Articles on atkins diet

Detox Diets for Weight Loss - Side Effects

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Detox diets for weight loss are very popular, but they can have serious side effects. A British woman suffered permanent brain damage after a week of a prescribed detox diet. That's not the standard, but you must be aware of the health effects these weight loss detox diets.First, there is no scientifically proven reason to put yourself on a detox diet. Detox diets are nutritionally imbalanced. Some of them keep you on a liquid diet, depriving your body of basic nutrients. Others suggest herbal laxatives and colonics. Our bodies have natural detoxification methods that work very well, so we do we really need these?Because these detox diets are extremely low calorie diets, people experience common symptoms such as tiredness and lethargy. Long term detox diets can cause headaches, constipation, bad breath, and your metabolic rate will slow down, thus you will burn less fat. Also, since these detox diets are so restrictive on calories, your body goes into a starvation mode- it will store all your consumed calories as fat, and burn muscle.To cleanse your colon, increase fiber in your diet. The diuretics and laxatives suggested in detox diets increase your waste output, and can cause severe dehydration. Also, they can change your electrolyte levels which may result in serious health problems. These diets can weaken your body's immune system to fight infection and inflammation.Read about Atkins diet, GM diet and other diets- along with their fad diet side effects. Many people use these diets to lose weight. They do experience fast weight loss, but due to the nature of the diet, once they return to their normal life, they regain the weight back. The key really is to adopting a healthy diet that is long term. And a healthy diet does not mean boiled veggies and raw fruits. It just needs to be balanced. Also the focus should be on fat loss instead of weight loss and being healthy.

Is High Protein Diet Good for Health?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
High protein diets are one of the most popular and most followed diets for weight loss all around the world. Bodybuilders and nutritionists recommend a high protein diet for muscle building and in increased athletic activity. But dieters often get confused and relate this with low carb-high protein diets which is the basis of most of the fad diets like Atkins diet and South Beach diet.While adequate protein intake is required for muscle building, muscle strength and toning, increased protein intake coupled with restricted intake of other nutrients (carbohydrates & fats) can be harmful for the body. Diets with up to 30% protein are considered reasonable by experts, whereas diets with over 50% protein and restricted nutrients are high protein diets.Are High Protein Diets Safe?High protein diets can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Protein is important for the body but so are carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Eliminating whole grains, fruits and vegetables can increase your risk of Vitamin B and Vitamin E deficiency. Also restricting required daily intake of fat can lead to poor skin, hair and absorption disorders.Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy to the body. If restricted, body is forced to derive energy from fat and protein. This in turn leads to production of harmful bi-product named ketone bodies. When excessive levels of ketones get accumulated in the system, it can lead to multiple organ failure and can be fatal. Even if restricted diet is followed for a short term and the level of ketones does not reach dangerous levels, it can be damaging to body organs particularly kidneys.High protein diets require your body to process more calcium. Protein diets low on dairy products can be harmful for bones. Research shows that women who eat high protein diets based on meat have a higher rate of bone density loss than those who don't. Women who eat meat lose an average of 35% of their bone density by age 65, while women who don't eat meat lose an average of 18%. In the long run, bone density loss leads to osteoporosis.Not all protein is created equal. Some high protein diets promote foods such as red meat and full fat dairy products, which can lead to increased cholesterol levels and may increase your risk of heart disease.One should always aim for a healthy and gradual weight loss. As it is a very personal and individual process, a health expert can help you design a diet that works best with your lifestyle, includes food that you enjoy and has the right combination of nutrients required by your body. Choose smart carbs such as whole grains, seasonal fruits and vegetables, lean proteins such as chicken breast, eggs, low fat milk and milk products, fish etc. and healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, healthy oils to achieve your ideal weight the right way.

Are Diet Biscuits Helpful in Weight Loss?

