Nutrition

Fad Diets For Weight Loss | Problems Explained

By Myprotein Writer

Danny Worf Spicer

If you have ever been on a fad diet, do not worry, you are not alone! Millions of people in the UK follow these fad diets every year but never seem to be able to beat the bulge for good.

Fad diets often have initial success but they are extremely hard to stick to and it can be dangerous if you do. Fad diets only provide a short-term fix for your weight loss dilemma and won’t help you keep the weight off in the long term.

What Is Classed As A ‘Fad Diet?’

There are many different types of fad diets in many shapes of forms, whether they consist of ‘soup-only’ diets to those with the allowance of just juices.

It is worth noting that we’re not talking about the diets that are approached sensibly and cautiously, as advised by a medical professional. We’re talking about the diets that have been heard through word of mouth or sold as ‘quick fixes’ that haven’t been tailored specifically to an individuals’ health benefit.

These diets are often advertised to promise to lose a certain amount of weight within a set time which entices the customer to think they are going to get a quick fix.

Most people will experience a large amount of weight loss when starting these diets, however, people do not realise that the majority of this will be water loss and precious stored glycogen (energy) from their muscles. This tricks them into thinking that their diet is working and that they have lost 15lbs of fat in two weeks. This is not possible, nor is it healthy.

Fat loss is a slow process which requires a consistent caloric deficit, measured by an individual’s needs.

1500 calories a day diet

Excluding Food Groups

Fad diets often force you to exclude certain foods or food groups from your diet and these often contain necessary nutrients which keep your body healthy.  As a by-product, following these restrictive diets may place your body at risk of becoming unwell due to a lack of proper nutrition to nourish your body.

Whilst not consuming enough of any nutrient may not cause you any immediate issues, going a long time without getting enough in, you may experience some serious health problems.

Your body needs a healthy, balanced diet in order to develop properly and to function day to day. This means consuming a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat – as well as micronutrients.

Missing Nutrients

Fad diets, in one way or another, will take an essential nutrient away from your body that it needs. Whether it be no carbs for a month or eliminating fat from your diet,  these diets take away an essential part of our diet.

healthy meal prep

This is why these diets are unmaintainable, people cannot sustain eating this way for long periods of time and when they finally break the urge and potentially binge, they will eat much more to compensate for the lack of food.

These essential components of our diet can cause serious health issues if they are not consumed for a longer period of time. For example…

Reducing Fat Consumption

Fat consumption is necessary for hormone level regulation, when we do not consume fats our hormones have a high chance of working sporadically.

A low-fat diet will significantly change your hormone levels and this can cause you to feel tired and reduce your moods.

Testosterone levels in men will significantly drop which may cause them to become weaker in the gym, significantly affecting their performance.

What’s The Proper Way To ‘Diet’?

The main problem with fad diets is that the people that use them never truly learn proper nutrition, how to actually lose weight and how to do it healthily. It’s simply a case of becoming aware of the damage of quick fixes.

How Fad Diets May Affect Your Metabolism

It’s important for individuals to understand that once they’re down to their desired weight, it will be more likely than not they will immediately return back to previous eating habits – which can cause tremendous amounts of weight gain.

This promotes yo-yo dieting, which will more often than not cause damaging effects on metabolism, often slowing it down and making it difficult to achieve fat loss long term.

mediterranean diet

How To Lose Fat Safely?

Fat loss is down to calories in vs calories out. If you expend more energy than you consume, your body will burn fat!

In order to burn fat, you need to work out your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) in order to know how much food you need to consume.

For example: For a cutting diet it could be recommended that you subtract 200-500 calories from your
TDEE, this will result in around 0.5-1lb of fat loss a week.

It is not recommended to lose any more than this a week unless you are obese, if you are obese you should aim for around 2lb a week of fat loss.

This is a healthy rate to lose body fat whilst making sure your body has all of the nutrients it needs and does not shut down due to the effects of extreme weight loss.

Read More On BMR & Creating Your Own Nutrition Plan

Take Home Message

Restrictive diets that haven’t been advised by a medical professional may cause havoc with your hormones and metabolism.

Work out the calculations for your own nutritional needs and introduce yourself to a healthy, consistent lifestyle!

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you're concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

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