Careful before you plump for fad diet

Published Feb 11, 2018, 12:56 am IST
Updated Feb 11, 2018, 1:00 am IST
Food choices made for social media, priority to body shapes.
With a lot of stress laid on looking a particular way with desires about specific body weight and shape there is too much pressure on what food to eat and what not.
 With a lot of stress laid on looking a particular way with desires about specific body weight and shape there is too much pressure on what food to eat and what not.

Hyderabad: Are the fad diets making us think negatively about the foods we eat? Is it making us control our cravings and gulp healthy foods as they are best to control body weight and also diseases? Are we then going against our wishes and creating a constant conflict within the body?

Experts say yes. 
Maladaptive eating patterns are capable of creating havoc in one’s life. With a lot of stress laid on looking a particular way with desires about specific body weight and shape there is too much pressure on what food to eat and what not. Foods that are considered not good for health are viewed very negatively and this is the first step towards eating disorders. Wrong choices of food or always fussing over food and counting calories lead to depression, anxiety, anger and create trouble for cognitive abilities. 


“Knowledge and awareness about food and nutrition helps to build a positive relationship with food. Most of the people talk about food from knowledge they have accessed but it is not analysed whether it suits their body weight, physical activity or lifestyle. Many of them opt for foods out of compulsion and that brings in a craving for food stuff which is not on the plate. Looking at food in a positive manner as a nutrient and nourishment for the body can go a long way in making right choices of food and it differs from person to person,” Sandhya Pandey, clinical dietician, explained. 

Now, food choices are made from social media where body shapes and sizes are given a priority over good eating habits. The idolisation of thin models, dieting and body dissatisfaction are some woes constantly encountered by the society. 

Dr Samir Parikh, director in department of mental health and behavioural sciences at Fortis Healthcare explained that there is a bi-direct relationship between food and moods. “Such a relationship is evident in comfort eating, stress eating or loss of appetite during stress. In normal people, there are signs of controlling cravings and opting for more healthy foods. But with consciousness rising over weight issues, there is common observance of rigid diets, secretly binging on foods, throwing up after meals and obsessively counting calories,” he said. 

Negativity about food breeds negativity in brains where the cells create a chain reaction of not liking the food. These chemicals from the brain give signals to the body for not appreciating the food. 

Dr K. Srinivas, consultant neuro-psychiatrist and behaviour therapist explained that 70 per cent of negativity comes from the surroundings and it is not due to one factor. At the clinical-level, we have found that patients in low carb diets are found suffering from loss of higher mental functioning like decision making over a period of time. Cognitive blunting effects are seen due to lesser neuro chemicals in the brain. Diets are to be followed by taking a proper scientific evaluation of the body and consultation about eating habits. To simply go on diets is wrong. In research studies, it has been found that 35 per cent of mental breakdowns are due to low carb diets or high fat intake.”

Perception of food is found to play a major role as  the brain senses the food and allows it to be processed in the body.

Stop looking at food as an enemy: Experts
Nutrients give the body instructions on how to function and food is the source which passes this information to the body. When we start looking at the food - whether it is good or bad - the message given to the cells makes it process one’s health.

Dr Zeenath Fatima, nutrition and wellness expert explained, “Positive and rightful thinking about food is important. It does not always have to be counted as calories or grams, good foods or bad foods. It has to be looked upon as a source to maintain and keep our body healthy. Prevent and also treat diseases. People have to stop looking at food as an enemy.”

High protein diets are bad for you
Protein is the building block of life. Daily allowance for protein is 1.8 gms of protein per kilogram of body weight for a healthy individual. It is essential for a healthy heart and a healthy body.Thousands of processes and reactions that happen within our body each day would not be possible without proteins.

Caffeine has negative effects 
Caffeine sharpens memory, keeps you alert through those groggy mornings, relieves post workout muscle pain to quite an extent, and also increases stamina during exercises.

Fruits are a healthy snack
One of the most debatable topics. Some fruits have loads of sugar. We need to be careful of the amount of fruits we are eating. The ‘weight loss’ diet results in quick weight loss without meeting nutritional needs. Fad diets set the individual up for failure. 

When the diet fails, the dieters may blame themselves and develop a feeling of demoralisation and hopelessness that they are unable to lose weight. This can make it harder to make the healthy changes needed for long-term weight loss.

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