Dangerous Diet Trends to Avoid
Diet trends are continuously coming and going, we apply our diet to many different ways of eating. One day this food is prohibited and on the next day, the other food is not allowed. It gets confusing and most diets fail because those diets simply don’t work or are too radical to adapt to our lifestyles. Diet trends continue to gain more and more attention as society seems to be more and more concerned with their outer appearance and look for the next quick fix. ‘Lose 5 pounds in 3 days’ they promise but leave us with a more discontent self than before.
To avoid those effects, it is important to be critical of diet trends and adjust our diet to a stable and healthy way of eating. As it is with all other trends such as those in fashion or lifestyle, they disappear as quickly as they came. They are not particularly sustainable and we mostly gain the lost pounds right after switching back to our normal diet, also known as the feared yoyo-effect. To warn you against some of the most dangerous diet trends here is an overview:
The Raw Food Diet
The name is already revealing what this diet is about: raw food. Believers in this radical vegan diet say that cooking food destroys their nutrients and therefore food should only be eaten in its raw form. This diet bans foods that have been cooked or processed in any way. And yes, there are some true parts to it but cooking food doesn’t make it lose all its vitamins and benefits. It is more about the reduction of vitamins and benefits that raw foodies worry about. However, cooked veggies are still packed with a great amount of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Occasionally, cooking could even increase the number of nutrients while killing some unwanted bacteria. Probably the biggest disadvantage of this diet is food prep. As cooking is no option, raw foodies have to spend a lot of hours on prepping using techniques like dehydrating, juicing, cutting or blending.
The Five Bite Diet
‘Eat whatever you want but only five bites of it’ is this diet’s mantra. It wants you to skip breakfast and literally eat only five bites for lunch and five bites for dinner of whatever you feel like. The idea of eating whatever you feel like sounds tempting but how is one bite defined? Taking, for example, fatty french fries, is one fry one bite? The general idea of eating whatever you feel like just in smaller portions is a good start. However, those five bites each meal have to be carefully considered. Not only do you need to intake all your nutrients a day in a total of ten bites but you have to stay fueled and energized throughout the day. Experts say that even if you take big bites of heavy caloric foods you will still consume only around 900 to 1000 calories regardless of the number of nutrients and vitamins you consume. It is important to know that this little amount of calories will not keep you energized and focused throughout the day.1
Smoothies are a very topical food trend and yes, they are packed with fruit, veggies and other goodies that benefit your health. However, there are diets that recommend limiting your daily intake of food to only smoothies and that’s where the trend gets overstrung. These so-called cleanses will evoke a quick weight loss but once you switch back to your normal diet the lost pounds will be regained quickly. Hence, it is only a short term diet that can even lead to a deficit in certain nutrients and vitamins the body needs in order to maintain healthy function.2
The Master Cleanse
Many celebrities have done this years old diet. Since the 1940s the master cleanse, invented by Stanley Burrough, has promised a fast weight loss by only drinking water with lemon, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup for ten days. This fast, as you probably can guess, makes you lose a couple of pounds in a short amount of time. However, it is only evoking a short-term weight loss and you will, after switching back to your normal diet, regain those lost pounds quite quickly. It is no wonder that those celebrities do the diet before photo shoots and large events to look slim and not to lose weight in the long term. It is also questionable if you can maintain a healthy functioning body during the fast as your body is taking all this energy from the drink.3 Cravings, tiredness, and headaches can be other side-effects.
The Cabbage Soup Diet
This diet is based on a fat-free cabbage soup that can be eaten two to three times a day for a week. Other foods such as bananas or skim milk are allowed as well. As is the case with most of these diets, the cabbage soup diet only provokes a quick short term weight loss because of the calorie deficit. The way it works is that you feel full because of the fiber and water the soup contains, while only providing very few calories. However, the lost pounds will most likely be regained after finishing the diet and switching back to normal eating. Other side effects are bloating and gas from the cabbage and lack of protein. The idea of low-calorie foods appears to be sensible but in order to follow a healthy diet, it is important to accompany the soup with balanced foods like fruits, carbs, healthy fats, and protein.
The Baby Food Diet
By replacing breakfast and lunch with jars of baby food, this diet is also aiming for short-term weight loss. Each jar has around 20 to 100 calories, which are accompanied by a low-calorie dinner. It is likely you consume too few calories in order to maintain a healthy body and be ready for the day. In addition, it seems quite impractical to carry that many jars to work. The baby food diet is a diet trend that appears to be complicated and not helpful to a long-term weight loss and healthy body.
Generally speaking, the diets named above seem to evoke quick weight loss, however, in the long term appear to let you regain your lost pounds. Diet trends are, therefore, not a way to go when sustainable weight loss is the goal. Indeed, they can even harm your body and affect your health. In order to sustain a healthy weight and feel good in your body, it is essential to follow a balanced diet that provides all the nutrients and vitamins you need.
- Klein, Sarah. "14 Fad Diets You Should Absolutely Never Try." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 22 July 2014. Web.
- Blair. "5 Diet Trends to AVOID in 2016." Palo Alto, CA Patch. Patch Media, 27 May 2016. Web.
- Borzillo, Carrie. "6 Dangerous Summer Diets To Avoid." Canadian Pharmacy King. Canadian Pharmacy King, 13 June 2016. Web.