A diet’s a diet, right?
Unfortunately, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype of fad diets—you know, the ones that claim to help you drop several pounds in a short amount of time? Think The Military Diet, HCG Diet, and detox or cleansing diets. Behind its glitz, glamour, and promises, fad diets often have lots of false claims with no medical proof. In fact, experts are quick to debunk the claims of fad diets, noting that they’re often packaged as a healthy alternative to exercise, but that there’s really no such thing. “Ironically, one of the more common side effects of fad diets is often weight gain. Your body believes itself to be in [a] state of starvation and attempts to hang on to every calorie in a survival attempt,” explains Candice Seti, PsyD, CPT, CNC, founder of The Weight Loss Therapist. Yes, your diet could be doing just the opposite of what you want it to, and it can seriously hurt your health. Here are a few reasons your current diet isn’t working.
Fad diets can cause dehydration
Dropping pounds fast may make you happy right now, but it won’t result in a long-term weight loss solution and can have a serious impact on your health. When you shed five to ten pounds your first week on a diet, what you’re losing is water weight, not fat. The creators of fad diets design them to make people believe they’re burning fat like crazy, when they’re really just getting rid of the water their bodies hold on to in an attempt to prevent dehydration. What actually happens is your body loses water so fast that it causes you to become dehydrated, without you even realizing it. A healthy diet doesn’t focus on rapid weight loss, but a balanced diet, complete with plenty of water intake. Rob Raponi, sports nutritionist and founder of The Naturopathic Perspective, suggests cutting 500 calories per day from your current intake to achieve a healthy weight loss of one pound per week. It may not be the rapid weight loss you want, but you’ll be much less likely to end up in an ongoing cycle of yo-yo dieting when you see consistent results. Dr. Seti also recommends carrying a water bottle with you everywhere you go to prevent dehydration. The more you drink, your body will feel less hungry, and the less likely you’ll be to snack. Have you tried lemon water yet? It’s delicious and has some awesome health benefits!