Thinking about getting on a diet? Does it make you scared to imagine what all you will have to quit eating to get your dream body? If yes, then you got the concept of dieting wrong. So today, it’s time you get familiar with actual dieting.
Diet is a term derived from the Greek word “diaita” which basically means the way of life or the way of living. Hence, a diet was not just a pattern of eating to lose weight as we are familiar with it nowadays. Instead, it is the type of lifestyle a person has, which includes their eating habits and lifestyle habits. There are numerous diets around the world, some are more popular than others, but still, they fail to accomplish their purpose most of the time. You must have tried at least one of them to lose weight but got disappointed with the progress you were making as they were not sustainable.
Thus, in this article, we will look at the possible reasons why the trending and fad diets nowadays don’t really work and why most diets fail. More importantly, you will even learn about the best ways to maintain your health and achieve your fitness goals.
Trending and Fad Diets
To know why diets don’t work, let’s analyze some of the trending and fad diets nowadays and weigh the advantages and disadvantages to get a better understanding of where the approach goes wrong. While there are all sorts of diets that you can go for, following are some of the most popular trending and fad diets:
This diet mimics our ancestors who were hunters and gatherers and was prevalent around 10,000 years ago. Mainly a paleo diet means having whole foods, fruits, meat, nuts, seeds, etc. while avoiding any processed food items, dairy, legumes, and grains. Although, this is a controversial diet as most people consider current agriculturally produced food to be comparatively unhealthier since modern agriculture is not considered as good as the one during the caveman era.
- Helpful with type 2 diabetes.
- Reduces inflammation and digestive stress.
- Helps with weight loss.
- A very restrictive diet with limited food options.
- It is sometimes possible to overeat.
- This diet primarily requires a person to consume meat which is impossible for vegetarians.
- The absence of grains and other food groups can lead to the loss of certain vitamins and minerals.
The Keto diet is one of the most popular currently trending diets because of the relatively faster results that come with it initially. Keto is a low carbohydrate high-fat diet. But as carbs are also important for the body, not getting enough of them will put your body in a metabolic state called ketosis. In this state, your body doesn’t have enough carbs for energy requirements and instead uses fat for energy. A standard keto diet has 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbs.
- Reduces appetite which helps in being consistent with dieting.
- Speeds up metabolism.
- Helps in weight loss when in a calorie deficit.
- Great for type 2 diabetes.
- Helps in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Improves symptoms of metabolic syndrome.
- Very restrictive
- Can get expensive
- May lead to loss of muscle mass
- Not enough energy to workout
- Almost impossible for Indians as legumes and rice are our staple food
- Can cause issues with your lipid profile
- Unsustainable in the long run
- Low in fiber
- During the initial weeks, you may experience Keto flu which has symptoms like digestive discomfort, headaches, nausea, and lack of energy.
An intermittent fasting diet is among the most trending ones and almost every other person has given it a shot. Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that includes consuming two meals a day and fasting for 12-16 hours every day. Well, it works by putting you in a calorie deficit by excluding one whole meal from your diet. Even though some do pretty well with intermittent fasting, it is not for everyone.
- As it involves fasting for a time period, it is not very restrictive in calories and food items
- Helps in reducing inflammation
- It may help in boosting metabolism
- It may or may not be helpful with type 2 diabetes
- Can improve heart conditions
- Helps in weight loss
- Increases cravings
- During the initial stages, you can feel headaches, bloating, nausea, etc.
- In women especially who suffer from PCOS long hours of fasting can worsen insulin resistance
- Unsustainable in the long run
- Disturbed sleep
800-1000 Calorie Diet
Such a type of diet is used very rarely and under the supervision of a specialized doctor as it has potential risks involved. Here basically, you will be consuming very low-calorie food items aimed at rapid weight loss. Hence, such a diet is used only in the cases of adults who are obese and those who are at a medical risk because of their weight. You should not get on such a diet without consulting a doctor as an average adult male needs 2000 Kcal and a female needs 1600 Kcal a day even with a sedentary lifestyle.
- Can help in reducing weight rapidly to manage morbid obesity
- Can help with diabetes, cholesterol
- Too low calories can slow down metabolism
- Unsustainable for longer periods
- This can lead to low energy and fatigue
- Can lead to hair fall, muscle loss, dull skin, and amenorrhea.
High Protein Diet
A high protein diet includes higher protein and mostly low carbohydrates. It’s considered a safe option for a shorter period of time. Here, you would be consuming more protein than required. And you will have to avoid highly processed food items and focus on choosing healthy protein sources from plants and animals.
- Reduces hunger cravings
- Can boost metabolism
- Helps in weight loss
- Helps in increasing muscle mass
- Limiting carbs too much can lead to deficiency in some nutrients
- Can affect kidneys by creating harmful metabolic waste
- Can increase ammonia and uric acid levels in the blood.
- Unsustainable in the long run
Where does the problem lie?
Following a diet for a longer period of time is a difficult task and requires consistent effort. And after analyzing the trending and fad diets you can surely understand that these are not sustainable even if you follow them diligently. Because they focus primarily on losing weight instead of considering your nutritional needs.
The majority of people look for quick or dramatic results and thus resort to extreme eating styles. Fad diets, excessive supplementation, and severe calorie restrictions can cause both psychological and physiological harm to you. It can include issues like eating disorders, depression, anxiety, heart diseases, cancers, and autoimmune disorders. They create a deficiency of various nutrients, vitamins, and minerals by restricting a whole food group or longer fasting periods. And repeatedly losing weight by adopting these fad diets can lead to extreme stress on the body and disrupt the body’s BMR, and fuel rate, and increase fat cell storage.
Now, coming to the part where we figure out a solution of creating a balanced diet that will help in getting a healthy body and mind, you can consider the following lifestyle changes:
- Reduce saturated fats: These fats are known to increase your cholesterol level and increase the risk of heart disease.
- Portion sizes: Being mindful of the portion sizes can help in avoiding overeating.
- Variety in meals: Keeping variety in meals will prevent your body from getting used to a specific food item. Hence, it will be effective in weight loss.
- Good water intake: Water has a lot of benefits for your body therefore it is important to have at least 3-4 liters of water every day.
- Salads in meals: Try to take salads with at least two of your meals a day to increase fiber intake, feel full in fewer calories, and for vitamins and minerals from vegetables.
- Proper sleep: Disturbed or less sleep can increase your cravings and make you less energetic. Hence, make sure to sleep for 7-9 hours.
- Food to avoid: Avoid junk and highly processed food.
- Exercise: A daily physical activity of 30-45 mins can improve your quality of life with a lot of benefits.
- High fiber diet: Including more fiber in your diet can help in improving your digestion while making you feel fuller with fewer calories aiding weight loss.
- Reduce stress: High stress is known to increase the risk of heart-related issues, depression, and many such health problems.
Although you will not see instant results with these lifestyle changes, you will definitely start to feel better over time as your body will get the nourishment it was meant to have. And these are the only habits that are sustainable in the long run without much restriction or leaving out any food groups.
A sound and effective diet is required for weight management and health which often comes in the form of well-balanced eating habits and lifestyle adjustments which requires consistency and patience. We hope you liked reading this article, please make sure to leave your thoughts and queries in the comments below.