Fad dieting provides unhealthy alternatives

You decide it’s time for a change: you run three miles a day. You come home looking for something nutritious to eat, so you head to the pantry and happen to have a jar of baby food. You continue to eat a variety of baby food 14 times a day and maybe one “adult” meal for dinner. You continue to eat baby food for the next month until you have reached your desired weight.

Hollywood’s “baby food diet” is one of many fad diets that have become a common way of losing weight. According to University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Science, a fad diet is “a diet that promises quick weight loss through what is usually an unhealthy and unbalanced diet.

Fad diets are targeted at people who want to lose weight quickly without exercise. The rules to the fad diets vary from strict to lenient in terms of how many times a day you eat the specific food. What links all fad diets together is that the user generally loses a large amount of weight due to starvation.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy and Agriculture, the average adult male needs anywhere from 2,000-2,400 calories a day or higher depending on how active he is. The average adult female needs anywhere from 1,800-2,000 calories a day, also depending on how active she is. With fad diets such as the cabbage soup diet, which contains a diet of only cabbages, you only get about 800 calories a day.

800 calories a day without sources of protein, carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits and the right amount of sugar can result in your body shutting itself down into starvation mode, in order to get the necessary requirements.

In fact, Positive Med, an informational website on all aspects of the body and celebrity body types in the public eye, said that, “fad diets can backfire on your metabolism, causing your body to think it is entering famine and is forced to slow down your metabolism.” Muscle tissue speeds up metabolism, so doing things to promote muscle growth such as consuming the appropriate amount of protein and lifting weights can help with healthier weight loss.

Nowadays, social media has created high expectations for how women and men are expected to look. Magazines have altered the way people look in order to have consumers buy the magazine, and it has negatively impacted the way that people look at themselves.

The idea that skinny is healthy and fat is unhealthy has everyone looking for the newest diet that will give them the tiny figure photoshopped onto most magazines. According to Brown University’s Health promotion, “encouragement to focus on body appearance is at an all-time high in this culture…”

According to a survey conducted by The Patriot, one responder feels that, “Fad diets don’t work, [and] you need to make a slow gradual change that you can sustain.”

There isn’t a miracle plan to a 24-inch waist without actually exercising and getting all of the nutrients your body needs. Some of these diets result in nausea and even death from starvation and malnutrition. Fad diets have also been known to trigger eating disorders. According to Eating Disorders Coalition, 40-60% of high school girls diet, and dieting is a huge risk factor for triggering eating disorders.

Your body is a temple, and you should take care of it. Net Doctor, a website on healthy eating suggests that “the healthiest way to lose weight is neither crash diets nor bursts of exercise, the body likes slow changes in terms of food and exercise.” It may take a little longer for the weight to shed, but you’ll feel better in the long run.

Azanae Barrow is a Community Editor and Nick Miller is an Entertainment Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.