Your friends say you’re fat and you decide to lose some weight. So what do you do? Go directly to the gym and start exercising? Plan your meals and eat smaller portions? Consult a doctor or a nutritionist?
Nah! Who says you have to suffer when you can easily lose weight without exercising or dieting?! At least that’s what the promoters of these crazy diets say. All promise a quick fix, dramatic results, and testimonials from your favorite movie star or celebrity. They’re easy to follow and they’re guaranteed. The problem is, most of them don’t work!
“Fad diets don’t promote proper maintenance of the weight that has been lost. Most of the popular diets are nutritionally inadequate and include certain foods that people would not typically eat in large amounts,” according to Denise Mann of WebMD.
“Any eating or exercise pattern that causes you to eat fewer calories than you burn will lead to weight loss. However, some diets lead to a rapid weight loss that is quickly regained when normal eating resumes. Others may cause you to miss out on essential nutrients. Still others promote eating habits that may lead to high intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol, possibly increasing the risk for heart disease and some types of cancer,” added eatrightmississippi.com.
If you have limbs to spare, the Amputation Diet is for you. This bizarre diet will help you lose weight if you do away with certain body parts. For instant weight reduction, it recommends a haircut, trimming nails, giving blood, breast reduction, or donating a kidney that can help you lose three pounds. Cool huh? After all, who needs those extra organs!
The Three-Day Diet lets you eat less than 600 calories a day for three days. That sounds pretty easy except that for vital organs like the brain, lungs and liver to function, you need at least 1,323 calories a day! How will will you possibly survive if you follow this diet?
Rachel McAdams and Beyonce Knowles claim they battled the bulge by following the Maple Syrup Diet. Knowles supposedly lost 20 pounds by drinking a concoction of maple syrup, lemon juice, water, and cayenne pepper for 14 days. McAdams says drinking maple syrup keeps her thin since sugar makes her hyperactive and forces her “to run around like crazy and work it all off.” Experts warned that such a diet can lead to diabetes.
“A little bit of maple syrup now and then on a whole wheat pancake would be just fine. (But) drinking maple syrup regularly is a terrible idea nutritionally. It is really no different than sugar or refined starch metabolically,” said Dr. Walter Willett, chair of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health and the author of “Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating.”
High-protein, low carbohydrate diets like the Atkins Diet promote weight loss by limiting your intake of carbohydrates. This can put the body in a state of ketosis that curbs the appetite but causes water and muscle breakdown. Excessive water loss can lead to dehydration while muscle breakdown can strain your liver and kidneys. Other symptoms of ketosis are weakness, nausea, irritability, and bad breath.
If you value your health, don’t fall into any of these diet traps. The best diet is one that includes all foods and will help you develop healthy eating habits. Consult a doctor or dietitian for advice. And remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!