13 Nov 2020

Fad Diets to Avoid

Nutrition Advice

Trying to change your eating habits? Beware of falling for a fad diet.

Known for promising weight loss and other health benefits without substantial (or any) scientific evidence, fad diets are often highly restrictive and have become a big part of diet culture.

Not all fad diets are bad, but some of them have the potential to do more harm than good. If you’re trying to spot the difference between diet myths and weight loss techniques that actually work, these are some of the worst fad diets to watch out for.

The Blood Type Diet

Blood test

The blood type diet is based on the concept that an individual’s blood type is an important factor in their dietary choices. This diet sets out unique rules for each blood type, with little room for personal preference.

For example, people with type O blood are advised to eat a high-protein diet, consisting mainly of lean meat, poultry, fish and vegetables while limiting whole grains. On the other hand, people with type A blood are advised to stick to a meat-free diet of fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, and whole grains. This diet may sound like it’s based in science, but researchers are yet to find concrete evidence that it works.

The Werewolf Diet

The Moon

Also known as the lunar diet, the werewolf diet involves planning your eating habits around the cycle of the moon. It’s founded on the idea that the moon impacts water in the human body in the same way it influences tides in the ocean.

This diet recommends not eating any solid food during the 26 hours of the new or full moon (tea, water and juice are allowed). Other moon phases have different rules, including not eating past 6pm. Nutritionists don’t endorse the werewolf diet, pointing out there’s no conclusive evidence to support it as a safe and effective weight loss option.

Juice Cleanses

Green juice

Beloved by celebrities, juice cleanses require you to consume almost nothing but fruit or vegetable juice for a period of several days. This is one of the most popular diets for rapid weight loss, but does the science behind it stack up?  

Probably not, according to health professionals. While juice cleanses can trigger weight loss, the kilos you lose are more likely to stem from dehydration rather than fat reduction. Fruit and vegetable juices are also lacking in sufficient amounts of protein, healthy fats and certain types of vitamins, such as iron. Going without these proteins and vitamins for extended periods can lead to serious health issues.  

No matter how badly you want to lose weight, do your best to avoid resorting to a fad diet. Rapidly changing your diet overnight may sound like a good way to shed kilos, but sustainable weight loss is more often achieved through gradual dietary changes.

For more dietary advice, check out our article on What You Need to Know about a Low Carb Diet.

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