Dr. Pallavi Jassal
One regular biscuit, not a diet biscuit, contains 73 calories, 2.6 grams of simple sugars, considerable 3.2 grams of fat and high sodium content gives you about 150 calories!If you are a Marie biscuit fan, you must know that here are 150 calories in 6 biscuits serving of Marie Biscuits.If you are conscious enough to have only oats biscuits, because you want the healthiest for you, this piece of information is for you. 3 pieces of the regular oats biscuits have about 120 calories, 5g fat, 3g fiber, and nearly 2g protein.And here is the information I have gathered about your favourite biscuits: Points to consider when you are on a weight loss diet:If you are on a weight loss regimen, I strongly advise you to replace these biscuits, even the diet ones with any source of protein like egg whites, unsalted nuts, tofu or paneer.This is not to be ignored that the diet foods are low calorie or low fat but can’t be NO CALORIE. Still, if you want to have the diet biscuits, the best way is ‘REPLACEMENT not SUPPLEMENTATION’.Try to ascertain the daily calorie requirement and then decide if you can really afford to have additional diet biscuits. Read the nutritional label of biscuit very carefully and if it says that the biscuit is low fat, you must know that low fat means at least 3g of fat is still present in 100g and mainly the calories come from carbs which can be disastrous for your weight loss. Now, you have to decide whether your can afford these many calories as your favourite tea partners or will have to replace these with unsalted nuts or other protein foods.

Types of Weight Loss Diets: Find Your Pick

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
There are various fad diets for weight loss. Atkins diet, banana diet, GM diet to name a few and each of these diets have different approach to reduce weight. They work well on the calorie intake but are they providing you with enough nutrition for healthy functioning of the body. Lets understand a few diets and see how much beneficial are they as a weight loss diet.High-protein, low-carbohydrate diets have been widely promoted in recent years as an effective approach to losing weight. High protein diets typically contain 1g of protein per 1 pound of body weight. Some high protein diets will recommend a percentage of total calorie intake (such as 30% or more).Drawbacks of High Protein Diet: Excessive protein consumption, particularly animal protein, can result in heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and kidney stones- It is difficult to eat 6 small meals through the day especially when you are working or travelling- Too high protein can leads to renal (kidney) failure or stress.- Bone loss is also seen with high protein intake as it creates an acidic medium and calcium carbonate from bone will be leached out to balance the ph level of blood.- Consumption of protein more than the daily dietary requirement of the body results in protein being stored as fat in the body.GM Diet and health program was developed for employees and dependents of General Motors, Inc. GM Diet’s target is to loss 10-17 lbs per week ( put this in kgs) . It will also improve dieter’s attitudes and emotions because of its cleansing systematic effects. The effectiveness of this seven day plan is that the food eaten burns more calories than they give to the body in caloric value.Drawbacks of GM diet: Too many restrictions on food so makes GM diet a difficult diet to follow.- GM Diet cannot be continued in the long run.- GM diet, by default, cuts out many valuable nutrientsThe GM Diet is a short term route to weight loss, which may or may not be healthy. Especially if practiced in the long term. Losing such drastic weight is not healthy, as it puts a lot of stress on your health.A Gluten diet is popularly being used as a fad diet to lose weight. A Gluten-Free Diet is a diet completely free of gluten. Gluten is a protein found in most grains (specifically those that include rye, barley, or wheat). Traditionally used to treat celiac disease, a disease that disrupts the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine.Drawback of Gluten Free Diet: Gluten free diet needs special attention. Food products are not easily available in the market. Gluten free diet is not practical for most people.Balanced Diet: Rather than experimental diet which are not balanced with nutrition could be unhealthy for the body in long term resulting in deficiency of certain nutrients. A balanced diet is when your daily dietary intake is based on your individual body type and its requirement. It doesn't tell you to starve or or eat just a specific food but there is a variety of food spread across the day giving you complete daily nutrition.People from different regions and places have a different eating pattern and foods they like . Its difficult to sustain long term weight loss on diet plans that are not similar to your actual eating lifestyle. Therefore for best and long term results choose a weight loss diet program that understands your lifestyle and caters to it.

