet. What follows afterward is a period of purging, feeling guilty, and stressing over food choices. Fad diets thus negatively impact not just your physical health but your mental well-being too.
Fad diets burn muscle mass, not fat
While adhering to a fad diet, you may start to lose weight in just a week after starting. However, most of this weight loss may be lean muscle mass, as opposed to fat. Fat is notoriously hard to burn – or melt. And it can only happen through a healthy diet that contains high-quality carbs and proteins and regular cardiovascular exercise. Lean muscle, in contrast, is much easier to burn. When you deprive your body of essential calories and nutrients, the body starts breaking down muscle mass to compensate. Losing muscle mass further reduces your metabolism and can make weight loss much harder.
Most people following fad diets look for an aesthetic weight loss solution, and losing muscle mass is counterproductive to reaching their goals. Building muscle mass is essential to lose fat and to develop a firm, sculpted body. Without muscle mass, you’ll have saggy skin and stubborn fat, which won’t go no matter how hard you try. If you’re not using your muscles, are dropping weight too fast, and feel tired all the time, there’s a good chance you’re burning away muscle mass and not melting fat.
They can cause digestive issues
Few people are aware of the fact that fad diets can cause extensive damage to the gut microbiome. Healthy bacteria in the gut are essential for helping our body absorb nutrients, produce vitamins, and digest food. However, restrictive fad diets can make us starve out friendly bacteria, leading to severe digestive issues. Restrictive diets can damage our intestinal lining, and losing healthy bacteria can cause our immunity to drop and hormone regulation to fail.
Fad diets can cause severe diarrhea, which can dehydrate you immensely due to the diet’s lack of fiber. As you continue to stick to the restrictive plan, you can develop chronic constipation, significantly impacting your quality of life and your health.
It’s understandable to want the quickest possible fix for your weight-loss concerns and body-image issues. However, it’s essential to understand that sustainable weight loss comes not from fad diets but an overall healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet. Through regular exercise and clean eating according to your body’s needs, you can easily reach your health, weight, and self-esteem goals. It’s important, above all, to be kind to your body and understand your unique nutritional needs so you don’t deprive yourself of essential nutrients.