20080707

Fad diet - Fat Chance

Thinking about trying one of those far fangled fad diets, fat chance. Please don't. Here is why.

There have been many breakthrough diets over the years but all of them have come and gone. They have all been ineffective at helping people achieve a healthy weight for length durations.

Here are some of the most popular:
  • The Atkins Diet was very popular. The Atkins diet plan is a low carbohydrate method. The avoidance of carbohydrates in your diet is structured to keep your body from adding weight. The method includes eating less than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. Justin Leonard from LeonardFitness.com writes about why this type of nutritional undertaking is a bad idea.
    If someone were to be consistent with the Atkins Diet, they may run into the following problems: acetone breath, gout (painful inflammation of the joints), high cholesterol (LDL = bad), kidney damage, weakness, bad (acne) or dry skin, thinning hair, increased risk of heart attack, yellowish instead of white eye balls, set back or sunken eye balls, catabolism (muscle loss), frequent urination, vitamin and mineral loss, mood swings, headaches, dizzy spells, and other health related problems due to improper nutrition balance.

  • Weight Watchers is still a diet that is going strong and it is even being used by some of my friends. Again, Leonard offers his opinion:
    While on the Weight Watchers Diet, the goal is to eat only the maximum allowable points or less for your body weight and type. The problem is that someone's maximum amount of points can be 25, for example. They can eat nothing throughout an entire day, then eat the whole 25 points [or a good portion of the 25 points] later in the evening to satisfy midnight cravings.

    This could be an accident waiting to happen, even if you're under your maximum allowable points! When you do this, your body basically says, "Thanks! You've starved me! Now I must hold onto these fat calories because I feel deprived of what I need! I want to prepare myself for another potential 'long drought' without food."

  • Liquid diets are also thought of as a quick fix. Leonard also writes about liquid diets:
    On a liquid diet, you will lose weight fast, mainly muscle. You will also lose some fat. You will quickly gain the weight back when you return to your normal eating habits...
    A liquid diet will temporarily decrease the size/capacity of the muscles, making them less efficient. Most of the body's water is stored within the muscles. A rapid decrease in lean muscle mass will slow the body's ability to burn fat. We also know that muscle weighs more than fat, which explains the rapid weight loss.

    Please visit LeonardFitness.com for more fitness information

  • As for detox diets, Professor Alan Boobis OBE, Toxicologist, Division of Medicine, Imperial College London states that "The body’s own detoxification systems are remarkably sophisticated and versatile. They have to be, as the natural environment that we evolved in is hostile. It is remarkable that people are prepared to risk seriously disrupting these systems with unproven ‘detox’ diets, which could well do more harm than good."
    Highly restrictive detox diets such as Water fasting or the Master Cleanse are not the safest form of weight loss. These diets may result in nutrient deficiencies. Of particular concern is lack of protein, which may result in wasting of muscle tissue, due to insufficient amino acids for repair. With less lean muscle tissue, the body's metabolic needs decrease, which hampers weight loss efforts unless calories are lessened further in the diet.


Be sure to read the rest of this week's posts as I write about carbohydrates, fat, and protein and on Friday when I give you my version of the perfect diet.

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