Low Carbs Food for Diet

Dr. Yogesh Kumar, Ayurveda
health conscious or health enthusiasts prefer to stick to a low carb diet which basically means cutting out fruits, cereals, grains and sugar from the diet.A low-carb diet is a diet that restricts carbohydrates, such as those found in sugary foods, pasta and bread. It is high in protein, fat and healthy vegetables. There are many different types of low-carb diets, and studies show that they can cause weight loss and improve health.Sources of Low carb diet:Meat: Beef, lamb, pork, chicken and others. Grass-fed is best.Fish: Salmon, trout, haddock and many others. Eggs: Omega-3 enriched or pastured eggs are best.Vegetables: Spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and many others.Fruits: Apples, oranges, pears, blueberries, strawberries.Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.Dairy: Cheese, butter, heavy cream, yogurt.Fats and Oils: Coconut oil, butter, lard, olive oil and cod fish liver oil.ALMOND FLOURMade from finely ground almonds, paleo-worthy almond flour  can be suitable for your six-pack.almond flour also has higher amounts of protein, heart-friendly monounsaturated fat, and the supercharged antioxidant vitamin E than grain-based flours do.AMARANTHGrains are never going to be the lowest-carbohydrate option  Like quinoa, amaranth is also a source of the necessary essential amino acids to help show your muscles some love. Amaranth becomes viscous once cooked in water, as it releases its starch. Try it as a stellar alternative to oats for your breakfast porridge.This gluten-free grain supplies significant amounts of manganese, a mineral required for proper metabolism.DairyTOFUTofu isn't only for vegetarians! It also offers an inexpensive low-carb protein option for carnivores who want a night off from meat. Compounds in soy called isoflavones, which are used to make tofu, may have blood-pressure-lowering powers.Alone it doesn't taste like much, but when you add tofu to sauces or other foods, it soaks up flavors brilliantly. Try it as a cheap protein in stir-fry, or marinate it like you would steak and slap it on the grill.PUMPKIN SEEDSThese are a surprising source of whole-food protein, with about 7 grams in a crunchy serving. Of note, none of their carbohydrates are sugar, making them an even better way to elevate protein content in salads, oatmeal, yogurt, or cottage cheese. You can turn to pumpkin seeds for a source of testosterone-boosting zinc. CATFISHcatfish is an inexpensive way to load up your muscles with pure high-quality protein. Fillets are great steamed, grilled, oven-roasted, or pan-seared.PINK SALMON Pink salmon is an economical option with lower levels of toxins such as mercury than what's found in most canned tuna. Canned salmon have plenty of the omega-3 fats that have been shown to reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness and stimulate muscle protein synthesis.CHICKENChicken have richer flavor and their juicy meat is less prone to drying out during cooking. Leave the skin on during cooking for even more flavor, but if you're concerned about the extra fat calories it delivers, strip it off before eating.TURKEYTurkey is an easy way to infuse your meals with carb-free protein. Use it for burgers and meat sauces. To trim fat calories, look for packages made with ground white meat.  turkey contains a full arsenal of the essential amino acids that can pump up your muscles.

Side Effects of Unhealthy Fad Diets

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Any average person suffering from weight issue has at least once in their life have given a shot and tried these fad diets. Its natural for anyone to first indulge in self help before they fail, or their situation in some case worsens, that they seek out professional guidance. Take a minute and reflect on what might you have exposed your body to unintentionally.Balanced DietMost of the fad diets are popularly termed as “yo-yo” diets that give you a short term solution to quick weight loss but do not guarantee any long term sustenance of the weight loss. Besides it deprives body of nutrition resulting in low blood pressure, reduced energy and fatigue. If you continue to under nourish your body with an unbalanced diet your metabolism also starts to slow down over time.The latest trend amongst most diet is a low carbohydrate and high protein diet. The biggest drawback of this diet consuming a diet rich in protein deprives the body of calcium resulting in osteoporosis, especially women in their early to mid thirties. This diet also has a long term effect on regular functioning of the kidney.Another extremely interesting paradox that every fad diet follower suffers is from reduced metabolic rate due to the poor dietary intake. Being on a constant diet over a period of time slows down your metabolic rate. This is your body’s natural phenomenon of dealing with lack of enough nutrition and food. The body goes into the starvation mode where all the food that is consumed is stored in the body as fat thus increasing your tendency to put on weight even when you are on the fad diet.These diets have been around for decades and are extremely dated. They have gained popularity overtime is due to a few celebrities who have once in a while taken to extreme measures to lose weight for an upcoming movie. But then again have been criticized heavily in media for doing so. Their excuse is that they needed to do because they get paid for looking a certain way. Then why is it that most of us get carried away and follow them blindly even after knowing the side effects of such fad diets.These diets have been around for decades and are extremely dated. They have gained popularity overtime is due to a few celebrities who have once in a while taken to extreme measures to lose weight for an upcoming movie. But then again they have been criticized heavily in media for doing so. Their excuse is that they needed to do because they get paid for looking a certain way. Then why is it that most of us get carried away and follow them blindly even after knowing the side effects of such fad diets.There are no shortcuts to anything then how is being healthy any different. The best way to manage your weight is to strike a balance between a well-balanced diet and exercise. Especially since there are no generic way to solve everyone's weight issues the approach to manage it should be extremely personalized /customized to ensure long term solution.  To start with you should seek good professional help that offers a combination of good diet and exercise based on your life style and routine. The closer you work with your current situation and gradually incorporate lifestyle changed like healthy eating, effective exercise the easier and lasting will be the effects of  a good weight loss program.

