Weight loss is a major topic across the world, and millions of people want to lose weight quickly and get into the desired body shape. However, losing weight that fast in a healthy way is not an easy thing. The available methods look tempting, but rarely work in the long term. In fact, most of them are very restrictive, limiting you so much on the foods you have to eat that they are highly impractical for daily life.
Most of these methods turn out to be dangerous and unhealthy. If you have to lose weight fast, it’s important to use healthy methods that do not cause further harm to your body.
Let’s have a look at the top 7 unhealthy weight loss diet shortcuts that aren’t a good idea if you’re looking for long term results.
1. Liquid Diet
Liquid weight loss is one of the most popular weight loss fixes and has been for decades to help people lose weight fast. The method is pretty simple and involves the replacement of your meals with a shake or a liquid meal, as the name suggests.
Several liquid diet programs have been devised to help with weight loss. Here are the most common ones and how they work:
Optimist And Medifast
This is a strict one that requires medical supervision. The plan lasts for 28 days where users are recommended to intake less than 800 calories per day. There are several options available for this plan, but anyone considering this plan should always consult with a doctor first for supervision.
The Cambridge Diet
The Cambridge Diet is one of the strictest liquid diets out there, providing users with a replacement diet of between 440-550 calories for 12 weeks. There was an original Cambridge weight loss plan that was badly criticized for providing only 330 calories without any medical supervision.
Protein Sparing Modified Fast (PSMF)
This is another strict liquid diet used on obese patients. Here, less than 800 calories are consumed for six months under medical supervision. Earlier options of PSMF were linked to death cases, but the available options are considered safe.
These liquid diet weight loss plans can help individuals lose weight fast, but results are not long term. Cases of weight gain after stopping are very common, and this makes sense as most of these methods do not promote healthy eating. For someone to lose and maintain that weight for a long term, eating healthy is vital.
Further research has shown that liquid diets for weight loss can lead to other serious side effects like binge eating, food restriction, and disordered eating. A study done on obese women for 28 weeks shows those women who replaced their diet with liquid diet developed binge eating when compared to those that did not replace their diets.
Liquid weight loss programs might deliver fast results in a short period, but overall results in the long term are not great.
Low calorie liquid diets can help you lose weight in the short term but require medical supervision. However, chances of weight gain are very common in the long term, as are multiple eating disorders.
2. Carbohydrate Blocker Pills
Carbohydrate blocker pills are better known as carb-blockers or starch blockers, and are basically supplements that are used to help with fast weight loss. The carb blockers, just as the name suggests, prevent break down of the complex carbs into smaller sugars that the body can absorb with ease.
The carb blockers are extracted from beans and help interfere with the enzyme alpha-amylase that is responsible for complex carbohydrate breakdown. The blockers slow down the action of the enzyme, reducing the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates in the body.
The effect is not as significant as you may have been led to believe. Research has shown that the blockers can inhibit over 96% of the enzyme but only prevent 7% of the carbs from being absorbed into the body.
However, research has also shown that the carb blockers can help attain moderate weight loss in subjects. Further research is required to verify if carb blockers are good for weight loss in the long term. In addition to this, the blockers have been found to have various side effects. They cause various digestive issues like diarrhea, gas, and bloating.
You should never rely on carb blockers to achieve any significant weight loss. The effect of the blockers on the weight loss is quite minimal and comes with side effects that are not worth the results.
3. Cleanses, Juicing, And Detoxes
Detox diets and cleanses are very common today as people will go to any extent to lose those a few extra pounds. Not only have they been touted as being great for weight loss but also for cleansing your body of toxins.
There are several detox plans out there that promise to do wonders but end up delivering very little. Here is a list of the common detox plans lasting from between 1-21 days.
- Eat only vegetables and fresh fruits
- Do not drink anything but water for 7 days
- Take laxatives and drink liquids only to cleanse the colon
- Take certain liquid mixtures like lemonade and maple syrup
Most of these detox plans are usually low in calories and end up reducing your weight fast. Some plans even promise to help you lose up to 21 pounds in just 21 days.
However, most of the weight lost is usually water weight and not actually the stubborn fats. A study done on overweight Korean women showed that weight loss was possible through the consumption of lemon syrup with less than 500 calories for 7 consecutive days.
However, results showed a decrease in muscle mass as the detox contains very minimal proteins. We all need a good amount of proteins on a daily basis. In fact, protein needs tend to increase when people are losing weight.
Juices, cleanses, and detox plans can help with rapid weight loss but most of the weight loss is usually water or worse, muscle. Slower metabolism and muscle loss can be a major problem of these methods. Detoxing your body is not nearly as vital as these weight loss plans make people think.
