Insights into the Harmful Effects of Fad Diets - continued

People are always debating on what is the best, smartest, quickest, easiest way to lose weight. After 25 years of trying various methods I finally found that there is only one correct method, which is sound in terms of your long-term health and well-being. That is, if you want to take out 10kgs of fat from your body, you have to stop putting fatty food into your mouth.

All fatty food tastes good. Do we have to give up all the goodies in life? Yes, if you want something you have to give something. But here is the good news you dont give it up forever. You use fat i.e. oil for cooking and seasoning vegetables and dhal/sambar, etc. But apart from that you must not eat any fatty foods, cream of milk (use skimmed milk) butter, ghee, cheese, mayonnaise, pickle, all fried foods and snacks, nuts, sweets, chocolate, pastries, ice-cream and red meats. If you completely abstain from these for a week you can lose ˝ to 1kg, 3kgs in one month and 9-10kgs in 3 months.

During this period you should never skip a meal, all meals must be properly balanced, plus fruits and salads eaten daily. I lost 25kgs in 1 year and have managed to maintain this for the last 15 years. A 20-30 minute walk, plus 2-3 liters water is a must daily. I now eat a fatty food once a week. Balance and Budget and Beat the Bulge!!!

The 7-day Diet

In this plan you have to prepare some vegetable soup from low calorie vegetables like cabbage, tomato, onion, palak, etc. and eat it daily for 7 days along with certain specific foods for each day. Namely fruits only day 1, veggies only day2, fruits & veggies day 3,banana & milk, beef & tomatoes, beef & veggies, rice & veggies.

Disadvantages: -

  1. Very few people can stick to only 1 or 2 types of food for a whole day.
  2. Many who have tried it and spoken to me have complained of nausea and headache and said they stopped after 2 or 3 days.
  3. Many are unable to do their normal day-to-day work while doing this diet and feel very weak and tired. They are unable to maintain their regular exercise routine and also complain of being very irritable and short tempered while on the diet. This is probably because the total calorie intake is way below the normal requirement and their body is unable to cope with the day to day routine life.
  4. Many feel very sick when they suddenly eat beef, non-veg or (vegetarians have tried) paneer the whole day.
  5. Many have done the first 2-3 days and not continued which is a waste of effort and only damages one’s health and body.
  6. Some have lost only 1 or 2 kgs instead of the promised 5-6 kgs and then put back all they have lost and more in the future.
  7. This is definitely not the answer for those who are looking at a 10 or 20 kg loss. Don't even do this thinking it will kick-start or motivate you to do the rest.

Harmful effects

  1. In this diet there is a total lack of protein on 4 days. The adult human body requires about 50-60 gms protein every single day. When this is not provided muscle tissue is broken down in the body and supplied to meet the body’s protein need. Yes, you will lose weight on the scale but not a total fat loss of 6kgs. 2 or maximum 3 kgs may be fat but 2kgs of muscle too and some water will be lost. When you regain this weight you will regain 6kgs of fat (no muscle). Therefore after some years when you do a body composition analysis you will have a higher fat percent in the body. More fat percent means a lower metabolic rate and this means a greater chance of putting on weight in the future. Again you are paving the way for future obesity.

  2. Those who repeat this diet off and on will lose weight but after some time will find their skin sagging and face wrinkling and an aged appearance, which can never be rectified as the muscle tissue below the skin has been lost during those spells of no protein in the diet.

  3. This diet is unbalanced and therefore many of the minerals and vitamins required daily will be missing and can result in deficiency. The most common from this is calcium and iron deficiency resulting in hair fall, brittle nails and teeth and later poor bones too. Iron deficiency anemia is one of the world’s biggest deficiency diseases. Previously we saw it among the poor and slum dwellers. Today it is commonly prevalent among the rich and over weight as they are constantly on diets like the above or skipping balanced meals.

  4. When there is no protein foods like milk, dhals and no bread, rice,chapatti, etc. in the diet one will feel very weak and also the blood sugar levels will drop resulting in headache and giddiness and this may disrupt normal work, driving, etc. and be dangerous.

  5. On two days of the diet there is a sudden overloading of protein and this can be a big strain on the digestive system and kidneys.

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