I know that losing weight is a goal of many people (there is a scary percentage of the population that can be defined as overweight or obese), but there are healthy ways of going about it. If you want long-term results, you need to commit to making healthy lifestyle choices in the long-term.
You’re not going to make it happen with fad diets. You may lose some weight initially, but eventually, you’ll fall off the wagon, go back to your old habits, and gain the weight back (called yo-yo dieting).
What Diets Are the Worst for Your Health?
It can be tempting to follow the different diet trends that inundate us all over the web and social media, but in reality, it is not the recommended route if you want to lose weight and keep it off. Below we take a look at a number of fad diets to show you what ones, in particular, you should steer clear of if you want to stay healthy.
Daniel Fast (a.ka. Shepherd Diet)
This diet gained prominence recently when star actor Chris Pratt went on talk shows raving about the weight he has lost, and health benefits he has gained, though following the Daniel Fast. This diet gets its name because it follows the eating habits (rather, the fasting habits) of Daniel from the Old Testament of the Bible.
With this diet, you are restricted to eating only fruits, vegetables, and unleavened bread for a 21-day period. On top of that, naturally, given the Biblical undertones, you are also required to pray daily (though I suppose this part is optional and not essential for the weight loss). The goal is to help dieters, according to the website, “focus on their health using Christ-centered teachings.”
While that is a noble goal, you can’t ignore the health risks involved with this diet. Primarily, if you are only eating fruits, vegetables, and bread, you are missing out on tons of essential vitamins and minerals.
This diet revolves around the principle of cutting out sugar, alcohol, grains, dairy, beans, and other foods for a whole 30 days (hence the name of the diet). The premise behind it is to only be putting “good” things in your body, as if many of those banned items are not “good” for you. This diet has become wildly popular on social media, particularly Instagram, but there is not a lot of science that backs up its health claims.
For one, experts say that it would take more than 30 days for your body to truly reset. The diet claims to help fight inflammation, but experts disagree – 30 days isn’t going to make a difference. In addition, this diet restricts foods that are rich in fiber, but research indicates that fiber-rich foods can actually help to reduce inflammation as well as ward off many diseases.
This diet harkens back to early man in the Paleolithic Era (hence the name) and consists of foods that would be eaten by our ancestors during that time. Obviously, this means no packaged food, processed food, nothing with artificial sweeteners, and similar modern culinary items. For the most part, you are eating things that could be hunted, foraged, or grown back in those days. That means a lot of meats, fish, fruits, veggies, seeds, and nuts.
Experts disagree with many of the health claims that this diet boasts. While Paleo followers load themselves up with high doses of meat and other proteins, scientists warn that this puts dieters at risk of vitamin D deficiency. On top of that, because of the exclusion of dairy, there will be a deficiency in calcium as well.
What to Do Instead
Don’t fall for the fad diets – they are called “fads” for a reason. Instead, make healthy choices in the kitchen – get the right balance of proteins and carbs, and keep your calorie intake low. Get plenty of exercise to create a caloric deficit – the formula for weight loss. To add some firepower to your metabolism (and help curb your appetite), considering adding a dietary supplement (PhenQ is my top diet pill)