20 Diet Plans To Avoid


The focus of a diet plan should not only revolve around losing weight. Some diet plans can result in the desired weight loss, but may seriously harm your health. Your diet plan must take into consideration the intake of basic nutrients.

Following is a list of diet plans that you might want to avoid, or undertake in a controlled fashion:

1. Water Diet

Under this diet you only consume water for a few days or weeks. The downsides of excluding food include the absence of calories required to carry out everyday activities, dizziness, fainting, headaches, constipation and nausea.

While you will initially lose weight, the risk is just too high.  Even if you don’t experience the side-effects in the first few days, be sure that this type of diet will cause a lot of damage to your metabolism.  Further, once you start eating food again, you’ll end up gaining the same amount of weight – if not more.

Instead of torturing your organism with the water diet, choose a healthier diet and drink lots of water on a daily basis.  Although you will lose weight slowly by choosing a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean meat and whole grains, you will remain healthy and the weight won’t come back.  


2. Carbonated Drinks Diet

Replacing regular fizzy drinks and shifting to their diet versions does not aid weight loss. Carbonated drinks contain artificial sweeteners that can lead to the development of diabetes, cause obesity and deplete bone calcium. Besides, there are several other side-effects.  For instance, a Harvard Medical School study of more than 3,000 women found that diet cola is connected with a high risk of kidney decline.

Further, a 2008 University of Minnesota study of around 10,000 adults showed that even just one diet soda per day is associated to a 34% higher risk of metabolic syndrome, including stomach fat and high cholesterol.   You might also suffer from poor dental health if you consume carbonated drinks on a regular basis.

Last but not least, according to a University of Texas Health Science Center study, the more diet sodas you drink, the greater chances of becoming overweight.  Basically, diet sodas will make you fat when you are thinking that you’re losing weight.  We recommend avoiding carbonated drinks at all cost.  


3. Cereal Diet

In this diet, two daily meals include cereal and low fat milk, and the third one is also supposed to complement the duo and be low in calorie count.

This diet fails to meet the nutrient requirements of the body, and any weight loss is mostly short lived. That is to say, if there is any weight loss.  Namely, if you make some common mistakes, you will actually gain weight! Some people eat too much cereal – if you put them in a big bowl, there’s a good chance you could actually be eating over 400 calories for breakfast (instead of the planned 200, for example).

Also, if you add almonds, walnuts or dried fruit to your cereal, you’re probably consuming another 100 or more calories. Essentially, whatever the case, you will not see the desired effects of this diet: either you’ll feel weak and hungry all the time or you’ll gain weight (and probably eat food you wouldn’t choose to eat on a daily basis).  Pass!


4. Chocolate Diet

Well, this sounds too good to be true – and it isn’t true.  In this diet, alongside chocolate you snack on pasta and popcorn which fail to provide any of the required nutrients and increase cravings.

Basically, this diet instructs you to eat chocolate 20 minutes before and five minutes after lunch and dinner to reduce your appetite by up to 50 percent.  Well, this isn’t entirely impossible, it’s just that most people think they can eat too much chocolate, which will, of course, increase body weight. If you want this diet to work, you have to choose dark chocolate (chocolate with a high amount of cacao).

“White and milk chocolate has a lot of added sugar and contains milk (also a type of sugar), while dark chocolate has less added sugar, contains monounsaturated fatty acids, and has a bittersweet taste that reduces the amount you eat,” says weight-loss specialist and board-certified internist Sue Decotiis, M.D. Further, you are only allowed to eat a piece of chocolate no bigger than the end of your thumb.  Eat more of it and you’ll gain weight in no time. 


5. Cabbage Soup Diet

In this diet, your food intake is limited to cabbage soup coupled with some fruits and vegetables for a week.  Since this diet restricts your calorie intake, it is not recommended that you stay on it for more than seven days.  Besides, even those seven days can seriously damage your metabolism and health.

Under this diet, several people found themselves in a state of weakness and hunger and any weight loss might be easily reversed due to binge eating.  Further, you might experience fatigue as your energy levels drop.  You won’t be able to exercise, which is a crucial element of every weight loss plan and chances are you won’t even have enough energy to perform your daily activities.

