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Health and Financial Wellness

Can Fad Diets
Affect Your Finances?

When you go on a diet to achieve your health goals, make sure your wallet doesn't thin out as well.

Research by the Harvard Schools of Public Health shows that a healthy diet (rich in vegetables and fruits) costs slightly more than a poor diet (processed foods rich in fat, sugar, salt). Does this mean we should just stop eating healthy?

No, a healthy diet won't starve your wallet, but a fad diet likely will. A fad diet is one that becomes popular to the masses and is heavily marketed through multimedia channels—social media, publishing, TV, radio, and websites.

One reason for the popularity of fad diets is they promise quick weight loss. This can be true for many of them—but the benefits can be short-term.

Fad diets may result in fast weight loss because they are crash diets that cause a caloric deficit in the body. The downside is, they usually recommend unbalanced eating plans that can be unhealthy and nutritionally incomplete.

Thanks to so many people trying out these diet fads, the U.S. market for weight loss and diet control shot up to $66 billion in 2017.

Unfortunately, that industry's gain could represent significant financial loss for you, if you happen to go on fad diets. Here are some reasons why a fad diet can cost you more:

Promises quick results without scientific evidence

A lot of fad diets require you to buy expensive books, supplements, or enroll in costly programs based on dubious research. Imagine paying thousands of pesos for something that doesn't really work.

Causes binge eating and eating disorders

A fad diet usually involves cutting out important food groups in meals, which may cause drastic and quick weight loss. But the effects usually don't last long because our body will naturally crave the nutrients we are depriving it of.

And when we finally give in to our cravings, we will tend to spend on unhealthy food more often. As a result, we don't just eat more bad food, we spend more on them, too.

Fad diets can cost a lot to maintain but long-term results like eating disorders, illnesses, and complications—will rack up your medical bills, too.

Diet delivery and eating out

Once we get fed up with our failure to stick to our diets, we'll decide to go for diet delivery or eat at vegetarian restaurants. This is good because of the convenience. But how much does that cost?

A diet delivery service can serve you meals that cost ranging from PhP 80 to PhP 300 per meal. Eating at a vegetarian or vegan restaurant would cost about the same. For three meals a day, you'd be spending some PhP 240 at least. Now multiply that for 20 or 30 days.

Yes, you'd be eating healthy but it won't be worth it if you end up stressing out and worrying over how much cash you are losing. No matter how much weight you lose or how shapely and fit you become, the stress might send you to the hospital anyway.

So what's the solution here? Find a diet that is truly healthy and personalized to your body’s unique needs, without making yourself financially sick. This is also true for any exercise or fitness program you try out.

First of all, consult a professional dietitian or nutritionist who can help you plan and maintain a truly healthy diet. For exercise, you might consult with a personal trainer rather than getting a gym membership. You can also do a quick search for tips on the Internet, but always remember to consult a professional before taking on a new health and wellness endeavor.



1 US weight loss market.