Is your diet really as good as it seems?

In today’s health-conscious society, the health and fitness market is overflowing with an abundance of quick fixes. From miracle juices to celebrity endorsed diets and everything in between, these solutions offer the results you’ve been longing for without the hard work required to get there. But are they really as good as they seem?

Not only do these diets not provide the results they claim but they may actually be detrimental to your health and here’s why;

  • BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate is the amount of energy required for your body to function in resting state. For example, digestion and circulation. In many instances, diets require such a drop in calorie intake that BMR is not met, resulting in inefficient functioning of the body or breakdown of muscle tissue.
  • More often than not, particularly in the instance of slimming clubs, all emphasis is placed on nutrition which can result in the neglect of exercise. When this happens, muscle tissue is often sacrificed to achieve the drop in weight which is considered to be successful. Not only can this be detrimental for a number of reasons such as body composition and mobility but it will also result in a lower resting metabolic rate, meaning calories will burn slower when resting and weight loss will slow down or plateau.
  • Detox diets are renowned for rapid weight loss which in the surface looks very appealing - until you understand why! This significant loss in weight is often referred to as ‘a loss in water weight’. With these diets, glycogen stores (the stored form of carbohydrates) are diminished quickly and the water which binds the glycogen to the muscles is no longer required, hence the reference to water weight. This initial loss in weight is not able to be maintained as when a normal diet is resumed the glycogen stores are replenished as is the water which binds it to the muscles, resulting in a weight gain.
  • My fourth and final point for this post focuses on something I see happening all too often. ‘Cutting out carbs’! Many fad diets cut out whole food groups, usually fats or carbs, both of which are essential for our bodies to function efficiently. Neither of these is responsible for weight gain in isolation but the absence of them from a diet can be extremely harmful. It can lead to nutrient deficiencies and as the only energy source used by the nervous system, an absence of carbs within a diet can result in inefficient functioning of one of the most important systems of the body.

Hopefully this post highlights just how dangerous some fad diets can be and that the only real healthy way to achieve your fitness goals is a balanced diet and regular exercise regime. It may not be quick but it will be worth it!

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