Before we get into side effects of weight loss diets, let us first define what diet is – “It is the foods eaten by a particular person”. Often, “diet” is assumed to be a low calorie diet to lose weight, etc. But that is not true. It is simply what you eat. So, we are all on diets regardless of what we eat. What we use that diet to do is what classifies it – regular diet, weight loss diet, weight gain diet, etc.
Now, when most people decide that they have to get in better shape, often its about losing fat on the belly or hips/thighs. Everyone wants to lose weight fast. Regardless of how many months or years it took you to add the fat, everyone’s looking for a quick fix. Search for Weight Loss Diets online and you find hundreds of different diets. The problem with weight loss diets on the internet is that if you pick them up from just any site, there could be side effects, serious or otherwise. There is no way for you to be sure that the diet is good for your health, or that it will help you lose weight. Most people think that, if your calorie intake is low enough, then you are bound to lose weight, i.e. Weight Loss = Less Calories in & More Calories out. Sure that sounds right but its not as simple as that. You might lose weight that way, but you might land up losing a lot of muscle instead of fat. With less muscle in your body, your body stores more fat. What you need to ensure is that you’re losing the right kind of weight, which is fat.
The following are major side effects of various weight loss diets:
- Crash dieting or significantly lowering your calorie intake is an unhealthy way to attempt weight loss. Since your diet reduces drastically, you are perpetually hungry and thus unsatisfied and this makes people moody and short tempered.
- If your diet has inadequate carbohydrates, it will cause ketosis. If it has inadequate protein, it will create muscle catabolism and reduce your metabolic rate. If it has inadequate fat, it can affect a number of biological processes.
- You will also be low on energy. Since its an unhealthy diet, this can have significant side effects, including affecting your appearance. Its been known to cause dark circles, stretch marks, etc. – Besides calorie intake, and the basic protein, carbohydrates and fat, your diet should include adequate water, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Another key factor is the timing of your food. You shouldn’t just skip a meal. Skipping meals actually puts your body in a mode where it reduces your metabolic rate (and hence burns fewer calories), eats muscle and starts storing fat. Consuming food at the right time is key to providing optimum nutrition to your body, and increasing fat burn.
There are many well endorsed diets like the Atkins Diet and the GM Diet (General Motors Diet), which we don’t use at Fitho because we consider them unhealthy since they are not balanced diets. They have their share of side effects -
Atkins Diet: Because of no carbohydrate intake, lack of calcium and high saturated fat content, it is considered dangerous. Your body goes into ketosis resulting in bad breath, weakness, insomnia, constipation, etc
GM Diet: We don’t consider this diet to be balanced. There are claims of hair loss, etc. Drastic loss of weight is not due to fat loss, but due to water loss. Diets have to be customized to your needs. At Fitho, we provide you diet plans that are customized to your needs, that you will enjoy, and diets that will produce results. See our weight loss success stories. So the next time you think about losing weight, get advice from a fitness and nutrition expert who better understands you and your needs.Author Information — this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo