From swallowing tapeworms and stapling our ears to eating only soup or some other “miracle” food or ingredient, we’ve seen our fair share of weird diet trends throughout the years. But what if we told you the diet you’re currently following could actually be doing you more harm than good, as well?
While some weird diet trends seem just too ridiculous to be true, you’d be surprised how some seemingly legitimate diets could negatively affect you. Here are seven examples.
Perhaps the most common weird diet trend we’ve seen recently is the “detox” fad — whether that’s a juice cleanse or some other liquid and veggie-based regime. While these methods could be helpful for a day or two if you’re feeling lethargic or bloated, it’s not a smart long-term diet. After a while, you’ll eventually experience nutritional deficiencies and miss out on the calcium, iron and vitamins your body needs.
2. Eliminating Food Groups
If your diet only includes a few food groups — such as the grapefruit diet, cabbage soup diet or other strict plans — it’s likely an unhealthy choice. In order to get all the nutrients we need, it’s essential to dip into each food group every day.
3. Boosting Your Protein Intake
Protein is important, but a lot of high-protein, low-carb diets take it to the extreme. It’s not necessary to double your protein intake and eliminate all carbohydrates from your diet — who could live like that anyway? As long as you’re getting roughly 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of your body weight, you’re meeting the recommended dietary allowance. Of course, this could vary based on your activity level.
4. Neglecting Exercise
More and more diet trends are advertising the fact that you don’t need to work out at all in order to lose weight. Although what you eat is a huge influencer — they say weight loss is 80 percent diet and 20 percent exercise — you still need at least that little bit of exercise to really see significant changes. Plus, exercise comes along with loads of other benefits you can’t get just from eating right.
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5. Eating “Clean”
We’re not going to sit here and tell you eating fruits and vegetables is bad for you, because that’d be a lie. However, some health professionals avoid recommending this method to clients because it can encourage extreme dieting behavior depending on the individual’s personality. Just like eliminating food groups is a sign of a bad diet, it’s important to remember to eat everything in moderation, not just your apples and carrots.
6. Using Meal Delivery Services
It’s 2017, and you can finally have fruits, vegetables and other deliciously healthy foods delivered right to your doorstep. To the health-conscious grocery store haters and full-time workers, this probably sounds like a dream come true. The pre-portioned produce and protein always comes with instructions, as well, so you won’t have to think of something creative to cook after a long day.
The challenge here is to make sure you’re getting a balanced diet even when you aren’t the one doing the shopping. Some of these services allow you to pick from menu options, so keep that in mind when you’re making your decisions for the coming week.
Whether you’re completely fasting for a few hours or following an extremely low-calorie diet, depriving your body will never work for long-term weight loss. Yes, you will probably see results after a couple days of not eating — go figure — but as soon as you start eating again, you’ll gain the weight back even if it’s something healthy. Why?
When you don’t consume enough calories, your body goes into starvation mode and adjusts your metabolism accordingly. Then, when you go back to your typical diet, your metabolism doesn’t go back to normal right away and your body holds onto everything you eat for dear life.
The Best Method: A Balanced Diet and Regular Exercise
With tons of weird health fads out there to choose from, it can be really tempting to tell yourself this magic pill or ingredient will solve all your problems. But unfortunately, one thing in this world that will always hold true is that a balanced diet and regular exercise are the key ingredients to weight loss.
No matter how much money you pay for a miracle cleanse or how many days you can go eating less than 1000 calories, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Be smart when you choose your next diet — you might even benefit from something as simple as a little portion control.
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