Fad diets equal full drama

Saturday, 11 January 2014 - 2:00pm IST | Agency: DNA

We all know all to well that it’s a constant struggle to look sexy and be thin and lean and radiant and healthy and strong all at once. Yet, we all continue to expect all of this to be achieved instantly.
This desperate search for instant gratification, which has led to an increasing number of “all-in-one” diets is never ending. Diets involving gulping air rather than food and replacing meals with alcohol are examples of some of the worst attempts made to get instant results which will do more harm to the body than good. 2013 has been a year which has seen some of these unreal diets followed by people who have surely forgotten the basics of diet, health and exercise.

Breatharian diet  As the name suggests, only breathe. Don’t eat. Don’t drink. Just breathe. It is okay to come up with an idea of just living on air but why call it a diet? It’s false advertising to call something a diet when it doesn’t involve actually consuming anything at all. It is true that sometimes we voluntarily choose to live on air. But this is when we want to bring a change. When we want to make this country free of corruption. Not to lose weight and fit into a dress at the end of the week. I don’t need to tell you the health concerns following this diet. I am sure apart from a few people, most us have the common sense of not following this “diet”. Rest assured, weight loss is guaranteed (provided if you manage to survive).

Gluten-free diet As mentioned in one of my previous articles, it’s important for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, but there is no credible published research showing that a gluten-free diet should be followed by other people for weight loss or for any other reason. There is no doubt that controlling the intake of breads, pastries and cakes certainly will trim your waistline (notice how the evil foods are all made of refined flour). But let that be a decision towards a lifestyle change, not a fad approach.

Alcorexia/Drunkorexia diet A diet that follows the number game literally but with calories.
Technically, if you are required to consume 2000 kcals a day, the calories should come from the right balance of carbohydrates, protein and fats. According to this diet, bank the calories from food and use the remaining for alcohol. Liquid lunch was certainly awesome on Fridays during college, and making a daily lifestyle of it as an adult sounds like fun but after the first couple of days, along with weight loss you are going to lose nutrients, vitamins, energy and probably your liver. Possibly your brain too, but you likely lost part of it already, and that’s why you decided to follow this “diet”.

Dukan Diet A complicated high protein almost no carb diet similar to many others that did their turn and disappeared. This one is just confusing, time consuming and too rigid. The initial phase of the diet involves complete elimination of fruit and vegetables which leads to unappealing side effects from lack of energy to constipation and bad breath. Unfortunately, it’s a radical approach you don’t want to take because sooner or later the weight will creep its way back. 

Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition Diet Famously known as the Feeding Tube Diet. This diet is a shocking example of how far we can go to achieve a speedy weight loss. The diet basically involves a feeding tube to be inserted through the nose which supplies mashed liquid foods of restricted calories. This allows the body to get in a ketogenic state resulting in rapid weight loss.
Medically it is a legitimate procedure carried out for people with clinical issues. But it is scary and unpleasant to see people taking such dramatic steps for losing weight.

Cotton Ball Diet Just when I thought “what next after a tube diet” I heard about the crazy Cotton Ball Diet. It involves dipping cotton balls in fluids and chowing down this fluffy meal to feel full and prevent further eating. This sponge eating fad can keep your stomach full but eventually you will either choke or have a textile mill running in your intestine.

In many aspects of health we are smart to go to a concerned person. Such as go to the GP for a fever or a dermatologist if we break into a rash. But why is it that some people believe almost anything when it comes to diet advice? Sadly, those who follow such diets are not ignorant, but just desperate for results. Everyone loves a diet that claims, 10 kgs in 10 days but such fads will only make you lose more muscle and water than fat. And they will never last.

If you have tried or are trying any of the above, you need to stop now and start a healthier approach. Visit a nutritionist and get yourself fixed. There is a big difference between a fad diet and lifestyle change. Former is a quick fix and latter is a sustainable approach which educates you about foods and nutrition. So starting now, adapt a long term change. I promise you, you will not regret it.
Really, words fail me when I hear about so many of these bizarre fads. What I will say — again — is that dieting is generally bad for you. What everyone should do instead, is to eat right and live right. The rest will follow.

Stay Healthy!

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