It’s nearly spring … and being a woman living near the beach, getting my body beach perfect (or at least ‘ready’) is weighing heavily on my mind.
As it turns out, I am not the only person feeling the pangs of desire when it comes to my figure. An article published by The Daily Mail said that as many as 97 percent of women have an ‘I hate my body moment’ everyday. Additionally, an article published in Glamour Magazine confirmed that an unhealthy number of women are dissatisfied with their bodies.
This dissatisfaction manifests itself in many ways, but typically results in an extreme “diet” of sorts. With spring break just around the corner I have had many friends tell me they were going on the “anorexic diet” to prepare for their coastal vacation plans — which means trying your hardest to restrict food altogether. Many more women will turn to other fad diets to lose weight, specifically for certain events, even though sound evidence points to the harm such diets can do to your body.
There are dozens of fad diets out there, ranging from high protein, to no fat, to juice, to detoxification. Each promises the same thing — an easy fix to a difficult problem. But, unfortunately, there is no magic solution for losing weight, and taking to fad, or “crash”, diets can result in long-term problems.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “evidence shows that people who lose weight gradually and steadily (about 1 to 2 pounds per week) are more successful at keeping weight off. Healthy weight loss isn’t just about a ‘diet’ or ‘program.’ It’s about an ongoing lifestyle that includes long-term changes in daily eating and exercise habits.”
The CDC website went on to report that weight loss that exceeds 1-2 pounds per week is generally hard to maintain, and individuals who lose substantial amounts of weight/week often put weight back on.
Despite such evidence, it is an inescapable fact that women (and men!) will continue to crash diet. If you decide to ignore my advice (which, if you can’t tell, is DON’T DO IT!), then you should know which diets are absolutely the worst for you. Please avoid such at all costs.
According to Self.com three fad diets stand out for 2011 — the ‘Paleo Diet’, the “HGC Diet” and “cleansing” diets.
The Paleo Diet involves only eating foods that our Paleolithic ancestors ate. This includes meat, certain vegetables, etc. While this diet is better than most, experts warn to be wary of it because it requires elimination of healthy foods, like low fat cottage cheese, that weren’t around for our ancestors.
The HGC Diet involves injecting yourself with the HGC pregnancy hormone for 26 days, as well as restricting caloric intake to 500 to 700 calories a day. Calorielab.com reported that patients pay $1,000 a month “for a doctor’s consultation, syringes and a supply of the hormone, which promises that they’ll increase muscle mass and metabolize fat in hard-to-lose places like upper arms, abdomen and thighs without feeling hungry. While HGC, which is used to treat fertility, is legal for “off-label” use, the FDA warns that it does not effect weight loss and may cause depression, headaches and blood clots.” Additionally, the diet receives criticism for not encouraging exercise.
Finally, “cleanse” diets will continue to be popular in 2011, and will remain as unhealthy as before. Cleanse diets come in many forms, and may require special juices, pills, etc. in order to create weight loss. Ironically, your metabolism might be slowed if you subscribe to cleanse diets because your body will attempt to “eat” muscle for energy. Peter Pressman, M.D., an internist with the U.S. Navy Medical Corps and a fellow of the American College of Clinical Nutrition (via Self’s article) said detox diets are ineffective because, “it becomes harder to burn calories because your body conserves what little energy it gets.”
It’s not easy, but weight loss in a healthy, sustainable way is possible and is the only true cure for a weight problem. Fad diets have their name for a reason.