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Fad Diets Could Ruin Your Fitness Goals

Por Leslie Rodríguez, RD, LD* -

Sometimes we feel that we have to make drastic changes in our lifestyle in order to lose weight. 

To lose weight and keep it off, you must follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly. But, some people try fad diets to lose weight quickly and end up jeopardizing their exercise routines because of it. The diet you chose could directly impact your athletic performance. Don't make the wrong changes to your diet, or you'll regret it!

Going on a high-protein diet can produce several unwanted side effects that could hinder your exercise plan. For example, this type of diet could cause osteoporosis over time, which could lead to fragile or broken bones. Another more immediate side effect is ketosis (when your body, in the absence of glucose, burns fat and protein for energy), which can cause fatigue, dizziness and headaches. By eliminating a food group, you can also cause nutrient imbalances that will keep you from performing at your best. Finally, you may become dehydrated quickly because high-protein consumption makes you have to urinate more frequently.

If you decide to drastically cut your calories (to less than 1000 daily), you will also have problems. You may reduce your endurance, compromise your immune system, and/or lose muscle mass. When you lose a great deal of weight too quickly, you usually end up losing water weight, muscle, and organ tissue first--not fat. You do not want to lose muscle, because muscle stays metabolically active, meaning it burns calories even when not in use. Fat, on the other hand, is not metabolically active. 

Weight loss pills or herbs are another popular fad which may cause other problems. Many of these products contain caffeine, which will interrupt your normal sleep patterns. Rest plays an important role when you want to maintain an active lifestyle. Other products may contain dangerous herbs that scientists have linked to serious side effects, including death.

As the name implies, “fad” diets do not provide long-term solutions to weight loss. Most people can't stay on these fad diets very long. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, exercise and eat right. Eating right means eating more fruits and vegetables, nonfat dairy products, whole grains and beans. You also need to eat less of calorie-dense foods, such as cookies, sugary desserts, ice cream, fries, pizza, and candy. You don't have to cut these foods out of your diet completely, but you don't have to eat them every day. something else you need to do is keep your portions small.

*Specialist in sports nutrition and physical activity of MyDiet™


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