We live in the world of the quick and the dead. We either get the fast solutions we need for our problems or die doing so. Think about it: Need a file? Just one click of the mouse and it gets displayed before our very eyes. Need to lower high blood pressure? Pop an anti-hypertensive pill. Sad and depressed? Take a Prozac. Hungry? Head out to the nearest fast food chain where growing strachs can be eased in two minutes or less. Or we boil instant noodles, microwave pre-packed dinners or open those bags and boxes of goodies. While these quick solutions to common concerns have their own pros and cons, there is one area where a quick fix will not do much good. It's in fad diets.
When approved by celebrities, fad diets take on an element of authority. However, they are not only unhealthy, they also do not work towards the end of achieving weight loss. Let's look at the anatomy of fad dieting to better understand why you're better off approaching weight loss the old-fashioned “difficult” way– that is, through good old balanced meals and exercise.
As soon as you begin a crash diet, you immediately cut your caloric intake to a thousand calories or less per day. Rapid weight loss occurs in a span of two weeks– sometimes as much as ten pounds in such a short amount of time. After the third week, however, there is only little decrease in weight, if there is still any, at all. This can be explained in the severe calorie restriction that causes the body to respond by slowing down its metabolic rate to conserve the resources it has at its disposal. Since it does not know when it can be fed fully again, it works to protect itself by slowing down metabolism so fat can be stored for future use in the event that outside help – food, that is– does not arrive.
Because there is no more significant loss of weight (and because you really feel hungry the next time you're on this kind of diet), you stop the diet and return to your normal eating habits. Now, your body which has already experienced “hunger” will intelligently protect itself from similar future threats by storing more body fat. Beside, the metabolic rate has already slowed to a point that it can not ever metabolize fat effectively. In the end, you end up gaining more weight than what you originally started with in the first place.
This is the reason why fad diets do not work to promote weight loss. They wreck havoc on natural body processes that only serve to make you gain more weight later on. Fad diets are not sustainable for the long-term since you'll be feeling hungry most of the time. Its runs counter to the purpose for which you employed it for in the first place.
Instead of crash diets, a nutritious and well-balanced eating plan combined with regular exercise is much more sustainable for the long-term, both for weight loss and overall health.