In this image conscious world we live in, people are turning to more and more crazy diets in order to look their best, each one weirder than the last. But is it safe to follow the latest fad diet? Here at hitched.com.au, we set out to explore some of the more drastic diets and their pros and cons...
The Atkins Diet
Those who follow the Atkins diet fill up on protein, rather than energy providing carbohydrates. The idea behind it is that by consuming fewer carbohydrates (such as pasta, bread and potatoes), the body will burn fat quicker.
Atkins dieters can eat a lot of meat, fish, cheese and eggs, but must avoid carb-heavy foods and foods that contain a large amount of refined sugar.
In the short-term, you will shed weight quickly, but this is mostly due to the loss of water in your diet. Long term effects can be quite unhealthy, as some meats and cheese contain a lot of saturated fat and can cause your cholesterol to be quite high, which is bad for your heart. Carbohydrates are also an excellent source of energy and by cutting them out you can start feeling lethargic and sluggish.
It’s better to replace white pasta and bread with wholemeal products, and to eat them in moderation.
The Grapefruit Diet
Grapefruit is thought to contain a special fat-burning enzyme. This diet has become incredibly popular with Hollywood stars, and consists of the dieter eating mostly grapefruit. They can also drink black coffee and eat Melba toast, eggs and salad. Some variations of the diet include meat and fish.
If you followed this diet you would only consume around 800 calories a day. Considering it is advised that the average woman should consume 2,000 calories a day, this low calorie diet could be quite dangerous.
Although the initial weight loss may seem drastic, it’s not safe to eat so little in the way of calories. It is also important to remember that a diet based solely around one food type is not a balanced diet, and you are denying your body the protein, carbohydrates and calcium that it needs to function properly.
Cabbage Soup Diet
The definition of a fad diet! This was very popular when it first came about, but its popularity seems to have waned a little of late. Dieters would only eat a soup that was made from cabbage, green pepper, tomatoes, onions, celery and water. They could eat as much of this concoction as they wished, and could accompany it with a portion of fruit or vegetables.
As cabbage has no calorie burning powers though, the weight loss on this diet mainly consists of water. Dieters often complain of excess wind, nausea and feeling unwell when on this diet, as they are denying their body of many of the things it needs to be healthy.
There is no solid scientific evidence to prove that any of these diets work long term. It’s definitely better to couple a balanced, healthy diet, which consists of protein, carbohydrates (from brown bread or pasta), fibre, vitamins and calcium, with regular exercise.
Here are hitched.com.au’s top five tips for maintaining a healthy diet:
- Eat three proper meals a day — skipping breakfast will make you low on energy and more likely to snack.
- Swap naughty snacks like chocolate or biscuits for fruit or vegetable sticks.
- Opt for ‘low-fat’ versions of food, such as skim milk, healthy spread and lean meat.
- Cut out alcohol — the empty calories in alcohol add up! Replace it with water or diet soda, and you’ll see your skin improve and your weight reduce.
- Grill, bake or steam food rather than fry it, and use low-fat oils to cook with.