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5 Crazy Diets You Won’t Believe Work

5 Crazy Diets You Won’t Believe Work

Thinking of going back on a diet, but tired of the same diet plans? Try these five weird diets. They’re all proven to help you burn fat – to some extent. The curiosity and novelty will make you more likely to stay on them and lose weight.

1. The Werewolf Diet

Originating in Latin America, the Werewolf Diet has you eating in sync with the lunar cycle. It boasts making you lose 6 pounds in one day, and even celebrities like Demi Moore and Madonna have tried it! The logic is that your body has about 60 percent water, and the moon’s influence on gravity affects you like it affects the tides.

There are two versions of the diet: basic and extended. The basic diet has you on a fluid detox, drinking only healthy natural liquids (like water, juice, and birch water), on the day of a full moon. The full moon’s strong gravitational pull supposedly boosts the detox’s toxin-eliminating effects.

The extended diet first follows the basic diet then instructs you to lower your solids or increase your liquids depending on the moon phase. Supposedly during a waning moon, your cravings significantly decrease and it’s easier to lose pounds. But, during a waxing moon your cravings increase and you need to restrict your eating.

Is this supported by science? Even if the full moon’s gravity doesn’t help you get rid of toxins, the juice and water fasting definitely will. Birch water and fruit juices are filled with antioxidants, which help your body neutralize toxins, and their high-water content flushes toxins out of your system.

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Will eliminating toxins help you lose weight? Yes! Scientists found that environmental pollution affects your body’s ability to burn fat and regulate sugar levels. Getting rid of these toxins helps bring your body’s metabolism back to normal.

Also, estrogen encourages insulin production. When your hormones become imbalanced and your body makes too much estrogen, it forces your body to store more sugar in your fat cells instead of burning it. This leads to weight gain. Studies show that the moon’s phases influence your menstrual cycle and your estrogen levels, which slightly supports the extended diet’s belief that your metabolism increases or decreases during certain moon phases.

This diet may seem whacky, but it will help you burn that fat. If anything, doing things under the full moon seems healthy for your body overall. Some studies found that patients who undergo heart surgeries during a full moon have better survival rates and need less recovery time.

2. The Sandwich Diet

This cool diet comes from Spain. It’s very simple: You eat whatever you want, but it all has to fit between two pieces of whole-grain bread. You can have your BLT and cheeseburgers – as long as they fit between those two pieces of bread!

Does it work? Yes and no. Many studies found that using a bigger plate or bowl makes you serve and eat larger portions. Using a smaller plate makes you more aware of the portions you’re eating, reducing your risk of overeating. The sandwich works like a smaller plate. This diet helps you lose weight using portion awareness.

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Why isn’t it so good? Fast food burgers fit between two pieces of bread – do you think eating those three times a day will make you skinnier?

3. The “Sun Eating” Diet

Cheerful young woman with a flower in hair and pineapple cocktail smiling

    China’s hip crowd is convinced people can do photosynthesis – you know, like plants? You replace one meal with a 44-minute sunbath every day. They believe you’ll absorb “solar energy,” which supposedly suppresses your appetite and improves your sleep. Dieters report losing weight.

    Will it really help you lose weight? Yes! New research found that when sunlight hits your skin, it makes nitric oxide. Mice that overate and were exposed to UV rays had slower weight gain and less abnormal blood sugar levels than mice that weren’t exposed. From these findings scientists believe nitric oxide boosts your fat and sugar metabolism, while also helping prevent type 2 diabetes and obesity.

    If you’re not getting enough sun, this diet will boost your metabolism. You’ll also lose weight since you’re skipping a meal every day. If you try it, don’t skip breakfast. Eating breakfast boosts your resting metabolism by 10 percent.

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    4. The OCD Diet

      Image by AndreasS

      In Indonesia, some dieters believe eating during set intervals leads to weight loss. This diet is called the “Obsessive Corbuzier’s Diet.” You choose a permanent eating window: usually four, six, or eight hours.

