CHENNAI: Today weight loss is sought-after more as a cosmetic makeover rather than for its health benefits. As a result, thousands of people fall prey to fancy prescriptions, fad diets and land themselves in needless health complications, say experts.
A few years ago, it was only GM diet. But today several quick fix diets pop up on websites with just a click of the mouse. The list seems to be a long one with military diet, bullet proof diet, yoyo diet, soya diet, starvation diet, whole30, Paleo diet, HMR diet and many more which can play havoc on one’s health, warns Meenakshi Bajaj, dietician at Government Multi Super Speciality Hospital.
“Many quick fix diets promise weight reduction in just three days, so that, on the fourth day the person can attend a party with a new makeover,” she says. Nowadays, many opt for Ketogenic diet with a handful of almonds for breakfast, whole eggs for lunch and early supper with cabbage and cauliflower mixed with cheese and chicken. But they should understand is that there is no need for excessive intake of cholesterol and trans fat rich foods. Carbs, vitamins, minerals and fluids are vital to a human body,” explains the dietician.
A person on Ketogenic diet is at risk for renal failure, irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut, osteoporosis, anaemia, hormonal and electrolyte abnormalities, among others. “There is no magic diet which will burn fat and change body genes. The journey of weight loss begins with nutrition screening and intervention, realistic goal setting, ensuring nutrient adequacy during weight loss and maintenance,” she adds.
The dietary approach for caloric reduction has to take into consideration how and what an individual eats, understand meal patterns for weight loss and maintenance, protein control and meal replacements in case of morbid or super obese individuals.
“Multiple behaviour therapy and strategies are crucial. Slow, steady weight loss is more likely to last than dramatic weight changes. Healthy diet plans help you lose not more than a kilo per week. If you’re losing weight quickly, you’ll regain it afater a gap,” explains Dr Meenakshi.
The mantra is not ‘zip your lip and move your hip’, but a scientific and customised nutrition approach with zero side effects, says Meenakshi. People suffering from diabetes or hypothyroidism should be aware of diet plans available off the shelf.
“Eat smart, today, tomorrow and everyday, for a healthy tomorrow. Beware of quacks who prescribe fad diets, that will help to lose only muscle mass and not fat loss,” she warns.