A person following a diet plan is said to be ‘on a diet.’ Although losing weight is the most common cause for dieting, the practice is followed also for improving one’s personal appearance, physical fitness and general health. By dieting, we mean the practice or habit of eating and drinking in a regulated manner. In general, it involves a non-traditional diet. Dieting has a long history dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries, gradually leading to the classification of foods into proteins, carbohydrates, starches and lipids.
Scientifically speaking, weight loss is all about energy in and energy out. If you expend more energy than what you take in, you lose weight. Diets regulate the energy balance by limiting or altering the distribution of foods. But dieting needs discipline and self-control. It is not as safe as people assume it to be, either. So consult a physician or dietician before following any diet plan, and conduct your own research as well.
A low-carbohydrate diet is currently the most popular of all diet plans. It is based on the belief that if we restrict carbohydrates and fat, which are our main sources of energy, we will succeed in losing weight. In the grapefruit juice diet, the more you eat the more weight you lose. This diet believes that the acid contained in the grapefruit juice will accelerate the calorie-burning process. In this diet, foods that are high in fat or carbs (such as snacks, desserts, bread, and sweet potatoes) are restricted. However, you may double or triple your helpings of meat, salad or vegetables. The low-sugar diet believes that sugar, not fat, causes weight gain.
Avoid yo-yo dieting, i.e., alternate periods of feast and fasting, and also avoid complete fasting as it is dangerous to your health. Certain religions restrict food choices and preparation; those do not belong to “dieting.” Vegetarianism is also not considered “dieting.” Mind you, never confuse disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia with dieting.
To remind you again, always consult a dietician or physician so that the selected diet plan may work more effectively.