You could even faint, and if this were to happen, immediately break your diet – remember that nothing is more important than your health.  Other side-effects include moodiness, irritation and flatulence.


6. Herbal Weight Loss Products

As healthy as herbal diet products might sound, they can lead to serious health conditions. The risk of thyroid disorder is closely associated with manufactured herbal drinks. Moreover, some ingredients in the herbal weight loss products may not be safe.  For instance, ephedrine can be found in some products and the FDA doesn’t allow the sale of medications that contain this ingredient because it may lead to strokes and heart attacks!

The FDA has also warned people not to buy Brazilian diet pills since they can cause serious mood swings.  In addition, fiber supplements that contain guar gum have caused blockages in the intestines and esophagus.  People who are allergic to sea fish should not consume products that contain chitosan.

As you can see, herbal weight loss products may pose a serious threat to your health and we recommend that you do not take any such diet products without consulting with your doctor. 


7. Hormone Diet

Several hormones are said to play a vital role in our eating patterns.  With the use of supplements to manipulate hormone production, this diet can cause unhealthy hormonal imbalances. The hormones regulate the body’s functions and tampering with them solely for the reason of losing weigh can be dangerous and is certainly not advisable.

Testing hormones is a complicated, expensive and time-consuming process which requires invasive blood draws.  Besides, there is an eating schedule that all people can’t keep up with.  Basically, the hormone diet won’t work for a lot of people and it is extremely hard to achieve success.

People get a prescription for a daily injection of hCG, a pregnancy hormone typically used in fertility treatments.  Further, the diet has a limit of 500 calories per day, the amount of calories doctors and nutritionists wouldn’t ever recommend. Last but not least, the FDA has warned people that this diet doesn’t contribute to weight loss.  Definitely avoid! 


8. Grapefruit Diet

Three meals everyday gobbling grapefruit can be very boring. This popular diet does not have many advantages and lacks the nutrients your body requires. The Grapefruit diet also promises speedy weight loss, but the benefits are limited and the health risks associated with it do not make this diet worth your time and effort.

Like all diets that severely limit your calorie intake, the Grapefruit diet can also have various unwanted side-effects, including dizziness, fatigue and stomach problems.  You will have the general feeling of being unwell and will not have enough energy to perform your daily activities and tasks.

Finally, once you start eating normally, chances are that you’ll regain all the weight you lost – and maybe even more.  Apart from damaging your health, you won’t achieve your desired goal which will only leave you frustrated.  It’s always a better option to choose a healthier lifestyle in the long run than to risk your wellbeing with speedy diets. Disgusting vegetables


9. Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet is based on the assumption that most of the foods we eat nowadays aren’t good for us and we should stick to the foods that were available to our Paleolithic ancestors.  The diet also known as the Caveman diet, the Stone Age diet, and the Hunter-gatherer diet points out that humans cannot properly digest new foods.  Well, although this was one of the most popular diets in the world in the previous years, we recommend avoiding the Paleo diet.

Namely, Paleo ranked last out of the 29 diets in U.S. News and World Report’s best and worst diets survey.  The side effects include headaches, fatigue, lack of energy and concentration, weakness, dizziness, constipation or diarrhea, nausea, cravings and irritability.

Not only will this diet jeopardize your health, but experts say that it is not efficient in weight loss.  Besides, this type of diet would be extremely hard to follow and if you are considering this kind of diet change, consult your doctor. 


10. Gluten-Free Diet

The name speaks for itself – this is a diet that excludes all foods that contain gluten.  First of all, we have to stress that avoiding gluten is absolutely necessary for people with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance.  For people who want to lose weight, gluten-free food just won’t do the job.

Since gluten has to be replaced with something, gluten-free food is usually packed with extra fat, sugar and calories which will all lead to weight gain. Another unwanted side-effect is constipation since many gluten-free foods contain little fiber.  Besides, you might not get enough nutrients from your new diet so you should pay special attention to your vitamin intake.

