Fad Diets


With the summer holidays under go and many people jetting off on their holidays soon , its really important that you really understand that side effects of fad diets. Fad diets are used as a quick way to lose weight , by reducing calories to an extreme where our bodies can really suffer in the long run.

So how do we spot a ‘Fad Diet’ ?

Typically, a fad diet shares some, or all, of the following characteristics:

  • Promises a quick fix

  • Promotes 'magic' foods or combinations of foods

  • Implies that food can change body chemistry

  • Excludes or severely restricts food groups or nutrients, such as carbohydrates

  • Has rigid rules that focus on weight loss

  • Makes claims based on a single study or testimonials only.

So how can fad diets affect our health?

Side effects can be anything from fatigue, dizziness, cold intolerance and hair loss and can later lead to more serious side effects. 

One of the ways these fad diets effect our body is that they alter our metabolism. This is due to the fact that when an individual follows a diet consisting of food restrictions, it goes against the natural pattern of their body telling them when to eat and stop eating. Your body needs calories to function and quite frankly keep your metabolism in working order. 

Crash diets, where you go to an extreme low calorie whether that’s through liquids or foods can lead to your body defending itself against weight loss by reducing calorie burning so it runs for efficiently (adaptive thermogenesis) in other words your hard work can be very counterproductive.

Another effect is that most people end up gaining the weight back. Fad diets usually help people lose a couple pounds in a short period of time. However, most of that lost weight is simply water weight. Once an individual goes back to their normal eating habits, they will gain the weight right back. Often times, people deprive themselves of food for so long that they end up binge eating, which results in gaining more weight than they began with. Constantly trying fad diets also makes it harder to lose weight in the future.

The last problem with fad diets is that they cause nutritional deficiencies in people. Since these diets restrict people from eating certain types of foods, our body is being deprived of certain important nutrients. Many fad diets prohibit the consumption of carbs or fats. However, these nutrients are an essential source of energy for us. By not consuming them it can cause your body to function improperly, which could be harmful to your health. Some health issues could be hair and muscle loss.

The answer is a balanced diet plan

It’s pretty simple really, calories in vs calories out, and for anyone that watches or listens to James Smith should understand this one very well. On average the daily calorie intake is between 2000-2500 for men and women. When you want to lose a few pounds then drop these calories by around 300-500. Mixed with some exercise you’ll soon find yourself feeling healthier!

But what kind of foods should we consume?

Low calorie, high nutrient foods are the way forward. You can really fill yourself with lots of veggies and lean meats which means you really really don’t have to starve yourself to lose those extra pounds.

So basically what you need to do is;

  • Eat plenty of vegetables, legumes and fruits.

  • Include a variety of cereals (including breads, rice, pasta and noodles), preferably wholegrain.

  • Include lean meat, fish, poultry or alternatives.

  • Include milk, yoghurts, cheeses or alternatives.

  • Drink plenty of water.

  • Limit saturated fat and moderate total fat intake.

  • Choose reduced fat varieties of foods where possible.

  • Choose foods low in salt.

  • Limit your alcohol intake, if you choose to drink.

  • Consume only moderate amounts of sugars, and food and drinks containing added sugars. In particular, limit sugar-sweetened beverages.

Another great simple way to keep your nutrition balanced is;

  • half a plate of veggies

  • quarter of a plate of lean meat

  • quarter of a place of carbohydrates ( rice, pasta, potato )

    A healthy lifestyle is easier than you think

    Changing your eating and physical activity habits can be difficult at first. But once you've started, it's easy to sustain. Here are a few tips to help ease the transition:

    • Combine an active lifestyle with healthy eating.

    • Make small, achievable, lifelong changes to your lifestyle and eating habits.

    • Keep portions moderate in size.

    • Eat until you have had enough – not until you are full.

    • Do your best to avoid eating when you are not hungry.

    • Recognise that on some days you might be hungrier than on other days.

    • Eat slowly and enjoy your food.

    • Eat regular meals including breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    • Reduce the amount of 'extra' or 'sometimes' foods that you eat.

    Examples of 'sometimes' foods include biscuits, cakes, desserts, pastries, soft drinks and high fat snack items such as crisps, pies, pasties, sausage rolls, other takeaway foods, lollies and chocolate.

    If you would like any further guidance with your goals and nutrition then do not hesitate to contact me here at the studio