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Avoid These 7 Fad Weight Loss Diets That Do Not Work

Avoid These 7 Fad Weight Loss Diets That Do Not Work

“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.

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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.

But wait…

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?

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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.

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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

I was shocked to learn about the baby food diet in my research of effective weight loss systems for my clients – an Internet phenomenon possibly started by celebrity trainer, Tracy Anderson.

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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?

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

More About Working From Home

Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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