With a new year comes new health and fitness goals. We are now officially one month into the new year, and many of you have already started on your 2014 weight loss journey. We all want to live healthy and mindful lives, but it is difficult to do this when the diet industry puts out quick fix diets that bring promises of waist slimming miracles. As a fitness and wellness professional, I am often disappointed about the high risk and ineffective diets that flood the market. Do the fad diets that lure and tempt us have merit, or should we kick them to the curb? Below are my top 3 diets to avoid.
The Master Cleanse (The Lemonade Diet)
This diet has been around for decades and has resurfaced as a diet trend many times over. This juice cleanse gets points from me for being all natural, but that is where the positive comments end. This diet elixir sounds innocent with ingredients including, fresh lemon juice and maple syrup, but don't be fooled. This restrictive fast is a minimum of 10 days, and that is why I say no to this trendy cleanse. Skipping meals is for any period of time is risky, let alone for 10 days.
Read more about The Master Cleanse.
The Tapeworm Diet
This diet really takes the cake in terms of shock value. Tapeworms are indeed squirmy worms, and yes desperate dieters have ingested them in hopes of shrinking their waistlines. The expectation is that the tapeworm will live in the intestine and eat the food, thereby allowing the dieter to lose weight. If you are a pet owner, you may have had your dog treated for tapeworms -- meaning you paid for medication to get rid of the worms. Paying to contract a tapeworm is troubling. According to reports, dieters can ingest the tapeworm in a tablet form. This diet can cause several nasty side effects including, bloating, nausea, and abdominal pain. For obvious reasons I say no to this parasitic diet.
The Cotton Ball Diet
This diet received a lot of media coverage throughout 2013. It is frightening when a diet as dangerous as this gets so much attention. The cotton ball diet, as the name implies, is a diet of cotton balls. Dieters have been known to dip cotton balls in orange juice and then ingest the juice-soaked ball as a means to fill up their stomach. This diet is dangerous because dieters are not getting enough nutrients from food, but also because - wait for it - cotton balls are not meant to be consumed. Participating in a diet trend like this could have dangerous consequences such as blockages in the digestive system.
Fad diets can be ineffective at best, and can cause serious damage to our bodies at their worst. The take away is that you should consult with your doctor before starting any diet. My best advice is that if it sounds risky or too good to be true, trust your instincts.