• Apala Guha

Do you know ill effects of a fad diet?

Weight loss is what everyone is looking for. Agreed it is the most important factor to stay healthy. Not only is being overweight detrimental to the body but also to your mind. Fat releases hormones in the body that are directly related to depression and mood swings. Out of all the clients that I am currently working with at Elate Wellbeing as a nutrition expert, 90% are looking for fast weight loss, which is commendable in my opinion.


And Elate Wellbeing has specified weight loss programs, for hormonal issues, metabolic diseases etc. But being the Nutritionist, I always suggest slow weight loss, not giving too much stress to your body. Especially using fad starvation diets have extremely harmful effects on your body. We need to understand that the body has its own psychology. No matter how much you try, it will and does weight loss in its own convenient pace and manner.





On the contrary, I would like to throw light upon 10 scientifically proven ways in which your body responses are harmed by following a fad diet for drastic & unhealthy weight loss:


1. Drastic Fall in blood sugar levels: Your blood sugar levels go for a toss when you suddenly opt for starvation diets. Your blood sugar falls to very low, due to fall in carbohydrates and overall calories. Post eating, there is a sharp rise in the sugar levels. This kind of drastic fluctuation has adverse effects on body organs, especially brain.

2. Dehydration: The majority of the weight you drop when you lose weight too quickly tends to be water weight, which can lead to rapid dehydration. Such loss in weight has no positive effects on your fitness parameters, as it is temporary. This weight will come back in usually a couple of weeks.

3. Fatigue & Dizziness: Your brain survives on glucose as its sole energy source. When you starve your body of carbohydrates and calories (which is usually the moto in fad diets), your blood levels in glucose is less hence the brain is starving of energy. This is why you end up feeling fatigued and dizzy or irritable by the end of the day. Prolonged effects lead to memory loss too.

4. Digestive Disorders: Restrictive diet plans usually lack many important nutrients on a daily basis. Once a client of mine on gut health plan at Elate, showed me a diet plan that he had been following, that had very low fibre content and lots of protein. Such diets put undue pressure on your intestines and kidney. Lack of fibre results in low motility, hence constipation, acidity, gastritis, etc.

5. Yo-Yo Effect: Fad diets make you lose weight fast and then gain back as soon as you go back to a normal diet. This kind of fluctuation in body weight confuses the body metabolism. You either end up having stubborn weight issues or binge eating disorder.

6. Vitamin Deficiency: Strict diet plans lack in fat and oil. It fails to provide even the minimal amount of good fat required for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E & K. Hence the body is deprived of these important micronutrients.

7. Sleep Disorders: Eating too less or a diet low in good fats and healthy carbohydrates, does not provide you with enough satiety. After only a little time, your body feels deprived and you tend to feel hungry when sugar levels fall again. This results in sleep disturbance and incomplete sleep. Might also result in late-night cravings.

8. Not sustainable for your body: You quickly gain back all the weight when you switch to a wholesome diet plan because let’s face it, nobody can live on a deprived diet for more than 6 months. In most cases, fad diets are not going to be successful in the long-term for your mental and physical health. A parallel goal for many people trying to lose weight is developing a positive relationship with food—and constantly having to think about what your next meal will be, or what you can’t eat, isn’t going to get you there.

9. Reduced metabolism: Your body compensates for the lack of nutrients and calories. After a point, your body understands that there is not enough coming externally to sustain itself. So, it starts storing and conserving whatever fat stores it has as fat is the densest source of energy. This further lowers down your body’s burning capacity and you tend to reach a plateau in weight.

10. Loss of muscle and protein-sparing effect: Carbohydrates and fats have a protein-sparing effect. Which means by performing their own job, the protein is free to do its main function of repairing and building muscles. Lack of carbohydrate in the diet, the liver is bound to pull in protein to convert to energy. This leads to less protein for its actual function, and you end up losing muscles mass.

Fad diets are usually too good to be true and the promise of weight loss is only temporary. Being a Nutrition Expert, I am firm on the belief that the only effective method of losing weight is making it a lifestyle change of eating healthy, well-balanced meals, and staying active. So, people should stay away from fad diets for their own good!