Are Fad Diets Safe?

The problem with fad diets is that their fat-reducing effect is temporary and results in quick regain of weight. What is worse is that most of these diets are harmful in many ways.

Fad diets are not as new as they might seem at first. These date back to the mid 19th century when an obese Londoner was prescribed such a diet on an experimental basis. Now, after a century and a half, fad diets have become popular among people with weight problems. Teens and young adults especially flock to fad diets for an answer to their weight problems.

Fad diets often promote the idea of completely cutting out carbohydrates. It is the low intake of carbohydrates that brings about rapid weight loss. However, it is a water loss. With loss of glycogen, the large amount of water stored in it is also lost and body weight drops. The fats are still there and as the fad diets are given up, the body regains its proportion of water lost. Weight is put back on faster than it was lost.

Normally, carbohydrates remain the source of energy for work. With fad diets, the carbs may be so low that so the body starts using the stored fat, breaking it down. This may appear beneficial, but in fact, it is not. In the absence of carbs, fats cannot be completely oxidized and put to work. Hence, the body feels fatigued and weak. In addition, the ketone molecules resulting from the fat breakdown accumulate in the blood and are excreted from the body by urination, causing dehydration.

Given the harmful health effects of fad diets, it is important for us to recognize and beware of these diet plans. Watch out for diets that:

· Promise quick weight loss
· Publicize before and after pictures
· Present weight-loss testimonials
· Tend to limit natural food choices
· Require a large sum of money

Fad diets may be popular, but they can hurt your body. Be careful with any diet or exercise program and ask your health professional to be sure it is safe.

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