Diets That Don’t Work


Avoid these five types of diets for best weight loss results. There are hundreds of these quick-fix diets out there, from the grapefruit diet to the detox diet to the “caveman” diet. How do you tell legitimate weight loss plans from diets that don’t work?

fad dietsThe worst diets ever:

Experts have identified five types of diet that are unlikely to produce long-term results for most people.

1. Diets that focus on only a few foods or food groups

Like the cabbage soup diet, grapefruit diet, strict vegan diets, raw food diets, and many low-carb diets). Beware of any diet that rules out entire food groups. People need to eat from a variety of food groups to get all the nutrients they need.

2. “Detox” diets

Extreme regimes calling for procedures like liver flushes, bodily cleanses, colonics, or hormone injections. Your body is well equipped with organs, such as the liver and kidneys, and the immune system, to rid itself of potential toxins and does an excellent job of cleansing itself without needing flushes or cleanses”.

3. Diets with “miracle” foods or ingredients

Like supplements, fructose water, bitter orange, green tea, or apple cider vinegar. Be wary of any plan that recommends a shelf full of supplements, enzymes, or potions, these can be expensive and may well offer no benefit.

4. Fasting and very low-calorie diets

Fasting has been a cultural and religious tradition for centuries, and is fine for a day or so, but fasting for weight loss is counterproductive. When you consume too few calories, your body thinks it is starving and adjusts your metabolism. When you go back to eating normally, your metabolism doesn’t readjust and therefore you need fewer calories than before, so you swing between losing weight and putting it back on again, otherwise known as the yo-yo syndrome. What about very low-calorie diets? These may result in impressive weight loss at the beginning but this will slow over time as weight loss averages out.

5. Diets that sound too good to be true

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Diet plans that claim to have a “secret”, that make dramatic statements against respected health authorities, or make recommendations that contradict those of scientific organizations are suspect.

Finding a diet that works

There is no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to diet plans, and it’s important to find one that fits your lifestyle. The best diet is one you can safely and realistically stick with for the long term, plain and simple. It should be flexible enough to fit in with your lifestyle and should encourage healthier eating by focusing on balance, variety and moderation. In fact, the best “diet” may not be a diet at all. Instead, think about strategies to satisfy your hunger for fewer calories. Eating more fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help manage your appetite.

Two top tips for weight loss

1. Identify your “weakest link”. Most people know immediately where they are vulnerable, mid-afternoon snacking, large portions, too much alcohol, a sweet tooth, or snacking all day long. For example, if you overeat because of stress, consider a stress management. Develop a strategy to address areas where you’re vulnerable so you can set yourself up for success.

2. Take baby steps – Identify one to three small changes you can make straight away in your diet and exercise. Reassess in a few weeks to see whether your changes are working; then make a few more small changes. Expect to see significant changes in around 12 weeks.