Crazy Diets you Should Avoid

American showman P.T. Barnum once said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Whether they realize it or not, a lot of people are suckers when it comes to dieting. Desperate for a quick fix to their weighty problem, they abandon established ways to lose weight (like exercise and eating less) and instead pursue crazy diet plans that make no sense at all.

The allure of fad diets lies in the way they are packaged. They are endorsed by movie stars and other celebrities. Some have the names of “doctors” attached to them. They are simple to follow – they identify good and bad foods – and promise or guarantee dramatic results. They claim that you can eat what you want and still lose weight even without exercise. They provide people with instant solutions and instant gratification because some weight is lost. But what is often lost is water not fat and this is quickly replaced the next time you drink or eat.

“We want something and we want it now. Moderation, variety and balance in the diet takes effort, long-term commitment and lifetime change and people aren’t patient,” said Joy Short, an assistant professor of nutrition and dietetics at St. Louis University in St. Louis.

God’s Diet, for example, is a very restrictive diet that prevents you from eating the things God didn’t make. Dietitian Melissa Payne of the Orlando Regional Health Care in Orlando, Florida, describes it as a “radical” diet since it has a long list of foods to avoid, especially those containing sugar.

The Blood Type Diet recommends different diets for the different blood types since food is supposedly metabolized in a unique manner by each blood group. Type O people are said to be the “cro-magnon type” and should eat nothing but lean meat while type A individuals belong to the Roman Empire and should subsist on vegetables. On the other hand, Types B and AB can eat anything. Experts warn that Type O people who follow this diet are at risk of heart disease from consuming too much fat while excluding certain food groups in your diet can deprive you of essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs.

In the Grapefruit Diet, grapefruit is said to have fat-burning enzymes and will do all the work for you. Aside from one small, isolated study (that appears to have been sponsored by the citrus industry), there is no scientific evidence to support this ridiculous claim, according to Liz Neporent, trainer and author of “The Fat-Free Truth.”

To get back into shape following childbirth, Elizabeth Hurley supposedly followed the Caveman Diet. Proponents of this diet say that the modern practice of eating three meals a day is unhealthy. Only one meal a day is allowed similar to our prehistoric ancestors. The best time to eat is at night and your meal should consist of protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables. Experts say this diet is dangerous since you’re starving yourself to death.

In the Cabbage Soup Diet that is espoused by Sarah-Michelle Gellar, you eat nothing but cabbage soup for seven days along with fruits, vegetables, fish, and chicken. Proponents claim you can lose 10 pounds a week since cabbage soup keeps you full. While this diet is rich is anti-oxidants, it is unhealthy since weight loss is due to fasting and you can lose muscle mass as your body burns protein not fat.

Another variation is the Coconut Diet followed by Jennifer Aniston where you eat – surprise! – nothing but fat-rich coconut oil to lose fat (if you’re confused, so am I!). The menu consists of butter, egg yolks, meat fats, and lard. This diet will supposedly boost the immune system but it’s more likely to hurt your heart.

To lose weight, eat sensibly and don’t restrict yourself to certain foods like the above diets. Remember that there are no good foods or bad foods, only bad diets! All foods can be part of a healthy diet so there’s no need to limit your choices. 

 – Janet Martin

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