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One of the biggest issues on people’s mind today is their weight. Whether it’s trying to lose it or maintain it, weight is often a lingering issue. It all starts with what we are comparing ourselves to. Looking through a magazine and you’re faced with images of men and women who have been photo shopped to perfection. People then look for the quick fix, the easiest, laziest way to lose weight: fad diets.
While there are hundreds of dieting techniques floating around on the internet and in your local bookshop, there are a few that stand out. All offer quick weight loss, however, how many of them offer long term weight loss, without severe health risks?
The Cabbage Soup Diet
This diet is well known, and often falls in and out of popular favor. It’s a seven day diet that consists of eating large amounts of cabbage soup, different fruits on different days, cranberry juice (the real stuff, not the cocktail), and a few baked potatoes and meat or fish.
The only pros noticeable is that result is fast and some enjoy eating the soup. The cons however, pile up. To name a few, the nutritional value is extremely low, the soup itself is bland, it results in large amounts of gas, and the weight loss is short term.
If you’re looking for a quick weight loss and don’t mind the limited short term effect, the cabbage soup diet will seem appealing. If you can accept continually pass gas and living on an exceptionally bland diet, then you could try this out. However, considering the social stigma and lack of nutrition, this could be enough reason to steer clear.
The Negative Calorie Diet
The concept of burning more calories than you eat to lose weight makes sense. However, the concept of eating food with such low calorie count that you burn more while eating it has no scientific support.
The diet consists of mainly greens, including asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery and zucchini. What they tell you is that if you only eat these items, your body will actually burn more calories than the vegetables are worth during digestion. Makes sense right?
The only, yet great flaw with this is that no scientific research supports the claim that this calorie burning process is true. In addition, this diet is implying that exercise is not needed to lose weight. Essentially, the main thing you’re going to be losing will be muscle mass instead of fat. Neither a healthy nor appealing choice.
Diet pills, widespread and well known, is a weight loss technique which is not always a bad option. For those over a body mass index of 27, it can be a helpful starting point to losing weight. However, while pills can kickstart the road to long term weight loss, it should never be a long term solution. People often find the rapid weight loss of diet pills a confidence boost in attaining their goals, but with long term use, there is a risk of unwanted dependency.
Using diet pills long term will come with several health risks other than dependency. Many sideeffects have been associated to increased blood pressure, increased heart rate and heart failure; especially among users of pills containing Ehepdra.
If you do decide to use diet pills, you should always check with your physician first, as mixing them with prescription medicine can also have severe negative side effects.
The Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Hormone Diet (HCG)
While this diet was created in 1971, it did not hit popularity until around 2009. Human chorionic Gonadotropin is a hormone found in the strangest of places, including pregnant women’s urine and certain tumors. It has been proven effective on boys with Frohlich’s syndrome, but there is little to no scientific background for helping adults to lose weight.
The diet involves eating a menu of lean protein items and a calorie restriction of 500 per day, along with injecting or oral intake of the HCG hormone. Exercise? It’s actually discouraged. Since there is no proof that the HCG hormone even works, you are most likely to contribute your weight loss to the 500 calorie a day aspect.
The average woman aged 19-30 needs 2,000 to 2,400 calories a day, women aged 31-50 need 1,800 to 2,200 and women aged 50 and over should be taking in between 1,600 to 2,200 calories. This is to meet basic energy and physical function needs. Without it, your body won’t be able to function properly.
Yet again, the side effects here are significant and in numbers. Negative effects include headaches, risk of blood clots, restlessness, and depression. Not to mention that HCG is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and research shows that doctors in the past were paid up to $100,000 to prescribe the HCG hormone without even meeting with patients.
Overall, with all the risks and uncertain effects of HCG, using this fad diet is definitely not worth it. Fad diets will always be present as people love quick fixes. However, remember that the effects are never long term, and can often lead to loss of muscle mass instead of fat, while ushering in severe health risks and a myriad of other healthrelated side effects.
If you are looking into a fad diet, always talk to your physician about the benefits and side effects first. Remember, your overall health should always come first.