Dangerous Dieting: Fad Diets
Have you tried to lose weight cutting carbohydrates, protein or fat? With America in the throes of an obesity crisis, the diet industry has taken off. But fad diets can hurt your health.
If you’re like most women, you’ve tried at least one of the fad diets to hit the market. Two years ago Mariana Morris went on a high protein diet. “It was a thing that would make you lose all the weight you wanted in one week, and I was in a hurry,” she says.
She lost weight, but that’s not all. “I looked at my hand and the ring that’s usually very big on me was so tight it was almost cutting into my skin.” Morris’s kidneys were being taxed from eating too much protein, causing her body to store water. Many fad diets rob the body of the nutrients it needs and can cause kidney stones, osteoperosis, low blood sugar, heart disease and muscle loss.
Dietician Helen Battisti says eating is actually the body’s best defense against weight gain. “If you find you’re an individual who gets up in the morning and goes all day without eating — trying to either curb your calories for the day, or just so busy that you forget to eat — then you’re pretty much guaranteed that come night time you’re going to start eating and not be able to finish. That’s not the time to fuel your body.”
That’s why diets that starve the body are dangerous. The Atkins Diet calls for serious restriction of carbohydrates, which Battisti says can cause kidney problems and fatigue. She says The Zone Diet is low in carbohydrates as well, robbing your body of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Battisti says The Three-Day Diet, which restricts calorie intake to 1,000 for 72 hours, tends to just loose water — it’s not a long term solution.
Morris says, “I will not try another fad diet that focuses on just one food group. There obviously is something unnatural about it.” Medication fixed Mariana’s kidney problem, and now she knows quick fixes don’t work. A balanced diet and exercise do.
A quick fix diet is just that; 95 percent of dieters regain the weight they’ve lost. Some healthy weight loss tips from Battisti are to stay active, eat breakfast, and never take diet pills, even ones sold over the counter. Never eliminate entire food groups from your diet, unless you have an allergy.