In nutrition, the diet is a combination of food taken by an individual or other organisms. It has been defined as the amount of calories ingested over a period of time, usually with a pattern of eating. Food components can be categorized into macronutrients and nutritrally functional foods. Nutritious foods are those required for optimal health while macronutritionally functional foods are those required for sustained energy.
Diets can be low or high in caloric intake based on the energy requirements of the human body. In terms of the food pyramid, which is an internationally recognized tool to assess the level of carbohydrate, protein and fiber intakes needed for healthy intake, the three groups of food are: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. The recommended diet for a normal weight should provide a total of about 35 % of calories from carbohydrates, proteins and fats. But in practice, the dietary guidelines vary widely from one country or culture to another.
The most common type of diet is the American diet, which is based on the notion that the quantity of calorie intake should equal the amount of energy expended. This implies that, on an average, a certain quantity of food must be eaten to attain some amount of energy. But what is interesting to note is that, in this diet, there is a tendency for weight loss to occur only at the expense of fats. The logic behind the American diet is to reduce weight fast for some people and achieve the same goal for others.
In spite of the fact that the dietary guidelines may differ from culture to culture, the underlying principle remains the same. People who adopt such diets tend to feel better and they also tend to lose weight easily. However, when they reach the phase of maintaining the weight loss regimen, they usually gain back most of the weight they have lost. There are many reasons for this condition including the fact that some people have genes that are prone to obesity.
Moreover, the use of laxatives may contribute to the equation as well. Laxatives are substances that help to regulate bowel movement and when used continuously, they may cause an imbalance in the body’s metabolism. If this happens, the body is no longer able to digest and absorb nutrients properly and the result is a rapid weight gain. Hence, it is advisable not to take on the diet if you have digestive problems as the result may be fatal.
As a matter of precaution, it is always better to consult your physician before starting on any diet plan. This is especially true if you are suffering from a medical condition like diabetes, hyperthyroidism, heart disease, or epilepsy. These conditions may make it impossible for you to go on with the diet. Indeed, the diet may work for you initially, but there are always possibilities of it backfiring. Hence, ensure that you get the approval of your doctor before taking on any weight loss plan.