Are you trying to lose weight fast or just get into better shape? Have you been contemplating one of the many “fad” diets that surround us today? Maybe you are just plain tired of trying these ridiculous diets and you are ready for a real, long-term solution. It may not be your fault you are struggling. After all, celebrities, the media and marketing companies are selling us anything they can jam down our throats as the solution to all of our dieting problems. You may recognize some of these diets and might even know a little bit about them, but do you if they are safe, effective or just flat out bunk?
When most people hear the word “diet” they think of self-deprivation and hunger. They fear having to put their body through starvation and eat disgusting foods in order to lose weight. Diets are sold to use as a quick fix to a long term problem. However, the term “diet” is really a description of how you choose to eat every day. Some diets are more strict than others, and many extreme diets are simply dangerous, and could even be deadly to some people. Here are just a few of the very unhealthy diets that you should be avoiding.
The Cabbage Soup Diet
You eat only vegetables, fruits and a lot of cabbage soup. We all know fruits and vegetables are good for you, and we should be getting our fair share each day. The problem lies in that you can’t get all the nutrients your body needs from produce alone. And let’s be real here, how much cabbage can you reall eat in a day or a week? You will grow tired of cabbage soup and veggies and you’ll start craving other foods and fall of this wagon in no time. This diet is not sustainable over the long term.
Baby Food Diet
A diet consisting of only pureed foods primarily from fruits and vegetables isn’t terrible a terrible idea, it is not something most adults could live with and again is not a sustainable lifestyle diet. You will likely miss the different textures of food. Do you like to dine out from time to time? You can forget about ever doing that again. Plus, your friends and family will just think you are weird.
The Paleo Diet
With this diet, you will focus on eating the way we perceive cavemen would have eaten. You will eat lots of red meat and no “post-agriculture” foods. However, studies show that very few lose weight on this diet, it is very hard on your heart and is once again very difficult to follow.
The Grapefruit Diet
Really? This is just plain crazy! Grapefruit is not a miracle “fat-burning” food. Any one who tells you this is the answer and that they lost weight needs to have their head examined. You will lose weight on any diet that puts an emphasis on extreme calorie deficits and starvation.
“Detox” or “Cleansing” Diets
If these diets were so successful, they isn’t the medical field singing their praises and prescribing them to their clients? It is simple really. They are not necessary. Your body is naturally equipped to rid itself of toxins on its own. That is what you have kidneys and a liver for. You should eat clean all the time to reduce over-taxing these organs.
When you cut calories to extremely low levels, your starts to become starved. When your body moves into starvation mode, your metabolism slows down in order to conserve energy and survive. Then, when you to a healthy caloric intake level, your metabolism struggles to recover and keep up causing weight gain because now you then need fewer calories to maintain weight. In addition, very-low-calorie diets, cause you to lose a lot of water and muscle in addition to fat, and in the end you will gain back mostly fat.
The Bottom Line
A healthy “Lifestyle diet” is a diet that includes a wide variety of healthy foods eaten slowly and in moderation. A healthy diet doesn’t completely omit certain foods. Instead, no food should be completely off-limits, but it’s imperative to remember that some foods should only be eaten as a occasional “treat” and not part of a daily “lifestyle diet”. When planned properly, “treats” can be an important part of your healthy eating plan.
A diet that completely eliminates certain foods or food groups is generally not a healthy diet, and is potentially unsafe, and certainly unsustainable over the long term. These types of diets lead to binge-eating and eventual weight gain or a struggle just to maintain your current weight.