There are a couple of times during the year that lend themselves to making drastic changes in one’s life. For example, the very popular New Year’s Resolutions have many people quitting smoking habits, heading for the gym and forsaking sweets. The imminent arrival of spring or summer can cause the same reaction as many men and women rush to get ready for swimsuits, tank tops and skin-revealing outfits. Similarly, life moments such as weddings, milestone birthdays, graduation, etc. can propel people to seek quick and easy ways of having the best body of their lives. But what exactly does that mean? Do most people seek the advice of a nutritionist or personal trainer, or do they succumb to fad diets?
In reality, many people are often in a rush to shed the pounds and tone up in a short period of time. This is why fad diets such as the cabbage soup diet, the banana diet, body cleanses, etc. gain in popularity as people literally starve themselves to lose weight. A popular approach to weight loss is the Apple Diet, and it has gained in popularity for its perceived quick results. However, experts are not entirely convinced that the Apple Diet is as effective as some think it is.
There are two basic versions of the Apple Diet, both including this nutrient-rich fruit as the basis of one’s daily meals. The first option consists of eating a minimum of three apples a day, preferably before each meal. Proponents of this approach argue that the fiber-rich fruit reduces one’s hunger and curbs cravings. It is said that Asian people have long used this approach in their daily lives, resulting in slimmer and healthier bodies. Nutritionists are not entirely against eating an apple before every meal, but it is always best when accompanied by a healthy meal rich in fruits, vegetables and lean protein. So it is not only the apple that promotes a healthier body, but also the meal that follows it and the amount of water one consumes in a day.
At its most extreme presentation, the Apple Diet involves eating only apples for about three days as a way to detox the body. In preparation, the individual should spend the week prior to the cleanse cutting down on sugar, caffeine, carbohydrates and dairy products. They should attempt to include only salads at dinnertime and get the body ready to rely only on the nutrients provided by apples. During those three days, the dieter is allowed to eat as many apples as he or she wishes and of any kind. They can use cinnamon as a spice as well as cardamom and ginger. However, it is not entirely uncommon to feel bloated, have headaches, fatigue, constipation and muscle aches during those three days. Nutritionists recognize the dietary value of apples, but don’t generally advocate for any eating plan that relies solely on one kind of food. The result of any diet that centers around one food only is that the body is not receiving a well-rounded supply of vitamins and nutrients which can cause problems. Pregnant women and those suffering from illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease should not attempt this diet without their doctor’s input.
So should one completely disregard the Apple Diet? Not really. There are lessons to be learned from this fad, namely how important it is to include fruits and vegetables in your daily intake in order to fulfill the body’s needs. Adding fruits as snacks and in your main meals is a good idea, even if choosing only one fruit or vegetable to fulfill your caloric needs is not. Scientists have been emphatic for many years now about the need to make a lifestyle change in order to achieve sustainable weight loss. Adding the right kinds of food and suppressing those that detract from the overall well-being is a conscious decision to which one recommits each day. Increasing physical activity is also a building block for a leaner and healthier body. Without this long-term approach to weight management, men and women are continuously exposing their bodies to the perils of being malnourished and not encouraging the creation of lean muscle mass. So don’t ban apples from your diet, but use them as part of a balanced diet and consistent exercising.
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