Fad diets are by far and large quite the rage in the 21st century. Their rise may be directly attributed to the markedly sedentary lifestyle (that is usually heavily filled with a whole lot of junk food) has led to an epidemic in obesity with ever more people all over Pakistan falling prey to medical problems linked to obesity and all the host of issues it creates.
For most of us, taking the time and energy out for a rigorous post workday exercise regimen is just not possible, especially after vectoring in a a really hard day at work. And that is why the latest ‘wonder diet’ promising the loss-of-10 pounds-in-10-days seems too difficult to resist.
By far the most popular version of such diets has been the grape fruit diet. Proponents of this diet tout it as the panacea of all weight related problems. And the humble grapefruit is portrayed as some sort of super-duper fat burning machine whose very raison d’etre is to help the helpless obese… become paragons of health and vigor.
While it is certainly true that grapefruit has a lot of antioxidants (compounds that help repair damaged cells) and vitamins and fiber that aid not just in digestion but also fill up the tummy, especially when taken before mealtimes, but then the same holds true for most other fresh fruits and vegetables.
Then there are the ‘day diets’. I.e. the’ 17-day diet’ or the ‘14-day challenge’. They claim that to eat ‘certain’ foods in ‘certain’ quantities at ‘certain’ times will ‘certainly’ lead to a ‘certain’ amount of weight loss. Fad diets, be it the day diets, grapefruit diet, the cabbage diet or the onion soup diet et el work after a fashion. I.e. they are low calorie diets and if the body’s intake of calories is less than the calories it burns then weight loss is inevitable. However, maintaining such a punishing regime is well-nigh impossible for most of us.
And below a 1000 calorie daily intake the body has a tendency of going into ‘starvation’ mode. And effectively hoarding its fat deposits. Once the fad diet becomes too tedious and normal eating is resumed than not only the weight lost is quickly regained but fresh pounds are added on, for good measure. Not to mention the fact that the weight so painfully lost is actually water weight, and is regained even more quickly than it was lost.
Multiple research surveys over the past few decades have consistently shown that it’s not a specific fruit or vegetable touted by a particular fad diet that is responsible for weight loss, but rather the cumulative effects of less food intake. In other words, irrespective of which ever fruit or vegetable is chosen, short term weight loss will occur.
However, medical science is very specific about losing weight in the long term. Less processed foods, low sugar intake and plenty of physical activity.
For long term weight loss, lifestyle changes are an absolute imperative. Even simple things like using the staircase instead of the lift and parking the car a block away from the work place will be a great help. Same goes for healthy eating as well. And yes, that means saying no to the pizza delivery man and that upsized cream latte.