The diet industry generates billions of dollars every year. Is it any wonder that new diet programs are popping up every day, everywhere? However, many of the diets coming into the market are less than optimal, and some are downright dangerous.
Here are some warning signs of a bad diet:
It Requires Very Restrictive Eating
Young beautiful woman drinking fresh bottled water.
All diets require some sacrifice. After all, indulging your taste buds is what got you where you are right now. However, there’s a big difference between cutting excess calories and cutting out… well, everything.
Restrictive diets come in a number of ways. Some restrict the number of calories you’re allowed to eat, cutting you down to scary numbers like 500 or 800 calories per day (the USDA recommends a minimum of 1,200 calories per day). These are often crash diets that last for a couple of days and are meant to cause rapid weight loss.
Another type of restrictive dieting comes in the form of banning entire food groups. Low-carb diets often take this approach, especially in their first couple of weeks, where you eliminate all carbs.
It Promises Miracle Results
The body cannot effectively lose more than 2lbs. of body fat per week. If you are obese, you might be able to lose more than that, but most people have a hard time losing even two pounds. People losing lots of weight –as it’s the case for The Biggest Loser contestants— are losing mainly water weight. This is because water retention is common in people who eat lots of carbs. Once you cut down your carb and salt consumption, you will drop water weight. In general, though, any diet that promises “Lose 10lbs. in a week” is lying.
It Requires “Fake” Eating
A good diet is one that teaches you to eat properly, so you lose weight by eating real food in the right amounts.
Any diet that comes pre-packaged (frozen food, liquid meal replacement) is not a diet you’ll be able to sustain for a long time. Can you really afford to pay for trays of food twice a day for the rest of your life? Do you even want to eat that way? Liquid diets are even harder to sustain, because you have to give up chewing completely –or at least for a good part of the day.