It’s a brand new year, which means it’s time to buckle down and make those health resolutions you haven’t thought about since last year. You might be asking yourself why you can’t stick with a good diet that sheds the pounds and keeps them off. The answer might be found in the type of diet you’re trying. Fad diets, for example, rarely work as well as suggested, and they’re often more dangerous for your health than beneficial. Let’s take a look at a few fad diets you should avoid this year.
1. HCG Diet
The HCG diet has become popular because it boasts the ability to lose weight without even trying. All it takes is a daily injection of the HCG hormone with no exercise and only a few limitations in your diet. If it sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is. There’s no evidence to support that an injection of this hormone will lead to weight loss, and the accompanying effects may be harmful to your health.
2. Zone Diet
This diet encourages balancing your insulin levels through exact portions of carbs, proteins, and fats on a low-calorie diet. It’s an easy diet to follow in the short term, but the limited food selection and low calorie meals eventually lead to nutrient deficiencies and intense cravings, making it extremely difficult to follow long term.
3. Juice Detox Cleanses
Juice cleanses have been popular for many years, but they come with many health problems. It’s nearly impossible to get all the nutrients you need from drinking only juice. Sure, you’ll lose weight, but you’ll starve yourself in the process, which can lead to long-term health effects like muscle atrophy and even brain damage.
4. Cookie Diet
You read that right. Some people actually expect to lose an average of 15 pounds per month by replacing their meals with specially formulated cookies. These processed biscuits are meant to stem hunger while providing all the nutrients you need. However, getting your average daily nutrients into a single, processed cookie is impossible. Besides that, it’s a very difficult diet to keep in the long term. You’ll get to the point where you never want to see another cookie again.
5. Grapefruit Diet
This diet involves carefully controlling your calorie content in each meal, plus eating half a grapefruit on the side. The architects of this diet claim that grapefruit has fat-fighting nutrients to help you get thin fast. There’s some truth to that, but what really gets you thin in this diet is the fact that you’re practically starving yourself with calorie restrictions. It throws your body into starvation mode, which we’ve already established leaves nasty long term side effects.
Robert C. Atkins, the author of this weight loss endeavor, claims that insulin and carbohydrates are the cause of weight gain rather than excess calories. It’s true that eating too much bread can lead to weight gain, but there are healthier ways to fight fat. The Atkins Diet cuts out breads and other processed carbs and replaces them with meats high in protein. However, the amount of saturated fats found in meat can actually lead to an increased risk of heart disease, nausea, headaches, and carb cravings. It also leaves out too many important whole grains, fruit, calcium, and fiber, leading to nutritional deficiencies.
7. Blood Type Diet
There’s a myth circulating in the weight-loss realm that claims certain blood types should eat certain types of foods in order to lose weight. There’s no scientific research to support this diet, however. It may help you get your daily servings of fruits and vegetables, but the entire concept of the diet is built around a lie.