Diet Fads & Their Real Effects on the Body


Did you know a diet fad is a modern way to lose weight that can give one a slim and curvaceous body but can also result in longterm side effects to the body? There are plenty of weight loss programs that promise to help you lose up to 5kgs in 30 days with different techniques and ways to shed weight. Even after binging on food one can still lose weight. 

Rapid weight loss can be easy if u believe the advertising claims, advertisements and brochures. Fad diets and weight loss supplements promise a slimmer body in no time. But is it true that these products can really produce weight loss? Are there no side effects accompanied with it? Can these techniques be safe?

There can be different variations in the diet for contouring the body shape. But excessive dieting can cause you to damage your health and lead to various side effects on the body. Yes, they can help you lose weight temporarily but at the same time, they can adversely affect your mind and body.

Some major side effects fad diets can result in include:-

Reduce the Metabolic Rate

Dieting comprises of a drastic decrease in the caloric intake, which helps slow down the body’s metabolism. This forces the body to down break down muscle to generate energy. Lesser the muscle mass, slower is the metabolism.

Due to less muscle and a slower metabolism, it’s easier for your body to regain the fat after coming-off the diet.

Weaken the immune system

Lack of vitamins and minerals can weaken your immune system. Reduction of fatty foods from your diet can lead to loss of essential vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K and this may hamper your immune system. Vitamins play a vital role in your body’s immune response. 

Excessive Ketone Production

Very low carbohydrate intake can lead to break down of fatty acids leading to the production of ketones. A reduction of a few pounds can cause damaging side effects such as kidney and liver problems. Some symptoms that you may be producing excessive ketones is nausea and bad breath.


A crash diet such as having only juice instead of an entire meal can lead to rapid loss of body weight. This is because in doing so, one loses water weight. But, this isn’t ideal for long-term weight loss. 

Glycogen stores are a source of energy. This glycogen binds with water and these are depleted faster than the fat cells releasing this water. So, when you restart eating a normal diet, your body will replenish these reduced glycogen and water stores, causing instantaneous weight gain. Dehydration, as a result, can manifest with a headache and dizziness.

Cardiac Problems

Following diet fads can have some positive outcomes as they help lower your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Some potentially harmful effects, however, can be seen on the heart wherein, an increase in cardiac lipid levels may be observed. With a history of cardiac problems, one should discuss the pros and cons of dieting or following a diet fad before beginning one.

Destruction of Hair and Skin

Randomly following a diet fad or switching between diets can limit your intake vital nutrients such as vitamins that your body needs. This can have significant effects on your hair and skin too! Some of these include the lack of hair lustre, increased fragility of hair strands, increased hair loss and skin dryness and acne. 

Digestive System Ailments

The lack of nutrients in the body can lead to inconsistency in stools and result in irregular bowel habits. It can cause diarrhoea or constipation that is triggered by a change in the dietary habits of the individual. For example, consuming green leafy vegetables, green vegetables, fruits, and plenty of water intake etc.

Reduced Energy Levels and Increased Fatigue

While crash diets can lead to weight loss, most of this weight comes from the reduction of glycogen and water stores in the body. This directly causes a loss of energy, making you feel tired and fatigued all the time. 


Fad diets can trigger the release of corticosterone in the brain, which predisposes us to heightened stress levels, irritability and risk of depression. One may also experience poor concentration and disturbed sleep which can aggravate an already existing fatigue.

Increased Risk of Gall Stones

One of the most serious risks of following a low-calorie diet is the possibility of developing gall stones. When the body loses weight too rapidly, the liver starts secreting extra cholesterol. This leads to excessive cholesterol in the bile resulting in the formation of gallstones.

Menstrual Problems

Due to the rapid weight loss, there is a significant change in a woman’s hormones which directly affects the menstrual cycle. Many women who follow new diet fads suddenly or switch diet often find themselves struggling with conditions such as PCOS, irregular menstrual cycle, etc. Alternatives to Fad Diet

Rather than being under the pressure and perils of over-dieting, regular realistic weight loss goals should be advocated. Longterm lifestyle changes are more likely to make a long-term difference to give one a healthy, lean body.

Diets come and go but one cannot risk their health by following each and every one of them. Each diet fad has a so-called “science” behind it and those advocating the diet always have proof to show it is effective. However, one must always remember that in the case of diets, one must understand that one size DOESN’t fit all!

Your choice of diet is dependent upon many factors such as your overall health, your health goal, habits, and underlying health conditions(if any). It is very easy to fall prey to emerging diet fads, even as healthcare professionals but be a good judge of what you eat!

Also, it is rightly said if you don’t give time for fitness you will be forced upon to make time for illness. So, along with a healthy, nutritious diet, remember your workouts!

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About the author

Dr.Nikita Pawar is a General Practitioner by profession and has completed her (MBBS PGDCR). She has previously worked in GMC Hospital Dubai & is currently attached to a hospital, corporate company and Clinics in Mumbai. She is passionate about medical article writing and always strives to maintain commitment towards achieving professional growth as she transitions from one phase of her career to the next.



  • Bhaskar Narain December 31, 2020 at 9:15 am

    Dr Nikita ,You have written Wonderful Useful Article.Your Presentation is just Superb. Would like to Continue Reading your Articles on Health and About Historical Places



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