WEIGHT LOSS PLANS TO AVOID
In this new era, we see almost everyone talking about healthy eating and how that helps us. Should you try keto, flexible or full-on vegetarianism or should you go for some other plan? Do you feel you don’t know much about nutrition?
Dieting isn’t for everyone. What you need to do is concentrate on eating healthy. Is losing weight on your mind most of the time? There’s no shortage of weight loss plans grappling for your attention. The reality is that most plans - good or bad - will help you shed some kilos in the short term. A thought to be pondered is - will they keep them away forever? Will it make you healthy by the end or just lean? Will that take care of your micronutrients?
Don’t have an idea yet? Read on to know which ones NOT to go for.
The ‘Carnivore’ diet
This requires you to be eating mostly meat (along with some eggs and fat and cheese maybe). There’s also a very popular version that asks you to have only beef!
Although you can find a lot of success stories online revolving around how a carnivore diet helped. This is not a sustainable diet, there are healthier ways to lose weight. Not only is the carnivore diet extremely high in saturated fats, it also puts you at risk for increased cholesterol levels, it leaves out a lot of food along with the nutrients it gives that are helpful to you.
Include vegetables and fruits, they promote weight loss! They help fight a ton of diseases too!
Verdict - avoid this diet - or if you are determined to try it, be sure to run this idea by your dietitian or health care provider first.
If you want to lose weight quickly, this diet, which the researchers designed to help control epilepsy in children, has become a popular way to do so!
There is a lack of definitive research proving keto is safe and effective for the long haul. What we do know is this high-fat, moderate-protein and very low-carb diet has a reputation of being challenging, especially if you are doing it without medical supervision.
What happens when you go off the plan? You gain back all you lost, maybe more (i wish this happened in gambling with money!) What's more? Keto restricts foods that help fight cancer and heart disease, like whole grains and legumes. Though you should be eating a lot of spinach and kale on keto, people take bacon and eggs, leaving out the important disease-fighting nutrients, including fiber!
This plan isn’t for you if you are fit and healthy and do not face any medical conditions. If you have diabetes and uncontrolled blood sugar then this could help you lose weight and get your levels in check but that too needs to be done under guidance!
Verdict - if you still aren’t convinced and wish to go for this - it's important you focus on diet quality, which means include fiber-rich foods, lean protein, healthy fats and not saturated fats like butter and bacon.
Atkins diet was originally a low-carb diet. Made popular decades ago. Now that keto is also in the scene and there is a popular carb-phobia, you may again think of going on a low carb diet like Atkins.
Atkins allows more protein, whereas keto limits protein too. But this does not make it any healthier. It has negative impacts on health and is not advised unless you are under medical supervision.
Verdict - just like keto, this too restricts you from a lot of food groups which means you miss out on the nutrients it has to offer too. You might end up with grave deficiencies and wouldn't even know about it until late!
Juice cleanse or 21 day cleanse diets and what not, does not work for the long term. Many people try this mostly at the beginning of a new year, but there is ZERO science behind their health benefits. Mostly because they have NO health benefits!
What to do to cleanse your body if not a cleanse diet? - the answer to this question is another question : what do you have a liver and kidney for?
These kinds of fancy diets usually require expensive bottled juices, supplements, and small meals. Just save your money and let your body take care instead.
Verdict - juicing, detoxes or cleanses may show you rapid results, but a large portion of the lost weight will be just water weight. They also contain very little protein which might lead to muscle loss and slower metabolism.
Do you really think drinking can curb your hunger? This diet is based on replacing all or one meal for the day with a liquid meal or shake. These diet plans range from 440-550 calories per day, the most strict ones, others go up to 800 calories per day. While you can for sure lose weight quickly on this diet, weight regain is extremely common.
This can also lead to distorted eating, you could develop mental health conditions related to food. You might binge eat or restrict food way more than it needs to.
Verdict - low-calorie liquid diets can produce good SHORT-TERM results. However, they should be under supervised conditions only. Doing it by yourself can lead to disordered eating patterns, weight regain post stopping this diet is also very common.
Carb-blocker pills / fat-burner pills
Carb blockers or starch blockers, are supplements claimed to promote easy weight loss. They contain extracts from beans that interfere with alpha-amylase, an enzyme in your body that breaks down complex carbs so that your body can absorb them.
Complex carbs include grains, root vegetables etc. if these aren’t broken down into sugars, their calories can’t be absorbed by the body. However, these pills do not block all of it from absorption.
These pills cause digestive issues like gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
The same goes for fat burner pills- taking a pill that helps you burn fat may seem like the perfect solution for shedding all that extra kilos.
However, most of these pills contain questionable ingredients that do more harm than good.
Caffeine is the main ingredient in many of these pills. Modest amounts of caffeine in your diet are safe but some of these pills cause dangerous side effects.
Verdict - these pills cause digestive issues like gas, bloating, diarrhea and in worst cases can also lead to liver damage or liver failure. There is neither evidence that these pills are effective for weight loss nor is there any evidence to prove these are okay for your health.
Crash diets / fad diets
These have always been popular because they promise faster weight loss if you follow very specific guidelines. Some of the most popular ones we have heard are -
Cabbage soup diet - says lose upto 10 pounds in 7 days. Each day you eat all you want, but made with just one type of food. You also have to take a soup made of cabbage everyday.
Grapefruits diet - classic crash weight loss plan! Just have grapefruits in every meal with low carbs, high protein foods like eggs and meat.
Five-bite diet - eat anything you want, but mind you! You just have FIVE bites. This promises weight loss upto 15 pounds in a week!
Although some of these diets sound amusing, these aren't the way to go if your goal is sustainable weight loss.
Verdict - crash/fad diets rely on gimmicks and promises of rapid weight loss. However, they are very unbalanced, low in calories, nutrients and protein. They are associated with weight regain too!
Eating only one food
This has been the approach to weight loss since decades!
Known as monotropic eating or “mono eating”, it involves eating as much as you want of one food for several days.
The strategy with this is to become so tired of eating only one food that your calorie intake automatically decreases.
The problem with this diet is that it is highly unbalanced. If you choose to have eggs one week, you take in a lot of protein, the other week you choose potatoes and cookies and you miss out completely on the fiber, antioxidants and what not.
Verdict - eating only one food may cause weight loss due to boredom. But this is a highly unbalanced approach and cannot be maintained long term. This often leads to weight gain if you start eating normally again.
Many diet plans and products promise quick weight loss. While they will be able to help you do that in the short term, you will take a hit on your overall health, mental health too and even grave diseases which might cause more harm than good.
The question to ask yourself before going on these diets are - is it a “quick-fix” or is it a “lifestyle”. If you said lifestyle, and SUSTAINABLE lifestyle, go for it.
Ask yourself ‘Am I asked not to eat certain foods? Am I restricted to just one food? Am I asked to take extra shakes/juices? Am I asked to buy their products?’
If you have answered yes to even one question in this, it is most likely, that plan doesn’t think about your health.
Health is wealth, that is the priority. Do not give up on your health for a short term goal when you do not even know how long that goal will stay with you if taken the wrong approach.
But the question remains - Then which plan to take? How do we know which plan is the best??
We shall answer these questions for you, come back here next time for more! :)
Nourish with Sim :)