Dieting for Weight Loss – Are Fad Diets Phat?

Fad diets are weight-loss plans that usually promise dramatic results in a short period of time. However, they often do not result in long-term weight loss, and some of them can actually be dangerous to your health!

A fad diet usually excludes certain food groups (e.g. carbohydrates), or is extremely low in calories (e.g. some meal replacement, liquid diet).

Although people may realise that fad diets do not carry long-term benefits, many are still willing to try out these diets. This is because they want to look, and feel better within a short period of time, and fad diets often promise quick and easy weight loss. However, it is much more likely that the weight that they lose is from water, instead of body fat, and people usually end up gaining back the weight that they have lost initially.

The best way to lose, AND keep the weight off, is through a lifelong practice of healthy diet and lifestyle. This includes taking in well-balanced meals, which are varied and in moderate portions, according to the Malaysian Food Pyramid, and being physically active.

Tips to lose weight:

  • Aim for slow and steady weight loss for long lasting effects and better health.
  • Set a realistic weight loss goal of ½ to 1 kg per week.
  • Decrease calorie intake without sacrificing other nutrients. It is recommended to reduce 500kcal per day, with 250kcal from your diet intake and 250kcal through physical activity.
  • Increase daily exercise to 90 minutes per day.
  • Weigh yourself regularly, at least once a week at the same time of the day, preferably before breakfast.

Once you have achieved your target body weight, maintain that weight by continuing healthy eating habits and leading an active lifestyle.

Detox diets on the other hand, are believed to help “clean out the system”; but it can also cause harmful side effects, and despite what many people may think, detox diets DO NOT make you lose weight. Most detox plans often involve laxatives, which cause people to visit the bathroom more often, and this can cause dehydration, mineral imbalances, and problems with the digestive system.