Are Low Carb Diet Healthy?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Are carbohydrates your weight loss enemy? Why don't people hate them so much and do low carbohydrate diets really help in weight loss? Lets find out why we should not be so scared of them.Carbohydrates are the main source of fuel for our body. You need them every day in recommended levels to carry out all bodily functions. These are generally categorized in 2 forms i.e. Simple and complex carbohydrates. The latter one are grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn and former one are table sugar, refined cereals, non starchy vegetables  and dairy foods. The carbohydrates that are responsible for weight gain are the simple carbohydrates and should be limited in your diet.Completely removing carbohydrates is not the most sensible thing you can do to your body.  Almost all the food groups contain carbohydrates and if you severely restricting them in your diet then you are actually harming your body by inviting future health problems. Here are some problems after consuming low carbohydrate diet.You will feel bloatedAccording to the National Institute of Digestive Diseases, belly bloat is one of the key symptoms of constipation. And constipation is a common side effect of a low-carb diet. So, if you are facing the problem of constipation and bloating then you should give a thought to what you are consuming on daily basis.Will increase cravings urgeOnce you restrict your body with carbohydrates, your body will crave more for the same. You will face severe carbohydrate cravings for foods containing a high amount of simple carbohydrates, making it harder to follow a healthy dietary regime.State of ketosis occurA lack of enough carbs leads to ketosis. Ketosis occur when you do not have enough glucose for energy, so your body breaks down stored fat, causing ketones to build up which is followed by nausea, headaches and bad breath.Reduce Brain functionThe main fuel for your brain is carbohydrates. Due to the lack of carbohydrates in diet, the brain does not function properly which can lead to shorter attention span, memory loss and mood swings.Muscle crampsCarbohydrates allow the body to store water and energy. When you consume little or no carbohydrates, the water stored in the body also reduces. This can lead to muscle cramps.Low carb diet make you more fatterLow carb dieters feel stress and depressed which keep them away from getting slim  because stress produces high levels of hormones, like cortisol , that boost your appetite and lead to binging.An individual carb requirements depend on your:goals (fat loss, muscle gain, maintenance)genetics (different body types, medical conditions)carb source (refined versus minimally processed)activity level (sedentary, weight-training, endurance athlete)But don't just eliminate those carbohydrates. Replace them with the healthier carbohydrates: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and legumes. Along with their calories, these carbohydrates have fiber, vitamins, and minerals to give you energy while helping you feel satisfied. So, when it comes to weight loss, a balanced diet is more effective, easier to manage and is more practical, you will see better result in keeping up healthy pointers in your lifestyle.Try to keep your life simple by following instructionsDon’t waste your energy by thinking too much only on single food group, focus more on balanced dietEnjoy variety of fresh, whole and minimally processed foodsModeration and portion control is keyAbstinence is waste of time

