Fad Diets – Side Effects

Introduction and background

According to popular diet advice, bad diets (also known as fad diets) are generally those diets that are unhealthy and do not address the problems that caused you to gain weight in the first place. If you don’t learn something about the foods you eat, you will gain the weight back when you re-establish old eating habits.


Definition of bad diet (fad diet)

Any weight loss program or aid or diet that promises to produce rapid or speedy weight loss in a very short amount of time is a fad or bad diet. Each type of fad diet varies in the amount of food that is restricted and what types of foods may be restricted.

Many of such diets lead to a rapid weight loss that is quickly regained when normal eating resumes. Others may cause you to miss out on essential nutrients. Still others promote eating habits that may lead to high intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol, possibly increasing the risk for heart disease and some types of cancer.

Following are some of the major side effects or consequences associated with bad diets.
1- Unbalanced and unhealthy: Some so called fat burning diets frequently require the elimination of perfectly healthy foods. As a result, what you eat is not a healthy, balanced combination of food and lacks several vital minerals and portions of food such as complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber or essential fatty acids.


2- Can cause starvation: If a fat burning diet plan asks you to a skip a meal in a day, it probably will not work for you. In reality, it could cause quite the opposite effect i.e. weight gain by slowing your metabolism. That’s why; having frequent smaller meals instead of 2 or 3 larger meals in a day is always preferred.


3- Can devoid you of exercise: Most bad diets claim that with their regular use, you would continue to lose weight even if you don’t exercise. This is completely untrue. In fact, to achieve long-term weight loss goals, a perfect combination of diet and exercise is must.


4- Results are temporary: Bad diets may be effective for weight loss in the short term because you will lose some extra fluid as well as some fat. However, the weight loss is usually temporary because you’re going to return to your old eating habits when you go off the diet. In a few weeks, your weight will be right back where it was before the diet.


5- Inconsistent effects: Another problem with bad diets is that these diets only work when you stay on them so that means you have to be on a diet the rest of your life to be successful.


6- Expensive in long run: Naturally, when one has to strictly follow a certain diet regiment and for long time period, it will definitely cause a burden on the user’s pocket


7- Undesirable health hazards: Some of diets contain ephedrine, a dangerous, addictive drug that is not only illegal in high-level athletes, but also potentially deadly because it can increase incidence of strokes, seizures, and heart attacks. They are even more dangerous when combined with caffeine or other herbs. These dangerous chemicals can also be found in teas and drinks.


8- Risk of excessive fluid loss / dehydration: Most bad diets cause paid and excessive fluid loss. This naturally results in fast weight loss and many dieters mistakenly think of this as a major benefit of such diets. Typically, this levels off after 8-12 weeks. When normal intake of carbs resumes, the weight is usually regained. Also, excessive fluid loss in the early stage of such diets (e.g. low carb diet regime) can cause low blood pressure resulting in dizziness and fainting.


9- Constipation: A diet restricted in carbohydrates will not permit sufficient fiber from fruits, grains or vegetables. Result? Constipation is a frequent side-effect of low carb dieting. On the other hand, fiber itself is important in causing sustained and long term weight loss which is usually deficient in these diets.


10- Frustration: The meal plan for these so called low carb or fat burning diets is very strict and demands that participants make no changes. With the exception of a choice between coffee and tea, no options are offered. Because the diet is so demanding, dieters are likely to give up before they have finished and might potentially be frustrated from attempting to diet in the future as a result.


How to identify bad diets?

Here are some “signs” are common in any typical fad diet:
• Blames weight gain on things like blood type, personality, or hormones
• Carries no warnings for individuals with health problems to seek medical advice before beginning the plan
• Carries warnings of danger from one of the products
• Discourages drinking water
• Doesn’t address the need for portion control
• Doesn’t allow freedom and flexibility
• Doesn’t recommend or include physical activity
• Encourages unlimited consumption of certain foods
• Forbids or limits certain foods
• Ignores individual differences in weight loss
• Lists good and bad foods
• Must combine certain foods in each meal
• Must pay a good amount of money to get results
• Promises a “quick fix” with little to no effort
• Rapid weight loss, more than 2 pounds a week
• Requires you to purchase a certain product
• Severe limits on carbohydrates or fat
• Simple conclusions drawn from complex studies
• Sounds too good to be true
• Uses testimonials or case studies to show results
• You must drink your daily calorie intake


Therefore, it is best to believe that the best diet is one that includes all foods, one that will help you develop healthy eating habits for a lifetime. You should better talk to your registered dietitian or do your own research about an approach that is healthful, effective and works for you. Also, don’t forget to include a natural or herbal appetite diet pill or appetite suppressant to potentiate the effects of your chosen diet.