Finally, you might become overly sensitive to gluten cross-contamination in your foods.  This is not the worst of diets, but there is no proof that consuming only gluten-free food will lead to weight loss.  Basically, if you aren’t gluten intolerant, you should eat food with gluten. 


11. Blood Type Diet

You eat food depending on your blood type. The diet is based on the belief that people with certain blood types are more prone to particular health conditions.

There are no scientific studies that prove there is a connection between blood type and digestion, so we aren’t sure that this type of diet actually helps with weight loss.  Additionally, cutting important food groups from your diet can deprive your body of important vitamins, minerals and nutrients – which can lead to serious health problems. Further, people with blood type O are required to consume large amounts of red meat which have been linked to hypertension, heart disease and stroke.

Lastly, this diet is way too complicated.  Imagine going through a long list every time you want to eat something in order to see if that food is allowed for your blood type.  It would take up a lot of your time, and since there isn’t proof that you’ll lose weight, maybe you should try something easier? iStock_000060257944_Medium

12. Master Cleanse Diet

Well, this one’s pretty nasty.  Basically, you eat no solid foods and you only consume a lemon, water and a laxative concoction.  This type of diet should help you drop 20 pounds in 10 days. OK, we get the idea, but this is so unhealthy that no one should ever try it.

According to U.S. News and World Report, Master Cleanse diet may be dangerous for diabetics and does not meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s accepted dietary guideline standards.  And no wonder – this diet provides you with none of the essential nutrients that keep you going.   You won’t have the energy to perform your daily activities, let alone exercise.

The usual side-effects include fatigue, dizziness, lack of energy, irritability and weakness. Sure, you’ll lose weight – you won’t be eating any actual food.  However, once you start eating solid foods, all the weight you lost will come back.  Plus, your health will be seriously jeopardized.   Definitely not recommended!


13. Baby Food Diet

This diet involves eating up to 15 jars of baby food a day.  Sounds silly, right?  You’ll actually lose some weight, but not because there’s some magic formula in the baby food that leads to weight loss.  Namely, the key to this diet is portion control.  All the portions are quite small (they are intended for babies, after all), and even if you eat 15 jars, you’ll still eat only about a thousand calories per day.

So, what’s wrong with this diet?  Basically, all diets that focus on the speed of losing weight and not the quality of the food intake are bad for you.  Adults need solid foods and that’s that.  When you start eating normal food again, you’ll regain all the lost weight.

You should stick to healthy food that will enable you to lose weight in a controlled fashion and leave the baby food to babies!  Even if you start this diet, don’t stay on it for too long – you could use it when you urgently want to shed some pounds. 


14. The Dukan Diet

The Dukan diet is another low-carb diet that helps you lose weight quickly.  As you’ve certainly noticed up till now, such diets are not recommended because they can damage your health and numerous people regain back all the pounds they lost. The point is you’ll exhaust your body and won’t achieve the desired effect.

This diet puts you at risk for nutritional deficiencies since you aren’t allowed to eat entire food groups such as grains and fruit.  You may experience lethargy, bad breath, dry mouth, and constipation when on the Dukan diet.  Also, some people have experienced kidney problems.

If you happen to start this diet, be aware that you shouldn’t feel any discomfort.  However, if you do, stop the diet since it could severely damage your health.  Additionally, always consult with a doctor before making such drastic changes in your diet.  If possible, choose a healthier food regime. 


15. Raw Food Diet

Basically, you eat only plant-based foods that haven’t been cooked, processed, sprayed or genetically engineered in any way.  The diet primarily consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouts and although all those foods are healthy, they just aren’t enough.  You are not allowed to eat too many foods and might experience health problems due to the lack of nutrients in your diet.

This diet decreases “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides, but it raises levels of homocysteine — an amino acid that increases the risk of heart disease — and lowers levels of the “good” cholesterol that protects the heart. Other side effects are connected to iron and vitamin B12 deficiencies and include anemia, fatigue, weakness and lack of energy and concentration.

Doctors and nutritionists don’t recommend any type of diet that completely restricts so many types of foods – your organism needs different kinds of foods and if you stop eating some foods, your health is bound to suffer, sooner or later. Finally, there is a high risk of food poisoning!


