Imagine scrolling through social media and being bombarded with countless advertisements and testimonies about the latest and greatest diets. Each claim to be the answer to achieving your dream body in record time. It's easy to feel tempted and fall into the trap of these enticing promises. But did you know that most of these diets are not sustainable, and the weight you lose returns? So, before you deprive yourself of food, let us first grasp the variables to consider before embarking on a diet.
Factors to Consider When Choosing A Diet
Health And Safety
The foremost consideration should be the impact of the diet on your overall health. According to Delhi-based nutritionist Priya Bansal, "A healthy diet should provide a balance of essential nutrients, support proper bodily functions, and promote well-being." Ensure that the diet you choose aligns with your specific health needs and does not compromise your nutritional requirements, she added.
Look for diets that are supported by scientific research and evidence. "Be cautious of diets that lack proper scientific backing or rely solely on anecdotal testimonials," advised Bansal. Evidence-based diets are more likely to provide realistic and sustainable weight loss results, she added.
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Challenging Weight Loss Diets To Avoid For Long-Term Success
1) Crash Diets
Crash diets, characterised by severe calorie restriction or extreme food limitations, may lead to rapid weight loss initially. Bansal stated that they are not sustainable in the long term and can have negative effects on metabolism, energy levels, and overall well-being. Instead, opt for a balanced approach that focuses on gradual, sustainable weight loss.
2) Detox Cleanses
Detox cleanses often involve consuming only liquids or specific foods for a designated period with the promise of eliminating toxins from the body. Bansal warned that the body has natural detoxification systems, and extreme detox cleanses can lead to nutrient deficiencies, muscle loss, and a slowed metabolism. The best way is to prioritise a balanced diet that supports your body's natural detoxification processes.
3) Elimination Diets
Elimination diets involve removing specific food groups or ingredients based on the belief that they cause weight gain or health issues. Bansal advocated that some individuals may have legitimate food sensitivities, eliminating entire food groups without proper guidance can lead to nutrient imbalances and may not be sustainable in the long term.
4) Very Low-Calorie Diets (VLCDs)
VLCDs involve consuming a significantly low number of calories, typically fewer than 800 per day. Bansal said that these diets may promise rapid weight loss, but it also leads to nutrient deficiencies, muscle loss, and a compromised immune system. VLCDs should only be undertaken under strict medical supervision and for specific medical conditions.
5) Celebrity-Endorsed Diets
Beware of weight loss diets endorsed by celebrities without proper scientific backing. Often, these diets are based on personal anecdotes rather than evidence-based research. "What works for one individual may not work for everyone, and blindly following celebrity-endorsed diets may lead to disappointment or unsustainable eating habits," Bansal said.
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6) Excessive Supplementation Diets
Diets that heavily rely on excessive supplementation rather than whole foods can be problematic. While supplements can play a role in supporting overall health, they should not replace a balanced diet. "Relying solely on supplements can lead to nutrient imbalances and may not provide the same benefits as consuming a variety of nutrient-rich foods," Bansal concluded.
[Disclaimer: The information in this article is provided by a registered medical practitioner. However, we recommend you consult your healthcare provider for accurate diagnosis and treatment.]