Fad diets all have one thing in common: they’re meant to help you lose weight, and fast. Unfortunately, these diets come with plenty of risks. Chances are you probably haven’t heard of many of them. Here’s a quick breakdown.
The Maple Syrup Diet, aka The Master Cleanse
Liquids are at the center of the Master Cleanse diet. On the Master Cleanse, you might drink up to four glasses of saltwater in the morning, 12 glasses of “lemonade (lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water) throughout the day and herbal laxative tea at night. Yum?
As it turns out, our bodies actually need solid food to function properly. The Maple Syrup diet and others like it are low in both protein and calories, which seems great until you understand that calories, protein and the natural sugars in solid food are literally what keep our bodies from falling apart.
There just aren’t enough nutrients in juice, syrup and cayenne pepper to keep you healthy. Have you ever heard of anyone who thought their Master Cleanse was a pleasurable experience? It zaps energy and makes blood sugar plummet to dangerously low levels. Not the best idea if you’re trying to stay healthy in the long-term.
The Baby Food Diet
The Baby Food Diet is a rumored celebrity favorite (rumored being the keyword here). Instead of typical breakfast and lunch cuisine, which can add up to hundreds of calories each meal, baby food dieters eat multiple jars of baby food, totaling less than 100 calories across the shelf.
As mentioned above, your body needs calories to function properly, probably around 2,000 daily depending on how active you are. Babies don’t need nearly that many, which is one reason why their portions are so small. (They also can’t chew … you can.) Another downside is that waiting until dinner to eat real food makes you much more likely to overeat. You very well may end up doubling the calories you normally would have eaten throughout the day in just one sitting. That’s not a good idea.
Not only is this diet unhealthy … it’s just not pleasant. Eating peas and carrots may be healthy in theory, but do you really want to live off of pureed vegetables two out of three meals every day? A real diet is one you can enjoy, and it’s highly unlikely you’ll get used to eating meals out of jars.
The Cotton Ball Diet
Want to drop a few pounds before bikini season starts? Have a few cotton balls with your next meal. On second thought … don’t.
This fad diet is exactly what it sounds like. According to seasoned cotton ball dieters, by dipping cotton balls in orange juice or lemonade and swallowing them before a meal, you’ll eat less and therefore lose weight faster.
Technically, ingesting something inedible like cotton balls in hopes of losing weight isn’t even really a diet. It’s a dangerous fad that can actually block your intestinal tract and cause serious problems with malnutrition. Thinner does not equal healthier if you aren’t absorbing any nutrients.
Do your research before trying any new diet you read about online. Trust the doctors and dietitians instead of celebs and YouTube personalities.