A weight loss journey is never easy. If you’re doing it right, the struggle is real. And by right we mean healthy. Sure you can starve yourself and get almost instant results, but never commit to putting your body through that. Those results are not long-lasting.
Sometimes, we may subconsciously trick ourselves to believe that we are not fasting – when in actuality we are. This is very common in the case of fad diets, diets that promise you quick weight loss but do not really work, at least in the healthy sense. Let’s take a look at some fad diets doing their rounds among misinformed individuals.
Fad Diets You Should Never Follow
1. The Paleo Diet
This diet is centered on hunter-gatherer foods – like meat, poultry, seafood, fruits, vegetables, and nuts – that need little or no processing before consumption.1 The drawback of this rule is that it eliminates entire food groups from the diet. These include packaged foods, dairy, legumes, and whole grains.
It’s harmful to exclude whole groups of foods. Whole grains are rich in fiber that are needed for normal bowel movement. Legumes are good plant sources of protein, while also being fiber-rich. Dairy immediately brings to mind calcium and milk protein and for good reason too. It is not healthy to restrict yourself from all of these types of foods.
In addition, this diet can sometimes get unreasonably expensive.
2. The Raw Food Diet
This diet revolves around fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, as well as raw animal products. The focus is on raw. So cooking is prohibited to ensure beneficial enzymes in foods are not destroyed by heat.2
But here’s the flip side. Cooking helps increase the bioavailability of nutrients in certain cases. For instance, our bodies can only use zinc and iron from meat if the meat is cooked. Similarly, cooking oil makes beta-carotene in carrots better available for our bodies to absorb. This diet can, thus, leave our bodies in a constant state of malnutrition.
3. Juice Or Broth Diets
Just drinking liquids as substitutes for regular solid meals is not advisable. It’s important to understand that such measures actually lower your metabolism, making it more difficult to burn fat.3 Yes, it is completely contrary to what you may have thought.
Adding to the cons, the exhaustion and lightheadedness that comes with liquid diets are best evaded.
4. The Grapefruit Diet
Any diet that promotes one food item as a well-balanced meal is screaming warning signs. This diet advocates that you can shed weight by eating grapefruit alone.4 The very mention of alone should make you shun the idea aside.
Besides that, this diet too often causes harmful calorie and nutrient deficits.
5. High-protein Diets
These diets generally draw keen attention from bodybuilders and those trying to tone. Yes, proteins from meat, eggs, and fish are good for you, but they should be consumed within limits and in combination with other nutrients.5
Because this diet amplifies the importance of protein, it is easy to sidetrack other essential food groups like carbohydrates. Also, if you exceed the daily recommended intake of protein, your liver and kidney will have to face the brunt of it as they will be tremendously overworked.
6. The Drinking Man’s Diet
This one has quite an amusing backstory. This is actually the name of a weight-loss book. The book talks about how an Englishman substituted food with alcohol, particularly gin and vodka, to lose weight in 1087.6 Yes, he did lose weight. However, more than one glass of wine a day is unhealthy, imagine the health repercussions he had to suffer.
7. The All-Cabbage Diet
It’s funny how the mention of a green veggie can make you feel all confident about losing weight. While these feelings are worth holding on to, do you really think a cabbage-only diet will help you lose weight? And healthily? Not likely.
Again focusing on only one food item, you will probably shed some water weight that will take no time to return once you stop the diet.7 You will also most likely feel dizzy and experience acid reflux.
8. The Lemonade Diet
Originally conceived for weight loss, the lemonade diet soon found its way to individuals trying desperately to shed some pounds overnight.
The diet requires you to drink at least 12 glasses of lemonade with cayenne pepper and maple syrup in a day.8 While all of its ingredients hold tremendous health value, it cannot compensate for missing nutrients. Not to forget, the acid reflux we will have to endure after a body-shocking lemon overdose.
Tips To Identify A Fad Diet
The following are some of the indicators of a diet that is lying to you in the face. You’d do well to turn around and let them fall on deaf ears.
- Not having to change your lifestyle for weight loss
- Promises of extremely quick weight loss
- Instructions to avoid whole food groups
- Only eating one type of food
Crash diets, like the ones mentioned above, are usually not sustainable – in terms of long-lasting results. If you do lose weight quickly, without a balanced diet and exercise, you can be confident that your health will take a hit one way or another. Instead, do the right thing for your body and steer clear of these fad diets.