3 Fad Diets to know about

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Studies by Mintel suggest that almost two thirds of people have not only tried to lose weight at some point in their life, but that they’re dieting “all or most of the time”. That statistic becomes even more scary when you consider that these people aren’t generally choosing a diet based on any medical advice or choosing one that’s specific to their body type, they’re simply picking the ones they’ve heard about and trying them out.

And as a result, the “fad diet” develops. A diet that’s trendy for a short time because people claim it has huge weight loss potential or health benefits, but disappears into the background after a certain amount of time as people start to hate it or realise life is miserable on it, only for it to be mocked by future generations.

Here are 3 fad diets through the ages – some popular now, some popular in days gone by:

Keto Diet

Over the past year, the Keto diet has become the most Googled weight loss plan. It holds claims to make you lose weight even with a high intake of fat and has been used in epilepsy treatment since the 1920s.

But did you know that the Keto diet is essentially the Atkins diet by another name?

Like the Atkins diet, a ketogenic diet plan reduces carbohydrates to only 2% to 5% of your daily calories, and increases your fat intake. The goal is for your body to enter ketosis – a state where fat is burned for energy rather than carbs. The weight will drop off and you’ll look thinner and leaner.

There’s no reason to say that it doesn’t work, however there are risk factors with a diet like this that critically reduces a specific part of your calorie intake balance. Read more about the keto diet here.

Cabbage Soup Diet

Chances are that you’ve heard a friend or a relative mention the cabbage soup diet as a way to get rid of a few extra pounds extra fast. The main component of the diet is, of course, cabbage soup – you can eat as much of this as you like over the course of seven days, while other foods such as certain fruits, vegetables, some meat (beef and chicken generally) and brown rice are allowed, but only according to a very specific schedule.

The way that the cabbage soup diet works is to drastically reduce your calorie intake meaning you’ll lose fat quickly. You will also lose weight in water and muscle though, meaning the diet isn’t as quick and safe as it first appears. It’s also not recommended to do this diet for more than a week at a time due to the huge lack of complex carbohydrates, protein and vitamins. It can result in feeling fatigued, light-headed and dizzy at times too, and it’s only too easy to regain that weight as soon as the week is over.

Raw Food Diet

The raw food diet makes absolute sense on the surface. It argues that cooking foods reduces the levels of vitamins and minerals included in them, sometimes completely destroying any nutritional value a meal originally had once it’s been steamed, boiled or otherwise cooked. Raw food dieters generally stick to a vegan diet with plant-based foods always consumed raw or below a specific temperature, however others also incorporate some non-vegan foods such as unpasteurized milk, raw fish or other dairy products.

While some say the convenience of it is appealing and the potential for weight loss by only eating unprocessed food in its “natural” state is a huge draw, the overwhelming opinion is that this isn’t a diet to live on – where’s the joy of life without cooked food? It can also have side effects such as low energy and nutrient deficiencies. It would take a lot of planning and balancing your diet to ensure that only eating raw foods results in a balanced and healthy diet for you.

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