4. Crash Diets And Fad Diets
Crash and Fad Diets are very popular among people as they promise very fast weight loss if users follow certain guidelines. There are plans that have been around for years, but new ones seem to be created every day.
Here is a list of some of the most common crash diets.
This diet plan created in the 1930s was based on the fat burning abilities of grape fruits. The plan suggests intaking low calorie foods but increasing your protein intake and consuming grapefruit at every meal.
Cabbage Soup Diet
This diet is a very ambitious one promising up to 10 pounds of weight loss in just 7 days. Eat anything you want each day but consume cabbage soup or soup from other vegetables.
Five Bite Diet
This is a very unique diet that allows you to eat anything you want but only five bites of it. The plan promises to help you lose up to 15 pounds of weight in a week.
The Baby Food Diet
Replace at least 1-2 meals in a day with jars of baby food containing between 25-75 calories. Consume this at intervals of one hour.
The crash and fad diets sound very promising, but they are not that good if you’re looking at sustainable weight loss, which should be your aim. Most of them are not based on science, so they end up lacking the important traits of being well balanced and nutritious. The fact that they are very low in calories leads to fast weight loss but only for a very short duration.
Research has shown that reducing your calorie intake to critical levels can lead to loss of muscle mass, reduced metabolic rate, and hunger rebounds. This will eventually lead to weight gain in the long term. Low calories have also been found to cause insulin resistance in diabetic people.
Fad Diets and crash diets are just gimmicks that promise heaven but deliver nothing. They are low in calories, unbalanced, and usually lead to weight gain in the long term.
5. Fat Burner Pills
This is one of the most appealing weight loss plans that do not require any exercises or diet restrictions. Simply swallow a pill, and you’re good to go with your weight loss plans. It sounds pretty good, but taking fat burner pills might not be the best way to lose weight.
Most fat burner pills contain other harmful ingredients that do more harm than good. One of the most common ingredients in the fat burner pills is caffeine. Caffeine in moderate amounts is just fine and will help with weight loss, but most pills contain it in great amounts that lead to harmful side effects.
Fat burner pills have been associated with liver damage and other health problems that lead to cases of severe symptoms, and sometimes death. The cases are more common when the supplements contain usnic acid and DNP. Cases of young people requiring a liver transplant because theirs have been damaged by taking fat burner pills are common.
Why not drink a cup of tea or coffee daily instead of going for such pills? Nothing suggests that the safe varieties of these pills work better than when caffeine is used alone, and those that do work better are often dangerous.
6. Eating Only One Kind Of Food
Mono eating or monotropic eating is where you eat only one type of food for several days. Mono eating has been there for a while and has been used a means of losing weight fast. A good example is when you decide to eat only potatoes, eggs, or fruits for a whole week.
This method, like most quick fixes for weight loss, has been found to offer fast weight loss but only in the short term without sustainability. People end up becoming so tired of eating just one type of food and having a low calorie intake.
The main problem with this plan is that it is not balanced. You end up losing on important things like fiber and antioxidants found in most plants.
Further studies of this plan have shown that people almost always return to their normal weight when they stop eating the one type of food. It is not a great choice that promotes health eating. Instead, it restricts your choices and denies the body all the good nutrients it requires.
Eating just one type of food will help you lose weight because there will be a decline of calories consumed in a day. However, this cannot be maintained in the long-term, and weight regain is bound to take place with time.
7. Raspberry Ketones
Raspberries, fruits, and other berries contain compounds called raspberry ketones. Raspberry ketones are common and used in the cosmetic industry and as spices to add flavors to foods. However, a trend has begun in the past few years in which they have begun being used as weight loss supplements.
Research has shown that raspberry ketones can help improve the fat burning process and increase the levels of the adiponectin hormone. This is a hormone with anti-inflammatory effects and one that helps regulate metabolism in the body.
Experiments done on rabbits have shown the hormone to improve the fat burning process while protecting the fatty liver. There is very little research on humans to verify the claims. Supplements with raspberry ketones were only found to work when exercises were involved.
There is no current research supporting the use of raspberry ketones for weight loss in individuals.
The currently available research only shows increased fat burning in mice after very high doses of raspberry ketones. However, very few human studies are available. The few available human studies have been shown to have very little benefits.
Unhealthy Weight Loss Diet Shortcuts Conclusion
It is normal for people to want to lose weight fast, but look at the bigger picture. The available diet plan and products promise a lot within a very short duration. You don’t want to lose weight for a month, you want to lose it for good. For this, you need to have a sustainable weight loss program.
The above plans cut your weight temporarily with weight simply returning in the long term. Achieving your weight loss goals is one thing and keeping the weight off is another. Most of these quick fixes tend to have serious side effects on your health. The only way to achieve sustainable weight loss is to maintain a healthy, balanced diet and stick to it.