10 Questionable Diet Plans That Miss the Mark

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Let’s face facts here. Food is important. Everywhere you go, you need food for sustenance and to make sure your body works properly. Aside from this, food will always be part of global traditions, such as birthdays, weddings and holiday mealtimes, among many others. In other words, you can never get away with not eating food.

Here’s the problem: the increasing obesity rate. You heard the mantra, “Eat whatever you want, whenever you want it.” The problem is when you do this, there is a chance that you might not be able to control yourself.

Here’s the solution: diet plans. Unfortunately, there are tons of diet programs that are too good to be true and they could even do more harm than good to your body. Yes, they may help you lose weight, but the real concern is the long-term effects on your body. If you love your health and are serious about your weight loss goals, here are 10 diet plans you need to stay away from at all costs:

1. The Cabbage Soup Diet

Cabbage SoupThis is the diet plan that helps you kick-start your weight loss journey,or you can use just in case you want to get rid of a few pounds for a special event.

As the name suggests, this type of diet requires you to eat fat-free cabbage soup two to three times a day together with other foods. This diet also assigns allowable foods everyday, such as fruits like bananas, skim milk, lean beef and non-starchy vegetables.

Unfortunately, this diet is restrictive, making it belong in the “Crash Diet” category. Menu options are also limited with no room for tweaking, it since there are only allowed foods assigned per day. It is also low in calories, which means you can’t incorporate vigorous exercise routines because you won’t have enough energy.

If you’re looking for a quick weight-loss scheme, then this program might work for you; however, experts do not recommend this diet plan, since it will only make you gain more once you start eating a normal diet again.

2. The Atkins Diet

meatHow much do you love meat? If you are on the heavy side, enjoy eating meat and are willing to give up carbs in order to get rid of excess fat on your body, then this diet might work for you.

The idea of the Atkins diet is to reduce your consumption of carbohydrates and replace them with protein. This gives you the license to eat as much beef, bacon and eggs as you want, as long as you don’t include carbohydrates in your meals.

This could be problematic because your body needs carbohydrates for energy and to burn fat. Worse, your body will start to burn its own fat stores to convert into energy. Known as ketosis, and it could lead to constipation and halitosis, as well as kidney or liver damage.

If you insist on doing this diet program, make sure to drink lots of water to ward any potential risks.

3. The Martha’s Vineyard Diet Detox

The idea of detox is to get rid of all the toxins and harmful elements inside your body.

At the same time, it helps you lose weight, which is why detox plans are becoming popular these days. There are different ways to do the detoxification process. An example of this is the Martha’s Vineyard Diet Detox.

This diet program promises to take 21 pounds off in 21 days. In fact, it boils down to three principles. The first principle is rest, which means no chewing of food and no exercise. Then reduce, which is the weight loss component that focuses on a liquid diet.

The last one is rebuild, which is what will happen to your cells after 21 days. This means for three weeks, you have to drink lots of liquid, do enemas and take laxative supplements.

This detox program helps you lose weight, although this is concentrated weight loss from losing important body fluids and muscle mass. You are also prone to headaches and fatigue and worse than that, you will get your weight back once you start to eat normal foods again.

4. The Master Cleanse

This diet program has taken Hollywood by storm. In fact, celebrities like Demi Moore and Beyoncé have raved about the Master Cleanse and swore as one of the best ways to lose extra pounds.

The problem with this diet is that the combination of lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup are not designed for weight loss.

On the other hand, this concoction helps your body bring back the alkaline or healthy state from an acidic state. If you want to stick to a master cleanse, then use it for cleansing only and nothing else. In fact, don’t mistake cleansing with diet plans, since these two are different concepts.

5. The Cookie Diet

CookieIf you are trying to lose weight, then you will hear people constantly reminding you to stay away from sweets, but not if you try this program.

The cookie diet is the “healthy” version of cookies packed with fiber and essential amino acids. This could replace breakfast and lunch by eating four to six cookies with 500 calories per meal. Dinner means lean protein and veggies with 300 to 1,000 calories.

Since when does a cookie become an instrument to lose weight? Sure, it could help you lose a few pounds. However, keep this in mind: it is never okay to restrict your items to certain food groups only. This will leave you unsatisfied and hungry most of the time.

6. The Paleo Diet

This is also known as the Caveman, Stone Age or Hunter-Gatherer Diet. The idea behind this diet plan is based on the food eaten during the Paleolithic era, which means foods that are only fished, hunted or gathered.

Examples of this are seafood, pork, fruits, vegetables and nuts. However, grains, dairy products and anything processed or refined don’t deserve a spot in your kitchen.

The Paleo Diet is one of the most popular diets these days. The issue with this program is that it is concentrated on certain food groups only. At the same time, there is no guarantee that all the nutrients you can get from this diet will work best for your body.

7. The Dukan Diet

nutrient intakeDecades ago, the French physician, Pierre Dukan,realized that when a person’s food consumption is limited to lean protein, pounds fall off. Hence, the birth of the Dukan diet.

This diet believes that fat is your body’s worst enemy. Therefore, you need to eliminate it by getting rid of carbohydrates and restricting yourself to only certain food groups. This could help you lose weight and say goodbye to those unwanted pounds.

However, this could also mean restricting your nutrient intake, which could lead to nutritional deficiencies, such as kidney problems and bad breath.

You may also have difficulty maintaining your weight in case you decide to go for this diet, unless you eat pork all the time.

8. The Acai Diet

The acai berry is a fruit with high antioxidant properties. In fact, it helps improve digestion, detoxify your body and slows down the aging process.

It is also popular dietary supplement to help you lose weight. All you need is to incorporate acai supplements, whether in juice or capsule form, into your everyday diet, and you are good to go.

Does this mean the acai diet is safe? Not exactly. Acai supplements, or supplements in general, are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Even if there are claims about the weight loss benefits of acai, these claims lack a scientific basis.

9. The Blood-Type Diet

Blood is one of the most basic biological components in your body. Therefore, you can never go wrong with this, right? Not really.

blood typeThis type of diet believes that food intake is determined by your blood type and you should stick to it no matter what –

  • Type A – Vegetarian
  • Type B – Balanced omnivore diet
  • Type AB – Combination of food groups
  • Type O – High protein

This follows that eating foods not matched to your blood type could lead to health issues. This may sound funny, but don’t let your blood type dictate your food intake.

10. Diet programs that are too good to be true.

We’ve all heard the following: “Lose 10 pounds in one week.” “Five pounds off in five days.” “Lose weight with this secret ingredient.”

“The weight loss cure they don’t want you to know.” While these campaigns may be catchy and tempt you to make that purchase, there is no assurance that any of these diets will work.

The truth is, there are tons of diet programs that are too good to be true. There are also diet plans that make statements against respected authorities who spend their entire lives studying the human body. Admit it, they can be enticing. The problem is you’ll never know if these diet plans will work and will bring more good than harm in your body.

In that case, you know what to do. Don’t be fooled and don’t get carried away.

Here’s the truth: there is no one size that fits all when it comes to diet plans. Despite these questionable diet programs, there are still programs that are worth trying. The key here is finding the right diet plan that will fit your needs and your lifestyle. At the same time, choose something that promotes health and balance, and not just weight loss or compromising the nutrients your body needs.

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