There’s no getting around it; weight loss is a slow and long-term process. Many doctors recommend that healthy weight loss should be limited to a rate of no more than two pounds per week (after perhaps a larger initial loss at the start of your new regime). They also believe that anything that promises to speed up the process could be unsustainable at best, and downright dangerous at worst.
Here are five of the worst fad diets from the past that ought never to make a comeback.
The Cabbage Soup Diet
Cabbage soup is exactly what it sounds like. This diet recommends that you have a serving of cabbage soup as a replacement for both breakfast and lunch, followed by a small dinner. It claims that in just one week, you could magically lose 10 pounds or more.
The weight loss claim may be true, but it’s because your average daily calorie intake would be around 1,000 calories, the majority of which come from high fiber vegetables. Obviously not a sustainable lifestyle!
Not only that, but any weight that’s lost may not even show, thanks to the excessive bloat that comes with eating so much cabbage.
The Grapefruit Diet
For a while, there was a notion that grapefruit actually ramped up your metabolism by seeking out and blasting away fat stored in your body. Needless to say, if it were that easy, everyone would be eating grapefruit and looking remarkably fit.
Much like many other fad diets, this turns out to be nothing more than an extremely low-calorie diet – allowing its followers not much more than 800 calories per day. That’s a low enough intake for the average person to run the risk of fainting after a few days.
The Master Cleanse
This is an all-liquid diet which should be an immediate red flag. Each day, dieters must drink 6 to 12 glasses of water mixed with lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper – a flavor combination that you won’t find on many gourmet menus!
Essentially, dieters are taking in massive amounts of diuretics, which will only cause them to lose water weight. The moment they begin eating solid foods again, they can expect that weight to come right back.
What’s more, going without solid food for days on end can lead to intense food cravings, resulting in a binge at the end of the cleanse. Like the Master Cleanse diet itself, this restrict/binge cycle (yo-yo dieting) is extremely unhealthy.
The Cotton Ball Diet
This diet advises people to swallow cotton balls soaked in orange juice. Do we even need to explain why this is a terrible idea? Don’t do it.
The Baby Food Diet
Strictly speaking, there’s nothing wrong with an adult eating baby food; it’s simply puréed fruits and vegetables. However, replacing two entire meals a day with nothing but fruit and vegetables is just another extremely low-calorie diet in disguise – and a rather silly disguise at that.
There’s a reason why it’s called baby food, and if you are not a baby yourself, you should definitely be eating something more nutritious.
It’s always advisable that you speak with your physician about changing your diet, particularly before starting any fad you see online. Following good medical advice is always the best and safest way to go about losing weight.