Mono Diets: Fast & Unhealthy Weight Loss

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Everyone wants ‘Fast Weight Loss’, regardless of how long it took them to gain weight. Due to this high demand, there are many short terms fixes using extreme & often unhealthy methods for ‘fast weight loss’ that do not give you actual fat loss, only water loss. So, once you return to your normal lives, the weight gain comes back with a vengeance. One of these is commonly known as Mono-Diets or mono food diet plan.Mono Food Diet Plan means that you will only eat one kind of food each meal. That means one kind of food only every meal for you to maximize the nutrients that you can get. Mono diets revolve around Food Groups- high protein group (meats and fish), high vitamin group (vegetables and fruits), high fat group, and high starch group (cereals or starches-bread and pasta). These are the major food groups are your choice for your Mono Diet Plan. For example you will be advised to eat fruits exclusively on the first day, only vegetables on the second day, meat on the third day and cereals or starch sources on the fourth day, and so on. (Note: This is only an example. Please do not follow this diet plan)The healthy rate of weight loss is recommended to be 2 kg per month. Losing more weight puts an extra strain on your body, and requires drastic measures, that can have possibly unhealthy consequences. At 2 kg per month of healthy weight loss from a proper weight loss plan, most or all of the weight loss will come from fat loss. Read here about the difference between weight loss & fat loss.With these kinds of diets, they claim to help you lose 5-8 kg a month. But those significant weight loss results, are due to rapidly depleted muscle and liver glycogen stores that facilitate water loss. With 75% of your body composed of water, its easy to lose weight this way. But once you stop this diet and return to a normal diet, your weight will bounce back. Besides this, with reduced hydration levels and muscle in your body, your metabolic rate reduces, thus reducing the calories burned by your body.That’s why its important to follow a proper balanced weight loss plan that includes both diet and exercise. So, it can help you target fat loss. Further, if you follow mono diets for a long period of time, it can affect your health negatively:- Overall decrease in energy levels as these diets alters usual patterns of eating.- According to Journal of American College of Nutrition, high animal protein intakes leads to higher risks for heart disorders, cancer also higher risks for osteoporosis (bone weakening) and renal disease.- A reported side effect of these diets is that it is supposed to give a headache.- The diets are not balanced so leads to nutrient deficiencies like vitamins (A, D and B complex) and minerals ( calcium and iron)- Depression and fatigue is common as these diets are not based on healthy eating habits accompanied by regular exercise.So, don’t torture yourself with unhealthy diets. Get some exercise, eat balanced and lose weight the healthy way.

Mono Diets: Fast, Unhealthy Weight Loss

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Everyone wants ‘Fast Weight Loss’, regardless of how long it took them to gain weight. Due to this high demand, there are many short terms fixes using extreme & often unhealthy methods for ‘fast weight loss’ that do not give you actual fat loss, only water loss. So, once you return to your normal lives, the weight gain comes back with a vengeance. One of these is commonly known as Mono-Diets or mono food diet plan.Mono Food Diet Plan means that you will only eat one kind of food each meal. That means one kind of food only every meal for you to maximize the nutrients that you can get.Mono diets revolve around Food Groups. Here is the list: Mono Diet Food Listhigh protein group (meats and fish)high vitamin group (vegetables and fruits)high fat group, and high starch group (cereals or starches-bread and pasta).For example you will be advised toEat fruits exclusively on the first day.Read more to know Is fruits fattening?Only vegetables on the second day, meat on the third day andCereals or starch sources on the fourth day, and so on.Note: This is only an example. Please do not follow this diet planThe healthy rate of weight loss is recommended to be 2 kg per month. Losing more weight puts an extra strain on your body, and requires drastic measures, that can have possibly unhealthy consequences. At 2 kg per month of healthy weight loss from a proper weight loss plan, most or all of the weight loss will come from fat loss. Why not Mono Diet Plan?With these kinds of diets, they claim to help you lose 5-8 kg a month. But those significant weight loss results, are due to rapidly depleted muscle and liver glycogen stores that facilitate water loss. With 75% of your body composed of water, its easy to lose weight this way. But once you stop this diet and return to a normal diet, your weight will bounce back. Besides this, with reduced hydration levels and muscle in your body, your metabolic rate reduces, thus reducing the calories burned by your body.That’s why it's important to follow a proper balanced weight loss plan that includes both diet and exercise. So, it can help you target fat loss. Further, if you follow mono diets for a long period of time, it can affect your health negatively:Health in danger zoneAccording to Journal of American College of Nutrition, high animal protein intakes leads to higher risks for heart disorders, cancer also higher risks for osteoporosis (bone weakening) and renal disease.Overall decrease in energy levels as these diets alters usual patterns of eating.A reported side effect of these diets is that it is supposed to give a headache.The diets are not balanced so leads to nutrient deficiencies like vitamins (A, D and B complex) and minerals ( calcium and iron)Depression and fatigue is common as these diets are not based on healthy eating habits accompanied by regular exercise.So, don’t torture yourself with unhealthy diets. Get some exercise, eat balanced and lose weight the healthy way.