The battle of the bulge is real, and the internet knows it.
Thousands of nameless, faceless entities have littered the interwebs with promises of fast, effective weight loss and formidable six-pack results. However, these pie crust promises through flash fad diets can often have little impact on flab but a huge impact on your health as a whole.
Here are five fad diets to steer clear of when trying to lose weight that may hurt your health:
First off, who was “that guy” who thought that restricting himself to only digesting liquids was a good idea?!
While it is important to keep sufficiently hydrated, liquid diets can deny the body some serious benefits, most notably fiber and phytochemicals. Fiber from fruit and vegetable flesh—as well as whole grains—keep the body fueled, energized and feeling full (not to mention keep the bowels moving). Phytochemicals (e.g., antioxidants, flavonoids) are substances found in plant life that help protect against a multitude of illnesses and diseases.
It should also be noted that effects of a liquid diet are generally temporary. Once the diet stops, the pounds typically pile back on.
But … protein is good for you … right???
Yes, it is true protein is an important part of any well-balanced diet. However, high-protein diets offer promises of weight loss with the added benefit of building muscle strength, which is absolutely false. Only physical activity and weight training have the ability to build up muscle strength. Furthermore, the majority of weight loss attributed to this diet is water weight, not fat.
In addition, this fad failure can actually be harmful to the body. All of the extra protein consumed can put a serious strain on the liver and kidneys, resulting in damage to these much-needed organs. A high-protein diet may also deprive the body of essential nutrients while adding unnecessary fat and calories.
First and foremost: Pee-ew!
Now, I’m all for cabbage, but this type of diet takes the cake (literally). Not only does consuming that much cabbage make you the least pleasant person to be around, but it only aids in helping the body to shed water weight, not fat. It also can lead to gastrointestinal distress and light-headedness, denying the body a host of vitamins, minerals and nutrients necessary to sustain life.
Your poor tummy. So much acid, so little achieved.
Grapefruits are a fantastic fruit chock-full of nutrients that may help in keeping the heart healthy and blood pressure steady. But, as the old saying goes, indeed, you can have too much of a good thing.
Similar to the cabbage diet, restricting oneself to a singular food as a diet plan is, in short, a terrible idea. It may only help to shed water weight (at best) and keeps you from eating all of the other foods that keep your body moving.
Food Combination Diets
Let me be the first to tell you that foods are not Planeteers and that none of their powers combined will summon Captain Planet to rid your body of fat and pollutes. There is no scientific evidence which proves that any specific combination of foods will help your body magically burn calories and fat stores. All this type of diet does is potentially give you diarrhea.
In short, fad diets make big promises with little results and can have major health consequences. If you are looking to shed some pounds, say no to quick fixes and try out some of these tips instead:
- Avoid sugary drinks, like soda and alcohol
- Don’t skip any meals, especially breakfast
- Eat a wide variety of foods as part of your diet
- EXERCISE, even if it’s just a walk around the block to start
- Limit your intake of sodium, saturated fat and trans fats
If you continue to struggle with weight loss despite best efforts—and without resorting to fad diets—speaking to a specialist about bariatric procedures such as gastric sleeve may be the right move for you. You can also talk to a medical professional about non-surgical weight loss options, as well.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.