The Emergence of Fad Diets

Fad diets have come and gone over the centuries, yet despite their unhealthy and unsustainable methods, they are still quite popular. Read up more on what diets are and what the best diet is!

The Emergence of Fad Diets

Men and women alike are pressured to look a certain way. Beauty standards differ in each country, and in the Philippines, the definition of beauty that we have can almost be called imperialistic. Characteristics such as: thin, with a tall nose and fair white skin have become a requirement in the Philippines to be termed as beautiful.

The rise of the “mestiza” look is only made evident by the numerous whitening products strongly marketed in the Philippines as well as the fact that most of the winners of Miss Universe Philippines are mixed-race.

Alongside the “mestiza” look, having to be thin or slim is also one of the predominant beauty standards here in the Philippines. This is apparent in the way people, most especially our family members, criticize us on our weight. The pressure to become thin and achieve the ideal (and not necessarily healthy) weight has given birth to fad diets.

What Are Fad Diets?

Fad diets are diets which promise quick weight loss through what is oftentimes unhealthy methods. To determine a fad diet from a factually healthy diet, one of the things to look out for is whether the diet promises that you could lose more than eight pounds a month.

This is so because it is advised that losing one to two pounds per week will minimize the risk of the lost weight being regained due to the unsustainable method in losing them in the first place.

The emergence of fad diets is not a recent one. In fact, the oldest diet can be traced back to 1825, when a low-carbohydrate diet was unveiled by Jean-Brillat Savarin in his work, “The Physiology of Taste.” Various other methods of dieting has been discovered and proposed by different health professionals, with the most recently proposed diet being the Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain.

What Is A Healthy Diet?

Unlike fad diets, a healthy diet does not restrict you to one particular kind of food. Completely cutting off a whole food group such as protein or carbohydrate deprives your body of the nutrients that you need.

Here are a few tips that we can give you regarding your diet:

Go for the Alternative

In each food group, there are food there are always different kinds of food items— there are healthy and unhealthy ones. For example, there are different kinds of carbohydrates. There are whole or natural carbohydrates, and there are refined carbohydrates.

Some examples of whole carbohydrates are whole fruit, vegetables, legumes, and potatoes. On the other hand, some examples of refined carbohydrates are white bread, white pasta, white rice, and sugar-sweetened beverages.

Refined carbohydrates start out just like whole grains. However, in the factory, during the process of production, food makers remove their nutritious, fiber-rich outer shells such as the germ and bran. This causes a shorter time period of satiety, difficulty in absorbing other nutrients, and the risk of a higher blood pressure.

So instead of grabbing a slice of white bread, reconsider and pick up a slice of wheat bread instead! And this goes the same for other food groups such as sugar, which also has its own good and bad kinds.

Moderation is Key

Too much of anything can be proven to be bad for us. This means that just because you’re eating wheat bread instead of white bread doesn’t mean you can eat a whole loaf in one sitting and consider it as healthy.

There is no scientific definition of “eating in moderation,” despite how common it is used. Most define it as to "avoid excessive amounts of calories or any particular food or nutrient." However, exact numbers of how many calories or nutrients to eat are never given.

Despite its ambiguity, this is also good for you because this means that you are free to choose the variation of food to get your vitamins and nutrients from, as long as proper portion control is executed.

Stay Active and Moving

Going for the healthier alternative paired with portion control will be sure to make you feel healthier in no time. And if you add a bit of daily exercise into the mix, you’ll definitely be unstoppable!

Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular and respiratory system work more efficiently. When your heart and lung health improve, you now have more energy to carry out your daily tasks -- such as walking or climbing up stairs.

We all know that talking about eating better and living a healthier lifestyle is easier said than done. This is why we made this short write up to help you! Remember that a healthy body does not equate to being thin. A healthy body does not only mean the absence of disease or infirmity, but rather, it is a state of complete  physical, mental, and social well-being.

Prescribing a single diet to everyone is impossible because everyone has different health conditions. For example, people who have diabetes or high blood pressure may need a different diet than what is usually prescribed since they would have to pay even more attention to other factors such as sodium or sugar levels.

So be sure to make food with recipes that are suited to your needs. You may even consult with your doctor regarding the proper diet for you!

References: UPMC