Five Risks of Fad Diets

Diets that promise to help you shed a dramatic amount of weight in a short time may seem tempting, but they often fall far short of expectations. What’s more, these DIY diets rarely lead to lasting weight loss and in many cases can do more harm than good.

The team at Nova Physician Wellness Center offers real, effective solutions to help you lose weight safely and keep it off for good. Partnering with a medical team that specializes in doctor-supervised weight loss is a wise decision and the most important step you can take on the path to lasting weight loss.

While many fad diets may seem harmless, they can hurt your health in a wide variety of ways. In this article we discuss five common risks associated with fad diets.

1. Nutrient deficiency

Many fad diets are restrictive in one way or another. They often require you to remove entire food groups or stick to one type of food for the duration of the diet. Without a varied diet that consists of different foods, you run the risk of failing to get enough of certain nutrients. 

Your body needs many nutrients to function properly. Cutting out certain foods can cause you to miss out on important nutrients. That’s why nutrient deficiency is a common side effect of following a fad diet. Left untreated, nutrient deficiencies can cause complications such as fatigue, skin problems, low red blood cells, and digestive issues.

2. Metabolic imbalance

Your metabolism is a complex process that regulates how your body converts the foods you eat and drink into energy. This energy is needed to carry out cellular processes throughout the body. When you take a chance on a fad diet, you risk causing problems with your metabolism. 

Fad diets are linked to metabolic imbalance. You may throw any number of metabolic processes -- such as insulin regulation -- out of whack, or you may disrupt vital hormones that regulate hunger and satiety.

3. Loss of lean mass

You may lose some weight on a fad diet, but it’s likely to be in the form of muscle mass, which you need to boost your metabolism. DIY diets that promote rapid weight loss often cause you to lose greater amounts of muscle tissue. Lean mass is more metabolically active and requires more calories to maintain.

A fad diet-induced reduction in lean mass may disrupt your metabolism, leaving you worse off than before you started. Lower lean mass means you’ll burn fewer calories after following a fad diet than you did previously. This sets the stage for weight regain. 

4. Fad diet are unsustainable

Fad diets rely on restrictive eating patterns instead of making lasting changes that promote healthier eating habits. Cutting out certain foods or drastically reducing your intake of certain macronutrients may help you lose a few pounds initially. However, this way of eating is unsustainable, and as soon as you return to your regular eating habits you’ll stop losing or gain weight. 

Choosing an unsustainable diet puts any real progress at risk. When your goal is long-term weight loss, a medically supervised diet that implements lifestyle changes to help you choose healthier foods is the best option.

5. Harm to mental health

Fad diets can negatively impact your mental health. Restrictive diets can cause you to stress over your food choices and feel guilt and anxiety over your ability to follow the diet. If you’re unable to sustain the restrictive dietary requirements of a fad diet, you may blame yourself and feel discouraged. This may impact your self-esteem and cause you to feel emotional distress.

Medically supervised weight loss

At Nova Physician Wellness Center, we provide all of the tools, guidance, and support you need to lose weight and feel good while you do it. Effective weight-loss therapies such as nutrition and behavioral counseling and medication will help you attain lasting weight loss. 

When you’re ready to feel and function better through a customized weight-loss plan, we’re here to help. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our doctors or nurse practitioners.

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