Unhealthy excessive weight-reduction plan grips Vietnamese youth

Linh An, who’s 1.62 m tall and weighs 49 kg, eats solely uncooked meals and refuses to eat any starch, protein, or fats in an effort to drop a further 4 kg.

The 25-year-old Hanoi lady realized about her consuming routine from a video on a social media account that claimed the strategy may assist her “cleanse the physique, enhance well being, and assist lose 2 kg per week, with out counting on medication or rigorous train.”

Within the feedback part beneath the video, which has tens of 1000’s of likes, some folks say they’ve misplaced no less than one or two kilograms after utilizing the eating regimen plan for 7 days. This gave Linh An hope after many earlier methods.

An all the time has celery juice and a half an apple for breakfast. She consumes a half-carrot, three okra, some purple cabbage slices, and a half-dragon fruit at lunchtime. She then serves herself pineapple juice, an apple, and a veggie salad for dinner.

An was delighted to see her waist shrink as she misplaced 1.5 kg the primary week.

However that’s not sufficient. An intends to observe the eating regimen for a couple of extra weeks after which start fasting once more.

Do Thao, a 28-year-old from Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, has been infatuated with “lovely, white, and slender” customary.

She obsessively watches movies on social networks about tendencies celebrating slim figures. After some time, Thao stopped gaining weight, however her pores and skin turned darker, her hair began falling out, and he or she noticed that her physique appeared to retain water.

She had needed to give you a brand new technique: she needed to get rid of all carbohydrates.

Nutritionists estimate that individuals like Thao, who’s 1.6 m tall and weighs 50 kg, want 1,200 energy per day on common. However social media movies inform her to stay to 300–500 energy per day. Thao weighs every meal previous to consuming utilizing a small digital scale to forestall over-absorption. She thinks that even only a one gram deviation could make her achieve weight.

A typical lunch for Do Thao consists of frivolously roasted rooster breast, bell peppers, cabbage and lettuce. Picture courtesy of Thao

Psychologist Nguyen Ngoc Hoang, a member of the Vietnam Psychotherapy Affiliation, says the concept “being skinny is being engaging” has been impressed by media worship of Korean and Chinese language celebrities.

Along with social media, Hoang claims that heavy promoting for beauty surgical procedure and physique merchandise promotes unrealistic physique requirements and leads many individuals to observe extreme diets and/or train excessively.

In accordance with a VnExpress reporter’s survey of TikTok, the hashtags #drop extra pounds (1.2 billion views), #eatclean (1.9 billion views), and keto eating regimen (2.3 billion views) are the preferred eating regimen tags on the platform. A lot of the knowledge beneath these tags helps fasting, affords fast methods to lose stomach fats and particulars excessive weight reduction competitions.

Fb can be crammed with teams that debate weight reduction strategies. In a personal group with almost 300,000 members, folks shared details about natural teas, weight reduction tablets, fat-burning candies, fat-burning lotions, and pure powders.

Some group members who promote such merchandise promise they’re “100% pure, with no unwanted side effects, and trigger no fatigue”.

Nevertheless, a 2022 survey by Tokyo-based Novo Nordisk Pharma Co., Ltd. confirmed that individuals who use eating regimen meals, herbs, or practical meals, have the bottom profitable weight reduction charges – solely 5%. Analysis additionally exhibits that diets, vegetarian diets, or meals dietary supplements typically don’t convey concerning the desired outcomes.

There are not any complete statistics on what number of Vietnamese folks use excessive weight reduction strategies proper now, however in a survey performed by VnExpress on 200 readers final November, 79% mentioned they persistently exercised day-after-day to drop extra pounds, 19% mentioned they used meals diets they adopted on social media (fasting, weight-reduction plan, uncooked meals, and so forth.), and a pair of% tried meals dietary supplements or underwent cosmetic surgery.

Implementing a meals eating regimen when one is chubby or overweight could also be helpful, in accordance with Dr. Le Thi Hai, former director of the Heart for Vitamin on the Nationwide Institute of Vitamin, however medical recommendation is required.

In accordance with specialists, many individuals are attempting to drop extra pounds rapidly by weight-reduction plan, consuming uncooked meals, consuming solely inexperienced greens, or ingesting solely water. These strategies can assist cut back physique weight by a couple of kilograms however could result in different issues corresponding to fast heartbeat, overworked liver, muscle loss, and osteoporosis.

Hospitalizations because of fast weight reduction have turn out to be extra steadily lately.

A 30-year-old Hanoi girl misplaced three kilograms in February 2023 after consuming weight-loss candies for every week, however she additionally developed crimson pores and skin, pimples on her face, felt dizzy from exhaustion, and wanted hospitalization for therapy.

After taking weight discount tea for five days, a 35-year-old feminine affected person was admitted to the hospital in March 2022 with fatigue and dizziness.

Since butting again on protein, fats and carbohydrates, Linh An typically feels fatigued, experiences migraines, shortness of breath whenclimbing stairs, has menstrual issues, lacks focus at work, and infrequently faints for no obvious purpose.

Nevertheless, she insists these signs are regular. “I am unable to cease tormenting myself if I am unable to drop extra pounds,” Linh says.

For Do Thao, excessive weight-reduction plan could not solely be harming her well being, it’s additionally made her socially withdrawn. She’s stopped hanging out with buddies and he or she now skips all her firm’s company occasions.

“I am decided to not eat such meals [served at social gatherings] as a result of I do not know what number of energy, fats and sugar are utilized in such processed meals,” she says.

As well as meals with sufficient diet, Huyen Trang typically snacks on fruit to have extra vitality earlier than exercising. Picture courtesy of Trang

Huyen Trang, a 22 year-old from Nghe An, was 70kg when she nearly died making an attempt to “drink water for 24-72 hours as a substitute of consuming.” After that incident, she regularly realized how one can eat and train in a more healthy manner.

At her physician’s suggestion, she now makes use of a scientific meals eating regimen with a stability of vitamins together with protein, greens, fruits, and starch. She not often eats sweets or fried meals, as a substitute preferring meals heavy in nuts and olive oil as a substitute. She visits the health club as soon as every week to scale back physique fats and enhance muscle.

She says these new strategies have helped her weight, albeit in a slower method than when she used dietary supplements or fasted.

“Nevertheless, I really feel extra wholesome and might focus higher at work fairly than feeling drained and hungry like earlier than,” she says.