What comes to mind when you hear the word diet? For me it is deprivation, inconvenience, and temporary weight loss. While fad diet trends can be tempting for the quick fix they provide, they should be avoided if you want true, long-term results.
The truth is, most diets only work because they are so drastic and extreme. If you don’t plan on sticking to the parameters of a diet forever, don’t do it because it won’t last! The second we reach our goal weight and return to our old eating habits, those pesky pounds never fail to come flooding back! Avoid wasting your time with any of these fad diets.
The Clay Diet
The premise of this diet is to mix powdered Bentonite clay with water, and drink it for days to weeks at a time to lose weight. It is said that Bentonite clay removes toxins and heavy metals with its strong electromagnetic charge. Recently Zoe Kravitz admitted that she fasted on Bentonite clay and pureed vegetables to prepare for a role in which she plays a young woman battling an eating disorder. Despite the fact that she admits this is an unhealthy way to lose weight, several online weight loss companies are using her name to endorse their product.
The Issue With Clay Diets
Bentonite clay has been proven and suggested to have many topical benefits over the years. However, there has yet to be any studies conducted in regards to the safety of ingesting clay for weight loss. In fact, the UK Food Standards Agency has issued a warning against consuming clay. Unfortunately, various online vendors have been selling products that contain arsenic and lead. In short, until there is some scientific evidence that supports this claim, refrain from eating clay to lose weight.
The Mono Diet
With a mono diet, you basically eat one food or food group and that’s it! Mono diets are nothing new. In the past there has been the apple diet, the grapefruit diet, the cabbage soup diet, the chocolate diet, and even the cookie diet. Since you are cutting out most foods, you are naturally going to lose weight.
The mono meal trend is becoming increasingly popular, especially with raw foodies. Dieters are taking to social media to share and connect over their minimal meals. The hashtag #monomeals reflects over 28k posts on Instagram, with #monodiet boasting over 10k posts!
The Issue With Mono Diets
While it may be good to occasionally cleanse our systems by refraining from certain foods, eating one food or food group alone isn’t a proper way to sustain a healthy body. Our bodies require an array of macro and micronutrients, in addition to vitamins, minerals, fats and proteins—all of which cannot be provided by one food alone. In addition, this diet dances a fine line with disordered eating.
The Gluten-Free Diet
Gluten-free has been coming in hot over the last few years. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and other grains. For some, gluten can cause a near-allergic reaction (celiac disease), and for others it can cause an array of stomach discomforts (gluten sensitivity). So for those folks there are health benefits provided by abstaining from gluten. However, for the rest of the population, it has been cleverly and incorrectly marketed as a health food!
The Issue With Gluten-Free Diets
To be honest, I wouldn’t say there is necessarily a problem with “gluten-free” foods. For those who cannot tolerate gluten, these products are miracle workers. However, other people have been duped into believing that gluten-free leads to weight loss, which is not the case.
In the beginning of the gluten-free trend, most people had to abstain from popular gluten containing foods such as bread, pasta, cereal, beer, etc. Naturally, most of these foods are lacking in nutrients and filled with calories, so cutting them out of the diet would lead to weight loss. However, due to increased popularity, there are now a plethora of gluten-free junk foods flying off the shelves. Regardless of being gluten-free, these items are still processed foods, containing many of the same ingredients as gluten-containing processed foods. This is exactly why going gluten-free alone isn’t going to do any miracle work or make you lose a ton of weight.
Liquid diets have been popular for decades. The premise is that you consume only liquid in some form for an extended period of time. Some examples of this diet are “The Master Cleanse”, juice diets, soup diets, clear liquids diet, or even the baby food diet (yuck!). Some stars such as Beyoncé, and the newest Cinderella, Lily James, have used liquid diets for quick weight loss for movie roles. However, it isn’t practical or sustainable for effective, long-term weight loss.
The Issue With Liquid Diets
While liquid diets are effective for those who are obese, they are not ideal for anyone who has a few vanity pounds to lose. According to one study done by Vanderbilt University, liquid diets can lead to the development of muscle cramps, anaemia, dizziness, menstrual abnormality, and constipation. It has also been predicted that for every 100 people who start on a liquid diet, 95 will gain the weight back. In addition, studies show that 25% of people on liquid diets will develop gallstones due to their inability to contract bile. In the 1970s, almost 60 people died from trying the then newly popular diet. Long story short – the weight loss is not worth the risk!
Change Your Lifestyle and Practice Moderation
Most things that seem to good to be true, are too good to be true! The next time you feel sucked in by a fad diet, remember that the results from fad diets aren’t long-lasting and almost all of them can be detrimental to your health. Instead, try adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle and enjoy treats in between!
What is Celiac Disease, Celiac Disease Foundation
Liquid Diets, Vanderbilt University
The Fad-Diet and Weight-Loss Obsession: A Year in Review 2012, Encyclopaedia Britannica
Consumer Warning On Clay Reissued, UK Food Standards Agency