Three Dangerous Diet Fads

Posted: February 19, 2015 in Blog, Food, Nutrition
man infront of a dangerous diet

We all want three things from a weight loss program: easy, fast and noticeable results. We would stampede to the store if some new program guaranteed 20 lbs. of weight loss overnight. And no one in the rush would think twice about the ill-effects on their health that comes from losing a significant amount of body weight in an unreasonably short time.

The blind desire to lose weight means we are all taken in by fad diets that promise fast, easy results, but often deliver poor health and nutrition. And if you actually manage to lose weight, it’s usually back, and more, shortly after you go off the diet.

Today, the dangers of some past diet fads are fairly obvious. The Cigarette Diet instructed followers to smoke when they felt hungry. The Tapeworm Diet introduced a living parasite into your digestive system to eat the food in your stomach. And followers of the Cotton Ball Diet swallowed cotton balls before meals so they would eat less food.

But no matter how whacky fad diets sound, and even if they make no sense, people still flock to them hoping to find a quick fix for their weight problems. It seems like there’s a new fad every week. Here’s a sampling of some of the more recent dangerous diets, and what makes them unhealthy:

The Hollywood Diet

With promises to treat you “like a star”, the creators of the Hollywood ‘Miracle’ Diet, Jamie and Larry, offer a range of products that claim to, over a 24- to 48-hour period, lead to weight loss of 2 to 16 pounds. By eating nothing but Hollywood Diet products, your calorie intake is so severely reduced, your body quickly sheds water weight, which users see as a sign of success. But the calorie reduction can also shift your body into starvation mode, potentially causing a number of side effects, including diarrhea, fatigue, constipation and nausea.

Feeding Tube Diet

Claiming to be a “medically supervised jumpstart to weight loss”, the K-E Diet – or Feeding Tube Diet – involves inserting a tube through your nose and into your stomach. A low-calorie, fat-rich ‘solution’ is pumped through the tube directly into your stomach. You don’t even need to eat!

With no carbohydrates in the solution, your body is tripped into nutritional ketosis, which means it begins to burn its own fat. The potential side effects include constipation, dehydration and dizziness.

Master Cleanse

Also known as the Lemonade Diet, this is really a form of fasting. In this case, your only nutrition for 10 days comes from a mixture of water, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. Occasional fasting has been shown to have healthy effects, but not for weight loss. Fasting for more than a couple days at a time carries with it significant health risks.

The loss of energy and nutrition from an extended fast slows down your body’s metabolism and reduces your muscle mass. Even worse for those hoping to maintain the weight loss, chances are high that all the weight will return when you return to a solid food diet.

There are many other dangerous diet fads out there, along with lots of often confusing information about how to lose weight healthily. To learn more about safe and healthy ways to lose weight – ways that are specific to your body-type, lifestyle and weight loss goals – you are welcome to visit your local Herbal One Centre and discuss your needs with a trained nutritional consultant.