Chances are, you’ve tried out a diet or two. We all have. There are too many out there to count. They all boast different, yet hauntingly similar, results. Lose water weight in 7 days, drop 10 pounds in a week, instant muscle tone, etc. The truth, though, is that none of these diets are sustainable. Cutting major parts of your diet are definitely going to create changes in your body, but as soon as you incorporate those foods back into your diet, the weight will come back. Let’s explore a few popular fad diets.
The idea behind the paleo diet is that you eat like our hunter gatherer ancestors may have eaten centuries ago. Typically this looks like lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. You are supposed to limit grains, dairy, legumes, and anything that has been highly processed.
Here are the problems with the Paleo diet. Yes, you can absolutely lose weight on the paleo diet(spoiler, you can lose weight on basically any diet). However, with this diet, you seriously restrict your carbohydrate intake. Your body needs carbohydrates in order to survive. It’s what your body uses for fuel. A lot of people on the paleo diet do it in conjunction with an elevated exercise regime. These things combined are problematic and cause a lot of health problems down the road, including muscle deterioration.
A lot of people view the keto diet as similar to the paleo diet. The Keto diet’s basic principle is that it is low carb, high fat. In this sense, you are getting all of your calories from proteins and fats and not from, you guessed it, carbs. You may know of the Keto diet from it’s much older sister, the Atkins diet, which has since been debunked as incredibly unhealthy for your body. Simply put, it is bad for your body to be having such strict restrictions from carbs. Especially because of the heavy emphasis on fats. Fats are good for your body! But there is too much of a good thing, and if you are eating 7 slices of bacon in the morning for breakfast for the protein and “healthy fats”, you’re going to have a few problems.
Intermittent fasting is an entirely different brand of problematic. The idea behind intermittent fasting is simple, and you can probably guess it just from the name. You deprive your body from food for lengths of time. That’s it, that’s the diet. People will argue that this is good for your body because you process foods better after your fasting period is over. Length of fasting varies from just one meal to multiple days.
Let’s get one thing straight. Your body feels hungry because it needs food. A lot of people who believe in intermittent fasting like to argue that this is what your body was designed to do. To be deprived from food. Which, on a simply biological level, is wrong. Your body was designed to eat when it was hungry. And, when you starve your body like this, your body goes into a major fat storing mode. So the next time you eat, your body stores that food as fat because it thinks you are going into a famine and it has no idea when you will next have food. It’s not good for your body any way that you cut it. Stop skipping breakfast!
Okay, let’s talk about the master cleanse. It is a precursor to the very popular juice cleanse. The master cleanse is just water, lemon juice, cayenne, and maple syrup. You drink that all day, every day, for three days. Immediately after, you go into a juice cleanse. Juice cleanses have way more nutrients than the master cleanse does, but it is still seriously depriving your body of things that it needs in order to function. People who do the master cleanse are often grumpy, sunken, and miserable during their cleanse. You would be too, if you ate nothing but spicy lemonade for three days straight. I guess it will help you save money on eating out.
The issue with these, and all of the other, fad diets out there, is that they aren’t sustainable. Depriving your body of things will only make you crave them harder. No, you shouldn’t eat absolutely whatever you want whenever you want. But if you are cutting out unhealthy carbs, replace them with healthy carbs. Deprivation isn’t a sustainable lifestyle model.