Top five fad diets

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Fad dietsThough most of us have learnt the hard way, there’s one lesson we all know – there is no such thing as a quick fix when it comes to losing weight. An all-round healthy lifestyle is the only way to ensure you reach (and maintain) your ideal shape.

However, if you’re up for trying so-called “quick fixes,” the internet has no shortage. From Hollywood stars’ endorsed eating plans to local eating habits, fad diets are everywhere.

Here, five of them you’d better avoid!

The cotton ball diet
When Eddie Murphy’s model daughter, Bria, revealed on Good Morning America that models are eating cotton balls to stay thin, the world was outraged. Dipped in orange juice, the balls are swallowed before each meal as they create the feeling of being “full,” thereby preventing overeating and curbing food cravings.

Why should you avoid it? It can cause bowel obstruction, gagging, vomiting and lead to twisted intestines. Plus, it prevents you from ingesting essential nutrients and causes digestive problems.

The air diet
The concept is simple – The diet requires you to cook and serve a plate of food, but instead of eating it, you hold your fork close to your face and smell the food without consuming it. Supposedly, you’re fooling your body into thinking you’ve eaten, as you still experience a few of the sensory aspects.

The idea was popularised when a Dolce & Gabbana ad supposedly featured Madonna partaking in this process.

Why should you avoid it? It’s basically a form of starvation. If you don’t eat, your body doesn’t get any nutrients it needs and it could lead to anorexia. Plus, it’s a waste of food. Just don’t do it.

The five-bite diet
Created and endorsed by Dr Alwyn Lewis, this “crash diet” focuses on portion control. It works as follows: skip breakfast, drink loads of water, and for lunch and dinner, only have five bites of your food. This controversial diet has rubbed many nutritionists up the wrong way, and is meant to fool your body into thinking you’ve had a whole meal.

Why should you avoid it? Not only will you be eating too little and essentially starve, but eating like this will ultimately slow your metabolism down. Plus, skipping breakfast is extremely bad for you and leaves you tired and hungry later in the day!

The baby food diet
Replacing your three meals a day with 14 servings of baby food? Now don’t get us wrong – baby food is nutritional, but it doesn’t offer all the nutrients that adults need from their diet. Plus, it is very low in calories, so even if you eat a lot of it, you might not reach your daily calorie requirements.

Why should you avoid it? By all means, have some baby food as a snack if you enjoy it, but relying on only this could lead to iron, zinc and calcium deficiencies.

The grapefruit diet
Huge in the 1980s, the grapefruit diet is based on the idea that grapefruit helps you burn fat, so the more of it you consume, the better. Though this claim was initially dismissed, new studies suggest that there is some truth to it. Whether it’s true or not, the original diet is not safe. Followers are allowed as much black coffee and grapefruit as they want, with dry toast and lean protein once or twice a day.

Why should you avoid it? It starves the body of essential nutrients including fibres, minerals, vitamins and calcium. Plus it does not allow enough calories to be consumed (which is why you lose weight from it).

Other articles you may be interested in:
Get Kate Middleton’s legs
Banish bloating 
Detox delusion 
Healthy party snacks
Go green, get lean 

Written by

Anien studied English and journalism before heading off into the world of beauty. An undercover "tree hugger" and fashion lover, she's usually found with her nose in a magazine. She has far too many bottles of nail polish and is completely lost without her lip balm. Anien on Google+

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  1. Sue1N

    Wow! Cotton ball diet – how silly can it get to look good. Et healthy, exercise & drink lots of water, take vitamins & drink green tea & rooibos.

    10 months ago •

  1. Tiaan Smith

    Watch what you eat and exercise…..it’s as simple as that.

    1 year ago •

  1. khumalo

    Exercise is the best and controlling your appetite.

    1 year ago •

  1. Lynne123

    My gosh! really? These don’t sound like diets at all… more like destroying your body!

    1 year ago •

  1. StephanieM

    Thank you for the information… cotton ball diet? really? Balance, the key is healthy, nutritional balance.

    1 year ago •

  1. Livvy

    I can never put myself on a diet, even if I was forced too. How people can fall for this is simply beyond me.

    1 year ago •

  1. Rochelle Kay

    These are so funny! Do people really do it?

    1 year ago •

  1. disastar

    Cotton ball diet? That’s just wrong!

    1 year ago •

  1. Miss Kay

    Clean diet, regular exercise, lots of water and enough sleep. It’s simple, really…

    1 year ago •

  1. liedeman

    The only way to lose weight is to exercise and eat healthy. The cotton ball diet, hell no…

    1 year ago •

  1. Miss Tee

    No diet is the best diet… After you lose the weight you start eating again and you pack on the weight faster, so dieting is a never ending cycle for those people that don’t know how to control it.

    1 year ago •

  1. beautyaddict

    The only way to lose weight is to change your eating habits and life style, and to exercise and keep fit. It will help you in the long run. (PS that cotton ball diet idea makes me want to gag, it sounds disgusting)

    1 year ago •

  1. Carlene

    Ridiculous diets, no thanks (not in a million years)! What happened to just controlling your appetite and exercising? Too many deluded people always looking for the next best shortcut…

    1 year ago •

  1. Pseudo_kate

    Such ridiculous ideas. But even this day and age – the market is saturated with content that is designed to prey on gullible people who don’t understand that a good body requires exercise and decent food. Not one of the two.

    1 year ago •

  1. Mpoyif

    All of them sound totally ridiculous – Although I sheepishly admit trying the grapefruit diet as a teenager.

    1 year ago •

  1. Humphreys

    Absurd! The cotton ball diet I would presume has to be for idiots!!

    1 year ago •

  1. ABeauty

    I love food to much! Society has made some people think rake thin is beautiful, which makes me worry for my daughter. Our insecurities rub off on them, if we keep dieting they are going to think its normal and healthy and develop body image problems.

    1 year ago •

  1. NaturalDiva

    Seriously, models were swallowing cotton balls dipped in orange juice?! Euw… Fad diets are ineffective and they only cause internal damage. Losing weight/maintaining a healthy weight is a mixture of exercise and proper eating (that means a treat now and then!)

    1 year ago •

  1. me

    Some of these sounds more like jokes. If you can put the food in front of your mouth and actually not eat it, you must have a lot of will power. One can rather use that will power to get up and go to the gym.

    1 year ago •

  1. Abby

    Wow those are terrible!? The cotton ball diet is the worst thing I’ve heard off.

    1 year ago •

  1. Sammy

    This is a must read, thank you. So insane, how can those girls do such harm to their bodies?

    1 year ago •

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