Not all diets are what they’re cracked up to be. You’ve probably heard about hundreds of absurd diets, including the cranberry juice diet, or the lemon diet. Most of these diets have announced that they are revolutionary (“Lose 25 pounds in x days with this neat trick!” would be a good example), and pretty much all of them have boomed. Some other diets, on the other hand, have stuck around, like the gluten-free plan, or the alkaline diet.
So, instead of making yourself a lab monkey for every new eating fad that turns up on the market, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to tell which diets can actually help you and which ones are just meant to attract attention and lure you into following them with false promises?
Registered dietitian and nutritionist Andy Bellatti says that you need to stay away from all the powders and pills, calling them the “red flag number one.” He adds that the main problem with these concoctions is that they were once a whole food, like a fruit or a vegetable, but then got separated and processed for one ingredient. That’s perfectly fine for things like cocoa powder, which doesn’t really come with any nutrients, but they definitely shouldn’t make up the bulk of your diet.
Instead, you should focus on whole foods as much as possible. Always incorporate fresh vegetables (broccoli, bell pepper, brussels sprouts) into any eating plan. These crunchy, colorful foods are packed with vitamins and nutrients, as well as with fibers, which keep you full and satisfied until your next meal.
Also, always make sure to avoid diets which promise to do bizarre things such as “harmonize your aura” or “improve your inner self.” There’s a huge chance the majority of these diets won’t do much of anything at all, let alone improve your aura or something as absurd as that. The single problem with slogans such as these is that they are absolutely subjective, or in other words, there’s no way of knowing whether a product that claims to “bring you in line with your true self” is really doing what it says it does. The point is that the person whose word you’re taking is the exact person who will profit from your belief.
Try opting for foods with specific benefits. Most health guidelines that actually work are based on specific, measurable benefits. It doesn’t matter if it involves drinking a certain amount of water each day or eating a specified amount of protein, what’s important is that you have a concrete goal that you can follow on a daily basis – it helps with motivation, and it doesn’t hurt knowing exactly what your goals are. Most of these rules are specific, depending on your height, weight, gender, and the amount of exercise you get each day. Other, less specific guidelines are applicable to everyone, such as eating enough fiber to keep your digestive system running at optimum efficiency and getting enough calcium to ensure that your bones are as strong as they can get.
You should also steer clear from diets that don’t make sense. Do you really think that you can completely cleanse your system by drinking a mixture of lemon juice and pineapple syrup? No, you can’t, and you shouldn’t waste your time with such ideas. The truth is, you never really need to detox. Why? Your body does it for you, or more precisely, your kidneys do it for you, and in order to have healthy kidneys, you need a proper diet. Diets that claim they can make your skin “glow in 24 hours” or make you “feel like a new person” are probably frauds.