If you’re like 21% of Americans, your new year’s resolution may be to lose weight or get in better shape. Those are great goals, but reports say only 9% of people who set resolutions for themselves felt they actually achieved them. One reason people won’t meet their 2018 health resolution is because they try a fad diet.
Fad diets are popular in the U.S., with the average American adult trying to implement a fad diet four times a year. However, 69% of fad diets fail, and 65% of people who lose weight on a fad diet gain it all back. Some popular fad diets today are the Keto-diet, which severely limits the amount of carbohydrates a person eats in a day; juice cleanses that replace meals with fresh squeezed juices; and Whole 30, which limits processed food and other types of food deemed unhealthy for 30 days.
If you have heard of, or tried, these diets you may have seen quick success, but may not have been able to keep the weight off. Erin Ippen, a registered dietician nutritionist, says fad diets only work because “they cause initial weight loss but are not sustainable and rarely lead to long-term weight loss. For low-carb diets specifically, they change the way you metabolize nutrients, so most weight loss is a result of water weight instead of fat loss.”
Some of these diets can also have serious health repercussions. “When you restrict certain food groups, you can miss out on essential nutrients, which can negatively affect your health,” Ippen advises. For example, the keto-diet limits your carbohydrate intake. Carbohydrates are extremely important to the function of your body, because carbs are broken into glucose in the blood stream. Your brain, vital organs, and exercising muscle can only function with glucose in the blood stream. Without that glucose, your body makes alternate fuel sources, like ketones. Ketones occur in the blood when your body doesn’t have enough energy so it begins breaking down fats in the liver, then muscle, and causes your blood to become more acidic, and you are in a state of ketosis.
Ketosis occurs in people with anorexia, as well as diabetics with sustained high blood sugars, otherwise known as Diabetic Ketoacidosis. Ketosis is very serious and requires immediate medical care. The keto-diet advertises ketosis as a healthy, metabolic state. They claim your body will adjust to a state of ketosis, but instead you can cause serious damage to your internal organs; prolonged ketosis can result in becoming unconscious, seizures and even death.
If you are experiencing symptoms like fruity breath, excessive thirst or urination, weakness, fatigue or nausea and vomiting you may be in ketosis and need immediate medical attention. If you are dieting and experience dizziness, lose consciousness or experience low blood sugar, you should also seek medical help.
If you are serious about losing weight in 2018, ditch the fad diets. They often cause more harm then good, and could even land you in the ER. Talk to a nutritionist to figure out a healthy weight loss plan for yourself, and make small changes over time so you’re more likely to stick to your resolution.
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This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.