16. Atkins

This is one of the most famous and most controversial diets of all time.  Namely, this is a low-carbohydrate diet that encourages eating more protein and fat.  The Atkins Diet has several phases for weight loss and maintenance, but is not considered to be good for people’s overall health and well-being.

The possible side-effects include headaches, dizziness, weakness, fatigue and constipation.  Potential health risks include a higher risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems.  Another concern is ketosis, which occurs when your body doesn’t have enough glucose for energy, so your organism breaks down stored fat.  When that happens, ketones build up in your body and their side-effects are nausea, fatigue and headaches.

You shouldn’t follow this dietary plan if you take diuretics, insulin or oral diabetes medications.  Further, people with kidney problems are advised against this diet.  However, it is best to talk with your doctor before you make any radical changes in your diet. iStock_000055823414_Small


17. 5:2 Diet

This diet is also known as the Fast diet and it allows you to eat normally five days a week and drastically cut back on food intake on two, non-consecutive days: men can eat 600 calories and women 500. Since fasting can be unsafe, you are advised to consult a physician before considering this diet.

It is difficult to stick to such a diet regime as you will experience unwanted side-effects during those two days when your calorie intake is drastically restricted.   The main problem is the lack of energy as you won’t be able to function properly when fasting.  In addition, many people have experienced mood swings and dizziness, nausea and fatigue.

Besides from being a difficult diet to follow, the 5:2 diet can also harm your metabolism.  As we’ve said before, all diets that forbid you to consume a certain type of food cannot be good for you.  Plus, you might end up eating tons of food the day after you fasted, which could then contribute to weight gain. 


18. Zone Diet

You keep your insulin in the zone by eating in proper portions and pasta, bread, cereals and potatoes are forbidden.  Many people have lost weight when following this diet, but is it all that swell?  Since this is yet another speedy diet, the answer is naturally negative.

Diets that are low in carbohydrates result in a large amount of fluid loss and people assume that they lost weight since they feel slimmer.  However, the loss of water is not the same as weight loss and once you stop the diet, all the pounds are going to come back – because you didn’t actually lose pounds, you lost water.

Ketosis is also a possible risk: if our bodies don’t have enough insulin, they won’t be able to function properly.  Further, diets low in carbohydrates are also often linked with high blood pressure and a greater risk of stroke and heart disease. iStock_000020458605_Small


19. South Beach Diet

This diet is lower in carbs and high in protein and healthy fats.  It eliminates bad carbs from your diet plan and uses the glycemic index and load to determine which carbs you should eat and which you should avoid.

Although the South Beach diet is considered safe when you follow the guidelines correctly, people who severely restrict carbs might experience problems from ketosis.  The side-effects of ketosis include headaches, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, bad breath and dehydration. Besides, this diet is not that good for the heart as it is claimed.

‘’There is overwhelming evidence that reduction in saturated fat, dietary cholesterol, and weight offer the most effective dietary strategies for reducing total cholesterol, LDL-C levels, and cardiovascular risk. Decreases in saturated fat should come at the expense of total fat because there is no biological requirement for saturated fat.’’ – The American Heart Association

Not the best diet in the world, but certainly better than most of the plans on our list. 


20. Eco-Atkins

The Eco-Atkins is a mix of Atkins and Paleo diets and vegetarian and vegan diet plans.  ‘’Starchy options like white bread, rice, potatoes and baked goods top the Eco-Atkins ‘don’t-eat’ list, while fruit, vegetables, whole-grain cereal, whole-wheat bread and oats are recommended,” says U.S. News & World Report.

Robert Eckel, MD, a University of Denver Professor says the Eco-Atkins diet is way better than the original Atkins Diet, but both of them are too restrictive for most people. Whenever you rule out certain types of food, chances are your body will not react in a good way.

To conclude, all the diets on our list are restrictive in a way and may cause health problems and conditions.  Although not all people react in the same way, we recommend that you opt for healthier dietary plans that will have the desired effects in the long run, without harming your body and health.

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