Just because a diet is popular doesn’t mean that it works.
Some of the most popular diets around today don’t work all in the long term.
Instead of leaving you feeling great and full of energy, many of these diets end up making you feel trapped by restrictions, tired because you're out of energy, and still (the worst part) carrying around that extra stubborn fat.
Here are 5 diets that I don't think work well at all in the long term:
Diet to Avoid #1 - Keto
Ketogenic diets are designed to trick your body into a negative reaction. By limiting the amount of carbs, you eat, you send your body signals that it is starving. In turn, it responds by essentially panicking—burning your fat reserves.
They are super popular because they work in the short term
But the problem is that it's impossible to hold on to this panicked metabolic reaction forever. Do you want to live in a constant state of starvation?
Plus, there are some doctors who point to significant health risks of keto.
The important thing to remember about a healthy lifestyle is that it’s not a trick. It’s a permanent change that you can live with for the rest of your life.
Diet to Avoid #2 - The "Cleanse" Diet
I've seen this called "Master Cleanse" and it's presented as a way to reset your body, getting rid of toxins through a mix of liquids and fasting.
In reality, the master cleanse is a temporary solution to a long-term problem. Better health isn’t something you can achieve by depriving yourself of proper nutrients for a few days.
Master cleanses trick you into thinking you’ve improved your health by destabilizing your body. It responds to the lack of food in a natural, evolutionarily coded way. It increases your fight or flight response, making you feel more energized and refreshed.
But, this is only part of the reaction you’re provoking. You also end up crashing, feeling the exhaustion and physical distress that come along with a lack of nutrients. Why would you do this to yourself?
If you DO decide a master cleanse is a good idea, you should watch your health carefully. It can disrupt important balances in your body, like electrolytes, potassium, and sodium. This can lead to serious consequences.
Cleanse at your own risk…or better yet, don’t.
Make a commitment to improving your long-term digestive health instead and you’ll never need a cleanse in the first place.
Diet to Avoid #3 - The Miracle Pills
We’ve all seen the commercials for these miracle supplements. A few pills a day and you’re suddenly leaner, hotter, and healthier.
Come on, we all know better.
There’s no miracle pill that can make you look better and feel better. A lot of these miracle supplements are just disguises for harmful stimulants that can lead to poor health and even addiction.
That’s not to say that there isn’t a place for supplements in a healthy diet. There is. From probiotics to vitamins, supplements give us great options to help give our body everything it needs.
But, there’s no such thing as a miracle pill. If someone tells you there is, you should be extra wary.
With these “miracle” supplements, you never know what really going into to your body.
Diet to Avoid #4 - Strict Elimination Dieting
Elimination diets are diets that tell you that by only eating certain foods, you can drop tons of weight.
Sometimes, it’s true. As we’ve discussed, keto—a diet that requires you to remove all carbohydrates from your diet—often leads to rapid weight loss. However, this weight loss is only temporary.
There are two major problems with elimination diets.
First, they are unsustainable. If you’re anything like me, not being allowed to eat something is one of the surest ways to make you want it. Psychologically, we aren’t made to stay completely away from a food group.
Our bodies crave a balance, and our minds respond accordingly. Very few people stay on elimination diets and for good reason. It goes against human nature. When you stop the diet, the weight piles right back on. Sometimes, more than ever before.
The second major problem with elimination diets is that our bodies NEED a variety of nutrients. You can fight your cravings, but why would you? Cravings are your body telling you what you need to survive.
If we ignore our own needs just to lose a few pounds quickly, there are bound to be consequences.
Diet to Avoid #5 - High Protein (Atkins)
Atkins tries to get around the keto/elimination diets problem by finding a middle ground. You can have some carbs, they say, but not many. And they make specialized products like deserts and bars to satisfy some of your cravings.
Expensive products that you have to keep buying to stay happy are great for the Atkins company but bad for you. You can’t rely on expensive, branded treats to keep you on track. You need sustainable, healthy food habits.
The problem is that, ultimately, you’re still trying to get the effects of an elimination diet, without getting the results. By making it a watered-down version of keto, you get all of the annoyance without any of the results.
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