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Three Fad Diets to Avoid From Self Magazine

500 Calories a Day? The 3 Worst Fad Diets of 2011

We are pumped to share one of our fave stories from Self here on FitSugar!

From The Tapeworm Diet to The Baby Food Diet to the Cookie Diet, we've witnessed some truly bizarre weight-loss fads over the years.Thankfully, according to the Calorie Control Council's list of the top 5 diet trends for 2011, this year, the focus will shift away from extreme or restrictive diets and onto sustainable lifestyle changes that incorporate healthy eating and exercise habits.

That said, those fad diets will still be around to tempt you. Here are three you're likely to be SPAM-ed about in 2011, and why you should avoid them:

Paleo Diet
Just as it sounds, this diet insists that you should only eat foods that our Paleolithic ancestors indulged in. This includes meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, non-starchy veggies, root veggies, herbs, spices and some fruit and nuts.
Why We're Not Sold While this diet does focus on some healthy options, it also gongs some of our favorite nutritious foods including grains like wheat and quinoa; dairy; legumes and seed-based oils. That means you're cutting out low-fat cottage cheese and low-fat Greek yogurt (calcium), lentils and black beans (a dietician's best friend!), whole-grain carbs and heart-healthy oils. Sure, our bodies weren't originally designed to eat these foods, but we'd like to think we've evolved quite a bit since then.


Learn about two more diets to avoid.

HCG Diet
You take the HCG (yep, the same hormone your body cranks out when you're preggo) for 26 days while eating just 500 to 700 calories and cutting out exercise.
Why We're Not Sold Hormone injections and/or drops and calorie restriction? Well, duh, you'll lose some weight. But it's definitely extreme, not sustainable and potentially dangerous. HCG injections can trigger ovarian cysts and blood clots and can make you more fertile (hello, surprise pregnancy). And no exercise? That's an automatic red flag that there's nothing healthy about this plan. Steer clear, ladies!

As SELF has reported, cleanses and detox diets are all the rage. From chugging maple syrup and cayenne concoctions to buying into fancy juice delivery services, the idea of limiting yourself to a regimen of liquids to flush out toxins has taken off big time. With celebs like Salma Hayek continuing to swear by them — she recently told US Magazine that she's been doing juice cleanses for 15 years — liquid diets will continue to throw around weight-loss promises in 2011.
Why We're Not Sold When SELF's reporters dug into this trend, they found that docs and dietitians agree that detoxing can lead to disordered eating and may ultimately make you fatter. A lack of nutrients can make your body eat into muscle for energy, slowing your metabolism. It becomes harder to burn calories because your body conserves what little energy it gets, explains Peter Pressman, M.D., an internist with the U.S. Navy Medical Corps and a fellow of the American College of Clinical Nutrition. And about the theory that this somehow flushes out toxins? "Clinical evidence shows that the notion of a nutritional scrub is nothing more than highly profitable fiction," he says. We'll trust that our liver and kidneys can handle the job just fine.Have you ever tried a crazy fad diet?

Related Links:
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AllieNic AllieNic 6 years
I also agree with guavajelly-- I myself follow the paleo diet after being a vegetarian for four years-- I try to eat grass-fed meats and pastured chickens-- I wash my food and I cook it too-- it's not all about eating raw foods. The "modern paleo" lifestyle promotes grass-fed meats/ poultry, lots and lots of veggies, some fruits, nuts and seeds. It eliminates grains and legumes because of the damage these foods can do to the small intestine and, as a result, the inflammation that they cause. A lot of people have food allergies and some have food sensitivities of which they're not even aware-- like guavajelly said, this diet is great for people who want to hone in on their food sensitivities and heal their gut. It can seem restrictive, but it's beneficial for a lot of people.
Smashboxchick Smashboxchick 6 years
Hmm @ Paleo diet. So basically they want you eating anything that can you make you ill if not washed or cooked correctly. Sounds great.. not. Obviously in any diet you should be washing and cooking things properly, but if you are eating only what they suggest the risks are probably a little bit higher.
guavajelly guavajelly 6 years
The bit about the paleo diet is not entirely correct. You CAN eat all fruit (dried fruit included). You CAN eat seed oils. Also you don’t 100% cut out grains, legumes & dairy but Dr. Cordain suggest you eat them only 15% of your diet. The idea is not just to eat like our ancestors but that pound for pound veg, fruit, nuts, seeds, & grass fed quality meats (not the mass produced sickly meats) are more nutrient dense then grains, legumes, & dairy. Often times grains, legumes, & dairy are enriched with vitamins & minerals. Many people have allergies to dairy & wheat and many people have digestion issues with legumes. I don’t think the subject was properly researched before the article was written. The paleo diet is a viable way of eating for many people especially those with sensitivities.
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