Diet Fads: Are They Worth It?
As swimsuit weather quickly approaches with the start of summer, the pressure from media outlets to lose weight, and get that “bikini body,” is becoming more apparent than ever. Advertisements on television and in magazines promote diets that promise speedy weight loss with little effort,but are these diet fads really the most healthy way to lose weight?
To shed pounds quickly, many people turn to diet pills or supplements. These supplements have been known to eliminate food cravings, slow fat production, and make the body feel full before it has obtained too much food. However, many of these supplements have damaging affects on the body that could result in serious health problems. According to Futures of Palm Beach, a clinic in Florida that specializes in the treatment of disorders, diet supplement abuse can become a gateway to eating disorder development. Supplements such as Hydroxycut, Ephedra, Meridia, and Fen-Phen have all been recalled or banned from the market because of the side effects their consumers were left to deal with. Some of these included heart, kidney, and liver damage, lung disease, and increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
“I would not use diet pills or supplements to lose weight because you don’t really know what’s in them,” Oriya Jefferson ‘18 said.
Some diets that are promoted eliminate entire food groups from a person’s normal consumption, like no-carb diets. While eating too many carbohydrates in one day can contribute to weight gain, cutting them out altogether is not good for one’s health either. The body uses carbohydrates to store energy in order to function properly during the day. Without them, the body has a very small supply of energy. Refusing to eat carbohydrates can lead to a process called Ketosis, which breaks down body fat to gain energy. This could lead to headaches, nausea, fatigue, as well as vitamin or mineral deficiencies.
“You need those food groups for a reason. There’s a reason why we need carbohydrates, there’s a reason why we need proteins. To eliminate an entire food group just because a diet fad said so is kind of daft,” Kylee Jackson ‘18 said.
To lose weight in a way that is not harmful to the body, eating nutrient-dense foods and getting at least an hour of exercise each day is a safe approach to weight loss. Drinking water consistently throughout the day is also important.