In the recent past there has been an increase in number of people who are obese and overweight. This can be attributed to modern sedentary lifestyle where people eat unhealthy diet, exercise less and do not engage in physically demanding jobs. Governments across the globe have raised concern over the high number of obese and overweight people since they are prone to lifestyle diseases that pile pressure on the existing public health infrastructure. Indeed, governments especially in developed countries have increased taxes on junk food as well as demanding fast food joints to display advisory warnings against excessive consumption of junk food. To tame the increasing number of people living unhealthy lives, a number of measures and tactics have been developed to guide people on healthy living (Koch, 2010).
Nonetheless, there has been a number of weight management tactics that are not founded in scientific facts but they are purely based on pseudoscience. They promise weight-loss to a healthy weight in a record time that is not based on concrete scientific data. Fad diets fall in this category. Currently, the fad diets industry is generating billions of dollars yearly as overweight and obese people as well as healthy people ready to lose weight look for fast and stress-free way to lose weight. Fad diets cannot be relied on to develop a healthy weight losing program in the long term. Indeed, following fad diet program can be detrimental to one’s health (Koch, 2010).
The main myth popularized by proponents of fad diets is that the diets work for permanent weight loss. Scientific research has shown that fad diet are the least effective way for one to lose weight and people are advised to keep off fad diets. Usually, fad diets promise a rapid weight loss or advise one to stop taking specific foods previously in their diet. Although, it is easier to follow the restrictive diets and lose weight at the initial stages, it becomes extremely hard to follow the strict diet regime. Indeed, many people who fall for the fad diet fallacy end up gaining more wait once they stop to take the diet. Fad diets are unhealthy because they do not provide the body with all of the nutrients it needs. Moreover, a rapid loss of weight of more than 1.4 kilograms per week increases one’s risk of developing gallstones. Clinicians also need to train people that a diet that provide less than 800 calories per day could trigger abnormal heart rhythm that can turn fatal. People should be advised to lose not more than ½ kilogram every week by taking healthy foods, increasing physical activities and eating moderate portions. Healthy eating habits and regular physical exercises not only lead to healthy weight management but it also reduces the likelihood of suffering from lifestyle diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes (Daniels, 2004).
Fad diets advocates argue that taking a diet high on proteins and low in carbohydrates helps in weight loss. Proteins such as meat and eggs contain substantial amount of fat and cholesterol which if taken in high quantity increases chances of suffering from heart attacks. Taking too few vegetables, whole grain and fruits often lead to constipation due to inadequate fiber in the body. People who take a high protein and low carbohydrate diet are often weak and get tired easily. Inadequate intake of carbohydrates increases chance of developing ketones in blood in which the body secretes huge amount of uric acid-a leading cause of kidney stones and gout. Furthermore, fad diets supporters propagate the misconception that skipping meals will help in weight loss. On the converse, research has shown that people who skip meals and tend to eat less times in a day struggle with weight issues than people who eat regularly. Skipping a meal makes one more hungry thus the person ends up consuming more food than he or she would eat. The argument that lifting weight when in a weight loss diet is unhealthy is unfounded nor is the notion that consuming nuts, red meat and dairy products is unhealthy (Whyte, Marting & Pennachio, 2005).
A health care provider is the best resource for information when it comes to matter of weight loss and dieting. A competent doctor will advise you on your perfect weight and calculate the correct amount of calories one need to consume on a daily basis that would ensure you either lose weight or maintain a healthy one. Before taking into an exercise schedule, consult a dietician or health care personnel to advice the exercise that would be fine with your body to avoid unnecessary strain. Following a healthy weight loss and maintenance program enables a person to eat all types of food in moderation and one is more physically active. Medically guided weight loss not only involves proper eating and exercise but it also trains one on lifestyle change such that one can discard lifestyle habits that led to unhealthy weight gain. Medical weight loss is tailored to suit the needs of an individual such that the individual will be a healthier being in the long run (Woolfe, 2016).
Daniels J. (2004). Health matters: promoting health and wellness. Fad diets: slim on good nutrition. Nursing, 34(12), 22–23.
Fad diets: what do dietitians say about the latest crop? (2015). Nursing Review (1173- 8014), 15(3), 9-12.
Koch, R. (2010). Food Fads. Today’s Chiropractic Lifestyle, 39(5), 20–24.
Whyte J, Marting RN, & Pennachio D. (2005). How to guide patients away from fad diets and toward healthy eating. Patient Care, 39(5), 16–22.
Woolfe, K. (2016). Separate fact, fat and fad. Nursing Review (1326-0472), (6), 20–21.
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