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Brides, beware of fad diets

Your wedding day is around the corner and the bulge around your tummy doesn’t seem to be reducing any time soon, what would you do? Most brides-to-be would diet to an alarming extent.

health and fitness Updated: May 06, 2012 01:28 IST
Aishwarya Sati
Aishwarya Sati
Hindustan Times

Your wedding day is around the corner and the bulge around your tummy doesn’t seem to be reducing any time soon, what would you do? Most brides-to-be would diet to an alarming extent. As recently reported in international dailies, brides-to-be who are under pressure to lose weight have opted for various extreme measure. One such measure is the K-E Diet, where a small feeding tube is inserted into the nose to supply fat, protein and water to the body; and this suppresses body’s feeling of hunger for nearly 10 days. This diet, allegedly, leads to weight loss of up to 10 pounds (4.5kg).

HealthThe procedure not only churns an uncomfortable image, but also has a bad effect on one’s health. Nutritionist, Neha Arora recalls, "One of my clients, who came to my clinic, had gone to a slimming centre that guaranteed instant weight loss in a week. She was getting married soon and wanted to become really thin, hence she opted for one of their slimming procedures. But when she resumed eating normal food, her sugar levels and blood pressure started fluctuating. She also developed gastric problems and acidity."

Health counsellor Dr. Ishi Khosla says that brides-to-be are willing to do whatever it takes to lose weight. "They look at western models and try hard to squeeze into size 0 dresses without even knowing their body types. We have had women come up to us saying that they want to lose weight by going on a liquid diet, but we don’t advocate such methods. Instead we put them on a balanced diet, as crash dieting causes dehydration, electrolyte imbalance that often leads to blackouts."

Dr. Bristi Barkataki, clinical psychologist, PSRI Hospital says, "Brides-to-be adopting insane methods to shed weight stems from serious body image issues. Today, as a woman’s sexual desirability is often equated with physical attractiveness and thinness, a study indicates that one-third of women are self-conscious during physical intimacy with a heterosexual partner. Starvation diets result in binge eating once food is available. A person on a fad diet is always preoccupied with thoughts of food, thereby increasing their mood swings and lower attention span."

The K-E Diet

Jessica Schnaider, 41, of Surfside, Florida lost 10 pounds in eight days with the K-E Diet, which involved inserting a tube in her nose to supply her 800 calories a day. The diet administered by Dr. Oliver Di Pietro, who practices at Bay Harbour Islands, costs $1,500 (R80,140). The procedure can lead to problems like bad breath and constipation.

Unhealthy diets
Dukan Diet: It begins with consuming lean meat, low fat dairy products and oat bran for a week, after which non-starchy vegetable is added to the list. It can raise cholesterol levels, and makes one prone to gout.
Cabbage Soup Diet: In this diet one consumes only cabbage soup with some bread (optional). It leaves you undernourished and weakens immunity.
Grape Fruit Diet: It claims that grapefruit, when had for 12 days along with meat and eggs, can help lose weight. It is devoid of essential vitamins and carbohydrates.
The Master Cleanse Diet: It is followed for 10 days. One drinks herbal teas, lemon juice, etc, without solid food. It drops the metabolic rate of the body, and you pile up weight once you are off the diet.

(Inputs from Neelanjana Singh, chief of dietetics and nutrition consultant, PSRI Hospital)

First Published: May 05, 2012 20:02 IST