Fad diets, which lead to short-term weight loss, can often be a waste of time, according to a new study.
Whether you’re following the Atkins and Dukan The Fast Diet, The Alkaline Diet to The Baby Food Diet, The Blood-Type Diet, The French Woman Diet, The Paleo Diet and the new 5:2 regime, these often turn out to be passing fancies, reveals a study conducted on 2,000 adults by Alpro, a manufacturer of soy-based food and drink products.
Alpro dietician Kate Arthur said, ‘More and more dieters are realising that the fad diet promises of shedding huge amounts of weight in just a few weeks are either hollow, or that the diets are impossible to follow.
‘The reality is that the majority of these diets are so impractical, and indeed so little fun that we often give up within just a few days.’ (Read: Fad is bad)
Says nutritionist Neha Chandna, ‘You haven’t put on all the weight overnight, so how can you expect to lose it at a lightning speed? These days, everyone wants to lose weight in the blink of an eye and to achieve their dream body, they resort to fad diets which definitely work but for a short period of time. They help you lose weight from your muscles and bones leaving you feeling weak and ill. And once you go back to your normal routine, you gain all the weight or even more in no time. You do the math and see what’s the whole point of following some diet regime which is short-lived, deprives you of nutrients and has many hazardous effects on your body?’
Out of half of the respondents who regularly diet, Alpro found that two out of five dieters quit within the first seven days.
One out of five people are able to sustain it for a month, and the same number make it to the three-month mark, while the remainder stay dedicated for at least six months.
However, only one in 20 is likely to still be following their new healthy eating regime after one year.
Most people begin their diets on a Monday, indictes the survey. Over four out of 10 regular dieters see Mondays as the logical starting point for it usually following a weekend of excess either at home or by eating and drinking out with friends.
However, it’s often in vain as only five days later, by Friday the same week, many people are likely to have already given up the latest new dieting craze. (Read: Look perfect on your wedding with these weight loss tips)
Neha lists out a few ill-effects of following a fad diet:
- Causes constipation
- Leads to weakness
- Loss of concentration
- Muscle loss
- Health risks like osteoporosis and many more
The research also found that an increasing number of people are realising the benefits of regular healthy eating.
‘There has never been any secret to sustaining a healthy diet. It always has been, and always will be, about eating the right foods as part of a balanced diet, and exercising, while allowing yourself a treat now and again,’ said Arthur.
A new study has found that the brain can differentiate between real and artificial sugar. What’s worse? Eating food with artificial sweeteners will only increase cravings for sugary treats later.
The brain’s reward system is highly activated when the body receives a sugary solution rather than artificial sweeteners. Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine USA, believe that the research might explain the reason behind increasing obesity rates despite artificial sweeteners existing for years now.
Food seasoned with artificial sweeteners is extremely popular. In the U.S., about 30 percent of people eat stuff that has sugar substitutes. Previously, Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, had published an article about artificial sweeteners’ effect on the body. Another recent study had found that drinking a can of diet soda can increase the risk of diabetes.
Researchers in the study argue that eating food containing artificial sweeteners, especially while you are hungry, will make you consume more sugar later.
In the study, researchers looked at specific brain signals that are associated with determining the difference between sugar and artificial sweeteners. These signals regulate the release of dopamine levels.
Dopamine is a chemical messenger and affects processes that control behavior, emotional response and more importantly the ability to feel pleasure. The chemical plays a major role in addiction.
The study was conducted on a group of mice and researchers looked for specific brain circuits while the mice were fed sugar or artificial sweeteners.
“According to the data, when we apply substances that interfere with a critical step of the ‘sugar-to-energy pathway’, the interest of the animals in consuming artificial sweetener decreases significantly, along with important reductions in brain dopamine levels,” said Ivan de Araujo, who led the study at Yale University School of Medicine USA.
“This is verified by the fact that when hungry mice – who thus have low sugar levels – are given a choice between artificial sweeteners and sugars, they are more likely to completely switch their preferences towards sugars even if the artificial sweetener is much sweeter than the sugar solution,” de Araujo said in a news release.
So, can there be a sugar substitute that can help people reduce weight without punishing the taste buds?
“The results suggest that a ‘happy medium’ could be a solution; combining sweeteners with minimal amounts of sugar so that energy metabolism doesn’t drop, while caloric intake is kept to a minimum,” Araujo said.
The study is published in the Journal of Physiology.
The vibrant red-coloured, exquisite and delicate raspberry is a powerhouse of innumerable health benefits. The fruit which is a rich source of nutrients, minerals and vitamins, when included in your daily diet can help lower risk of cancer, obesity, cardiovascular diseases and even enhance fertility.
Here is a look at the many health benefits of the exotic berries:
1 – Helps lose weight: Raspberries are low in fat and calories and high in fiber content, which makes them an excellent fruit to be included in your diet plan. The low-energy-density food helps provide larger portions for fewer calories. Raspberries make you feel fuller for long as high-fiber foods take more time to get digested. The insoluble fiber helps keep the body regular and the soluble fiber is known to lower blood cholesterol, which also promotes weight loss.
2 – Reduces cancer risk: Raspberries contain about 10 times more antioxidants than tomatoes. The high levels of antioxidants in raspberries make it a great cancer fighting fruit, as antioxidants help protect cells from the damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. Raspberries also contain ellagic acid that is said to be an anti-carcinogenic compound.
3 – Maintains cardiovascular health: The potassium content in the berries help maintain the heart beat and blood pressure. Raspberries also contain good amount of other minerals like, manganese, copper and iron. Copper is essential for production of red blood cells and iron and folate helps reduce anemia risk.
4 – Enhances fertility: According to a latest research eating raspberries can even help enhance fertility in both men and women. The high levels of Vitamin C and magnesium are very much essential for male and female fertility. The antioxidants help protect sperm, promote conception and reduce the risk of miscarriage.
5 – Slows ageing process: The antioxidants in raspberries slow the ageing process by neutralising free radicals in the body. Anthocyanins, the flavonoids that give red raspberries their colour, can also help your skin glow. They also stimulate collagen production thus giving you a beautiful complexion. Anthocyanins also helps fight against fungi and bacteria.
6 – Helps fight depression and other mood disorders: The fruit is a rich source of Vitamin B and folic acid. A handful of raspberries can give your mood an instant lift.
The nutrient dense fruit also helps improve vision, eases inflammation of stomach and aids digestion.