During the spring season, we are often told by the media that we need to get our “summer body” or “bikini body” ready to go. Along with these false claims comes a slew of gimmicky fad diets to help you supposedly lose weight fast and permanently. It is important to note, however, that all of these diets are simply created to lure women into false promises and claims about their health and wellness while also feeding off the insecurities they have created. If you do not believe me yet, this article will hopefully convince you that these fads are unhealthy—and even potentially dangerous for your health.
“The 2021 Detox” By Goop
Although I chose to focus on this diet specifically, you should stay away from any diet that claims to “detox” your body, as well as almost all diets produced by Gwyneth Paltrow, owner of Goop. Your body is meant to detox itself—that is one the main purposes of our kidneys and liver. You should not be trying to “detox” your body by depriving yourself of nutrients, as most detox diets suggest. You can also experience symptoms of low energy, low blood sugar, muscle aches, fatigue, dizziness and nausea. The detox diet is also unsustainable, meaning when you have to get off of it, you will likely gain all the weight you lost back. Goop diets, and most detox diets, are just ploys to try to get you to buy expensive weight loss supplements while damaging your body and mind.
The Keto Diet
The Keto Diet has been popular for a couple of years now, but it was never even intended for weight loss. It was originally created as a way to help children with epilepsy, and can be harmful to the average person. Symptoms caused by the Keto Diet include low blood pressure, kidney stones, constipation, nutrient deficiencies and an increased risk of heart disease. These side effects can cause irreversible damage in people with pre-existing health conditions, such as diabetes, hypoglycemia, and thyroid problems. Like the detox diets, this diet is also unsustainable and you will likely gain the weight back after you get off it. For your health and wellness, steer clear of Keto.
The Low FODMAP Diet
Although the FODMAP diet can be totally safe for you, it was not created for weight loss or to be long term! The FODMAP diet was created for those with gastrointestinal (GI) issues to find out if a food intolerance is causing their issues, and was only created to be followed for two to six weeks. You should only attempt to do a FODMAP diet after talking with your doctor and only for the time suggested by your doctor, and you should not try to use it for weight loss. FODMAP is a form of short term therapy for those suffering from things like irratable bowel syndrome or GI distress, not a fad diet trend for weight loss.
The Gluten-Free Diet
Like FODMAP, a gluten free diet can be safe and even healthy for certain people, but it should not be treated like a weight loss diet. The only people who should be going on a gluten free diet are those with celiac disease or a gluten allergy/intolerance, or those that have been reccomended to do so by a doctor. Gluten-free diets do come with risks, such as lack of fiber, increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes, and deficiencies in key nutrients like vitamin B, iron, and zinc. It can even lead to weight gain because gluten free items are often higher in sugar and fat. Like FODMAP, a gluten free diet should be treated as a medical tool, not a weight loss or diet regimen.
There are many more fad diets out there, and you don’t need any of them. There is no “summer body” that you need to achieve; you (and everyone else) are worthy of love and respect no matter what clothing size you wear or what number comes up on the scale. If you are looking to change up your diet for yourself, however, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Is this diet nutrient dense? Am I getting enough calories, vitamins and minerals, fats and proteins?
- Does this diet make me feel satisfied or full? Do I feel hungry after eating on this diet? Do I feel like I can go about my day to day activities without feeling hungry all day?
- Is this diet restrictive? Does this diet focus on the things I “can” and “can’t” eat, rather than what I should be eating? Does this diet demonize certain foods and create a moral scale for food?
- Is this diet sustainable? Can I see myself continuing this diet for a long time—maybe even the rest of my life?
Keeping these points in mind can help you dodge some bullets when it comes to fad diets, and achieve the healthy relationship with food you’re looking for!