Fad or Flab?

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The fad diet isthe weight loss program that  promise instant results.Fad dieting puts your heath at risk. The desire to become slim and look like a supermodel creates false realities in which most women can never obtain. There are hundreds of fad diets out there from the “all cabbage” and the “vinegar” diet to all liquid. Because we all want that “magic bullet” and quick fix the REAL reality is the best method is that old slow, boring yet SAFE way which is harder, but permanent and healthy. The fad diets are mostly fasting diet programs that alter the nutritional balance of your body, which can cause hypoglycemic coma, stroke, anorexia and heat attacks. Even the “good” fad methods have serious stress starvation on the body.  Even those liquids which claim to be “nutrient rich” cause a starvation effect which in turn causes a severe stress to your system. Unless your weight loss is steady and regular and balanced, various health effects will happen from starvation dieting. Diets low in carbs place may of the wrong kind of fats into the body, while vegetarian diets and low protein can cause muscle wasting.   There are also psychological effects as well.  The Journal of Neuroscience did a study and researchers found that diets that restricted calories and fat intake caused stress levels to become significantly elevated after 3 weeks. In addition, when subjects were exposed to stress, they engaged in binge eating behavior. These findings suggest that the stress caused by highly restrictive diets increases binge eating which is counterproductive to weight loss.

The sensational claims associated with fad diets may lead you to believe that weight loss is quick and easy. Such statements give a false sense of hope and may cause you to set unattainable goals. Therefore, it can be a psychological letdown if you fail to lose weight as quickly as you anticipated or if you are unable to shed the number of pounds you hoped to.

Psychologists have termed the phrase “learned helplessness” in 1967 to describe situations in which people feel helpless despite their ability to take control of it. If you try a few fad diets and they do not provide you with the results you anticipated, you may come to perceive your inability to lose weight as helplessness. In fact, researchers found that unsuccessful diets causes feelings of failure and helplessness which lower self-esteem. Although fad diets may let you down, there are many tried and true weight loss plans that have been in existence for years that might work for you, although just setting yourself up for success in planning a healthy diet with a few small manageable steps rather than one big drastic change can help. If you approach the change gradually and with commitment, you will have a healthy diet and results sooner than you think.

  • Simplify. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories or measuring portion sizes, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness. This way it should be easier to make healthy choices. Focus on finding foods you love and easy recipes that incorporate a few fresh ingredients. Gradually, your diet will become healthier and more delicious.
  • Start slow and make changes to your eating habits over time. Trying to make your diet healthy overnight isn’t realistic or smart. Changing everything at once usually leads to cheating or giving up on your new eating plan. Make small steps, like adding a salad (full of different color vegetables) to your diet once a day or switching from butter to olive oil when cooking.  As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices to your diet.
  • Every change you make to improve your diet matters. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet. The long term goal is to feel good, have more energy, and reduce the risk of cancer and disease. Don’t let your missteps derail you—every healthy food choice you make counts!
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