“What’s your weight?”
Said nobody at a Saturday night dinner party, ever. And for good reason.
It seems our desire to hide from the truth about our bodies has created a plethora of fad diets that do not work in an industry that generates over $20 billion revenue in the U.S. alone.
And if you’re one of the 108 million plus dieters on a mission to get that sexy, toned body of your dreams then it’s likely you’ve (unknowingly) turned to an ineffective fad diet which has promised outstanding results in 15 minutes or less, weight loss while you sleep or some other lofty promise of an easy path to a slender body.
As you may have already found, not only is there no guarantee of results, but many outrageous fad diets fail to address the psychology of weight loss – the most important factor that determines the long-term success of a diet plan, and something that’s difficult to address without guidance and support.
So for your health and your wallet’s sake, avoid the following fad diets and their sugar-coated claims.
1. The K-E (Ketosis) Diet
This is a classic diet that has the potential to work, but often doesn’t because of its highly technical nature.
The KE or Ketosis diet starves your body of carbohydrates and glucose, forcing you into a state of ketosis – where you burn your fat to produce this energy instead.
Sounds simple, and there have been numerous diets and weight loss systems attempting to coax the willing into this fad diet. But it doesn’t work because to actually get results, you need to be connected to a feeding hose which goes through your nose and directly into your stomach.
No only is it uncomfortable, it’s physically limiting and downright grotesque. Better off drinking nothing but lemon juice.
2. The Alkaline Diet
The alkaline diet is one of those diets that do not work that keeps coming around and around – depending what time of year it is so it seems.
The idea is to flood your body with alkaline foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts, and yes, lemon juice. The theory is that eating these highly alkaline foods can magically modify the pH levels in your body, forcing it to then dislodge fat cells that are inherently acidic in nature and thus you lose weight.
But your body is smart, and very efficient in maintaining neutral pH levels, so this idea is inherently flawed. What does work in the alkaline diet, is weight loss as a result of the healthy food you’re eating. I think it’s common sense stuff, right?
3. The Blood-Type Diet
What blood type are you?
Apparently, it now determines the type of foods you can and can’t eat as part of the blood-type diet.
This one is a result of science suggesting that your body reacts to certain foods that match or oppose your blood-type. For example, if you are type “O”, you’d benefit from red meat but react poorly (i.e. gain weight) by eating corn. Each blood type has different foods to eat and avoid.
This unusual diet plan makes the list of fad diets that do not work because of poor scientific research into its effectiveness, and the tendency of followers to lack the necessary tests and blood work that are important to ensure both effectiveness, and that your nutritional intake is sufficient.
4. The Werewolf Diet/ Lunar Diet
Are you a beast of the night? Perhaps the werewolf diet is for you.
This unusual fad diet requires that you fast on the day of a full or new moon and consume only water and juice. On the rest of the days in a month, you’ll follow a specific meal plan according to the waxing and waning phases of the moon.
Unless you’re a diehard fan of this style of weight loss diet or a member of a wolf pack, then you’re likely to gain back every single pound, that’s if you lose any weight at all.
5. The Lemonade / Master Cleanse Diet
Remember the alkaline diet from earlier? This diet goes a step further and requires that you drink a mixture of lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and water for days. Nothing else.
And while you’ll likely lose weight very quickly through starvation, doctors warn that you’ll actually lose muscle mass during your lemon cleanse instead of fat. Oops.
You’ll also lower your metabolism level for days or weeks afterward, which will likely have you gain back the lost weight once you start eating normally again. Definitely one of the fad diets that do not work that should be avoided.
6. The Cookie Diet
Dr. Siegal, the man behind the Cookie Diet, makes the bold claim that eating 1,000 to 1,500 calories a day in cookies with a single meal at dinner can lead to weight loss with NO failures.
As a nutritional writer and experimenter myself, I can see several flaws in the Cookie Diet which make it prime fad diet material – all stemming from a lack of variety in your diet. As simple as it may seem, the fundamental truth of a variety of food groups and nutritional sources in every meal is a proven weight gain prevention tool.
By limiting your intake to milk and cookies until bedtime, you’re setting your body up to crave the foods you’ve been missing throughout the day, and binge on midnight snacks to compensate.
7. The Baby Food Diet
This fad diet is less about weight loss and more about maintaining the weight loss you’ve already achieved, and it’s easy to see how it made ground with a celebrity name such as Anderson’s backing it up.
Who knows for sure where it came from, but it’s certainly a fad diet that’s almost as bad as prescribing a spoonful of sugar. If you think that replacing one or two meals or snacks a day with 100 calorie jars of baby food mush sounds appetizing, then go right ahead.
You Can Do Far Better Than These Fad Diets That Do Not Work
Beware of these fad weight loss diets that promise more than they deliver. Many deprive your body of the vital nutrients it needs and lower your energy levels, immunity, and stamina. Even worse, they could lower your metabolism rates, a factor that can leave your attempts at long-lasting weight loss doomed from the beginning.
Instead, stick to the fundamentals of a healthy lifestyle – a variety of farm-fresh, organic (preferably) foods and regular exercise of varying intensity – and watch the pounds melt away – without resorting to that disgusting meal replacement shake.
Over to you. What’s your experience with dieting? What horror stories do you have to share about fad diets?