Like everybody else, I have had my challenges with weight gain and phases of desperation when I tried to lose weight,
using any resource that caught my attention. During this time, I came across many Diet Fads, some of which I even tried, only to realize later that they were utterly useless. This article is more of an effort to guard those who are about to try or are using some of the most popular Diet Programs that don’t make much sense if analyzed systematically. Most of these have serious side-effects and not engineered towards healthy weight loss. Please note that the idea here is not to ridicule the people who invented these Diet Plans but simply list the facts, i.e. these diets have limited application and are not meant for everyone. More so, without medical supervision or the kind of professional help only the excessively-rich can afford, taking upon such diets can prove to be harmful.
1. Hollywood Diet
This dieting fad gained prominence during the late 1980s and early 90s. Here, a particular kind of juice is to be consumed in small quantities, throughout the day. The juice is nothing but a basic mix of some vital nutrients to help you get through the day. This diet plan gained prominence due to endorsement by some TV soap actors and B-grade movie stars. This made it popular across the world where American programs were being telecast but eventually, the dark reality about its ineffectiveness was realized.
What doesn’t work? The calorie intake is so low that you are bound to suffer from dizziness, intestinal cramps and severe weakness. Even the makers of this diet plan insist that the drink should be consumed only on days when you are not working. This suggests that the manufacturers realize the kind of problems this diet fad puts forth.
2. Cabbage Soup Diet
This diet fad has been propelled by many of the iconic music and movie stars. Here, you are allowed to eat as much of cabbage soup, throughout the day. This is the only food, dessert & snack item you are allowed! The idea is that cabbage soup contains the ideal amount of potassium and sodium to ensure regular blood pressure. The high fiber content helps to induce a feeling of fullness.
What doesn’t work? This diet is severely low in basic carbohydrates and strips the body of its minimal intake of proteins and vitamins. Cabbage contains a negligible amount of minerals. Secondly, this diet induces severe hunger pangs. The sweet cravings need extreme will power to conquer. As a result, some folks might develop day-long irritation or bouts of emotional outburst. The feeling of fullness is induced by water and cabbage that is the perfect ingredient for making you feel bloated. The diet is just too demanding and gets boring after some time. Upon stopping with the diet plan, there are severe withdrawal pangs that hit back. Many people have reported about gastric problems including acidity, nausea and cramping. Most importantly, you are losing muscle mass as well along with fat.
3. HCG Diet
You have got to be nuts to try this diet!!
What doesn’t work? Nearly, Everything
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin or HCG is among the most critical of human hormones. It is produced in copious amounts among women, during pregnancy. HCG is involved in the process that dictates the speed of our metabolism. A high metabolism means that the body will work faster towards exhuming more fats and carbs for fueling itself. For pregnant women, HCG concentrations tend to remain high since it is required to ensure proper energy supply to the placenta.
However, using HCG injections in order to burn more calories is just crazy. You are essentially using a hormonal supplement to change the natural configuration of your body. There might be significant weight loss but you are pushing your body into an unnatural state of functioning. Soon, the body will start fighting it. This might lead to severe hormonal problems. Further, the burned calories might be sourced from muscles. HCG injections put forth plenty of side-effects including depression, headaches, mood swings and bouts of dizziness. Among women, this diet can interfere with menstruation and fertility.
4. Subway Diet
This is the best example of how commercialization can induce Diet Fads that have no scientific backing whatsoever. This diet fad owes its origin to a youngster called Jared Fogle who later became a Subway advertisement model of sorts. He lost nearly 250 pounds by eating Subway sandwiches only. Surprisingly, he often opted for combos that included diet soda too!
What doesn’t work? The truth was hidden by the advertisers. They didn’t tell the viewing public that later, Fogle developed edema in his wrists and ankles. He had severe blood pressure issues and suffered from sleep apnea.
Basically, you cannot diet in a healthy manner by choosing any kind of commercial or fast food, no matter how healthy it is claimed to be.
5. Master Cleanse Diet Program
It was Beyonce who made this diet fad famous when she lost weight for her role in “Dreamgirls”. This diet fad works upon cleansing the intestines from all the impacted toxins it stores over the years. However, what people probably didn’t understand was that Beyonce’s weight loss was targeted at shedding pounds in a quick manner. It was for a movie role and she needed to do the required within 2-3 weeks.
What doesn’t work? You are only allowed to drink lemon juice along with additions like pepper and maple syrup and lots of water. There is no food as such and these ingredients act as light laxatives. So basically, you get to lose weight by swearing off food and cleansing your intestines. For losing a few kgs, this might work but for sustained weight loss, this diet program is just too demanding and potentially harmful.
It borders on getting dependent on laxative to keep yourself slim—akin to many food-related psychological disorders where people keep inducing bowel movement from the fear of gaining weight! Do you want to take upon the risk of making yourself into some sort of laxative neurotic?
These are just some of the diet fads I have come across. There are plenty more that are making people risk their overall wellness and adopting hazardous lifestyles. My advice to all the hard dieters among you is to get your facts right before adopting any dieting program. Basically, without physical effort (exercising), no amount of dieting can ensure that you are “healthier” than before though being “slimmer” might be achievable.