      For example, if you choose the six-hour interval and you eat at 8 a.m., you can only eat again at 2 p.m. and at 8 p.m. Your meal sizes depend on your chosen interval, with eight hours allowing for the largest meals.

      Does it work? Research shows that intermittent fasting boosts your fat burning process because your body starts burning fat for energy during the fasting period. It also apparently helps slow aging by activating inflammation-fighting and repair mechanisms in your cells. It makes you smarter too – rats forced to intermittently fast experienced new nerve cell growth.

      If you can stand not eating, this diet is proven to be healthy for you. Consult your doctor before trying, because it’s probably not a good idea if you have type 1 Diabetes or other medical conditions.

      5. The 3-Day Military Diet

      This popular diet’s murky origins lend toward the conclusion that the diet was inspired by various sources, including the armed forces and Cleveland Clinic’s special cookbooks. It has many variations, like the Birmingham Hospital Cardiac Unit Diet and the Hot Dog Diet.

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      The 3-day military diet boasts losing 10 pounds in seven days without exercise. How? It combines intermittent fasting with a low-calorie plan. Unlike other diets, this specifies what you eat for three days. For example, for the first day’s breakfast, you must have a slice of toast spread with two tablespoons of peanut butter and half a grapefruit. It does allow for substitutions, like half a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water instead of the grapefruit.

      The next four days you’re free to eat whatever you want, but you can’t exceed 1500 total daily calories.

      Will you lose weight? Yes – the low-calorie meal plans will promote weight loss. Is it safe? WebMD says no. They conclude that the meal plans lack nutrition and are high-fat and high-salt. The diet is probably okay if you do it once in a while, but following it long-term can lead to heart problems.

      Try these interesting diets if your weight loss regimen gets boring. They probably won’t help you lose as much weight as a traditional plan of exercise and healthy eating, but they will definitely help you burn some fat.

      Featured photo credit: Pixabay: Baohm via pixabay.com

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      Published on November 14, 2018

      Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

      Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

      With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

      For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

      In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

      Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

      Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

      It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

      For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

      Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

      Symptoms of Fatigue

      Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

      • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
      • mental blocks
      • lack of motivation
      • headache
      • dizziness
      • muscle weakness
      • slowed reflexes and responses
      • impaired decision-making and judgement
      • moodiness, such as irritability
      • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
      • reduced immune system function
      • blurry vision
      • short-term memory problems
      • poor concentration
      • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

      Causes of Fatigue

      The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

      • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
      • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
      • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
      • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

      Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

      Medical Causes of Fatigue

      If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

      Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

      Anemia

      Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

      Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

      There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

      Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

      Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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      This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

      Diabetes

      Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

      Sleep Apnea

      Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

      Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

      Thyroid disease

      An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

      Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

      • Lack of sleep
      • Too much sleep 
      • Alcohol and drugs 
      • Sleep disturbances 
      • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
      • Poor diet 

      Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

      • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
      • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
      • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
      • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

      Psychological Causes of Fatigue

      Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

      • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
      • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
      • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

      How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

      Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

      1. Tell The Truth

      Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

      To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

      Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

      The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

      One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

      • How you feel
      • What time of day it is
      • What may have contributed to your fatigue
      • How your mind and body reacts

      This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

      2. Reduce Your Commitments

      When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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      If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

      When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

      Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

      3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

      If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

      Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

      If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

      Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

      Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

      4. Express More Gratitude

      Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

      It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

      Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

      5. Focus On Yourself

      Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

      There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

      But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

      We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

      6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

      Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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      Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

      The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

      Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

      7. Take a Power Nap

      When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

      Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

      This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

      8. Take More Exercise

      The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

      Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

      The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

      You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

      9. Get More Quality Sleep

      To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

      Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

      My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

      10. Improve Your Diet

      Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

      Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

      On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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      To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

      Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

      Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

      11. Manage Your Stress Levels

      Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

      When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

      Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

      My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

      12. Get Hydrated

      Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

      Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

      If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

      The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

      The Bottom Line

      These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

      If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

      Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
      [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
      [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
      [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
      [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
      [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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