From liquid-only detoxes to cabbage soup diets, there are plenty of tactics that promise to help you shed pounds fast—and miraculously stay slim for life.
But most too-good-to-be-true weight loss plans are ineffective at best, and in some cases, can have serious health consequences. Oh, and not to mention, many quick weight loss strategies can leave you feeling pretty miserable, too.
To help you stay on the straight and narrow toward true weight loss success and lasting results, we’ve sifted through the latest fads to uncover the unhealthiest ways to lose weight fast.
Vow to never try any of them and shed those unwanted pounds with the help of healthy, nutritious meals you can find for free by messaging us at m.me/inourishgently or downloading The Complete Vegan Recipe Solution.
You’re doing a juice cleanse
Vegans like to take their diet to extremes and do juice cleanses.
A juice-only diet might leave you feeling light and clean. Problem is, juices have almost zero protein. So you’ll lose water weight and muscle mass, but not fat. And once you go back to solid food, those pounds will pile right back on.
You’re going gluten-free
Once you take animal products off your plate, why not continue eliminating food groups for even better health and weight loss?
Despite what some celebrities might say, there’s no scientific evidence showing that a gluten-free diet will help you get lean. In fact, it might do the opposite—especially if you rely on gluten-free packaged foods like breads or muffins. Manufacturers add extra fat, salt, and sugar to make up for the missing flavor and texture of gluten. So these foods are often higher in calories.
For example, one slice of Ezekiel Sprouted Whole-Grain bread packs in four grams of protein, three grams of fiber, and zero sugar while one slice of Udi’s Gluten Free White Sandwich Bread contains nearly as many calories in addition to zero fiber and half the amount of protein.
Instead of going gluten-free, nix simple carbs like white bread and slim down with the help of better-for-you starches like quinoa, fruit, and beans.
You’re drinking vinegar before every meal
Some findings do show that vinegar promotes healthier blood sugar levels and feelings of satiety. But since drinking highly acidic liquids like vinegar can irritate the throat and stomach it shouldn’t be something you do on the reg. Instead, use vinegar as a healthy alternative to salad dressings and continue to eat a nutritionally balanced diet.
You’re eating fat-free everything
Foregoing all forms of fat—including healthy ones like olive oil and avocado—won’t just leave your food bland at tasteless, it could make you sick, too. Not eating enough fat has been associated with hunger, dry skin, and extreme mental fatigue. Not to mention, low-fat diets are completely ineffective for weight loss, according to a recent analysis of 53 studies and nearly 70,000 participants published in The Lancet.
You’re cutting out entire food groups
Sure, it might seem like swearing off carbs or sugar will be the answer to your weight problems but that’s simply not the case. Each food group contains vital nutrients that our bodies need to function. Plus, you could find yourself with massive cravings for the foods you cut out. It’s all about balance.
You’re drinking ice cold water
If you prefer ice water over H2O that’s room temperature, that’s totally fine. But if you’re only adding ice cubes to your glass to lose weight, your efforts aren’t likely to pay off. You may have heard that drinking colder water forces your body to work harder (and subsequently burn calories) to bring the water up to your body’s internal temperature—and that’s 100 percent true. But the process only burns eight calories, say experts at The University of Washington. And sorry to say, when it comes to losing weight, eight measly calories just isn’t very meaningful.
You’re sipping laxative teas
Laxative teas might leave you feeling, er, a little lighter. But they don’t actually help you lose weight—and they could be harmful. Teas that cause an increase in bowel function are not helping you lose fat. Rather, you are losing fluid, and can have health issues as a result of disrupting electrolyte levels.
You’re eating just one food
There’s a reason gimmicks like the Grapefruit Diet or Cabbage Soup Diet never really caught on. They’re crash diets in disguise. “They might lead to short-term weight loss, but long-term, it’s a guarantee for weight gain and an unhealthy relationship with food.
Plus, eating only one thing makes it impossible to meet your nutritional needs and increases your odds of deficiencies.
You switch to diet soda
Going from sugary, high-calorie soda to diet pop may seem like it would help you drop pounds—but don’t be fooled. Diet beverages come with their own set of health risks.
One long-term study published in The Journal of The American Geriatrics Society found that subjects who consumed artificial sweeteners (in diet soda and in other drinks, like coffee or tea) gained more weight and belly fat compared to subjects who skipped the stuff—even without increasing their calorie intake. Yikes!
While we aren’t fans of soda, you’d be better off cutting back on the amount of regular cola that you drink and slowly weaning yourself off of it over time.
You’re trading your meals for weight-loss shakes
Having a high-quality vegan protein shake for breakfast or lunch can help you control your calories and lose weight. But only if your other meals consist of real foods like lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. If the only things you consume all day are shakes, that’s a recipe for deprivation.
You’re adding coconut oil to everything
Some research suggests that the fatty acids in coconut oil could give your metabolism a small boost. But there’s no evidence showing that it actually leads to weight loss. Plus, like other fats, a tablespoon of coconut oil contains 120 calories—so it’s easy to overdo it. Enjoy it if you like the flavor, but do so in moderation—and don’t expect that it will help you shed pounds.
You’re not eating enough omega-3s
We repeat, dietary fats do not make you fat. In fact, foods rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fats, such as walnuts and chia seeds play an important role in weight loss: They help keep you satiated, can lower your LDL levels, and lower blood sugar.
You’re eating less than 1,200 calories
Can you lose weight by not eating? Technically yes, but it’s an unhealthy way to lose weight. Cutting calories may be the key to losing weight, but if you overdo it, your waistline won’t budge. When you’re not eating enough calories, your metabolism can slow down, you don’t have enough energy for workouts, and you’re more likely to binge eat. We recommend nothing under a 1,200 calorie diet, especially for women.
You’re using the juicer rather than the blender
As we previously mentioned, juices aren’t as miraculous as they’re touted to be. Because juicers don’t make use of the fruit pulp and skin, your liquid ends up being void of satiating fiber. A quick fix? Zap your produce in the blender, instead.
You’re still piling your plate (even if they’re healthy foods)
Sorry, going for seconds of guacamole and quinoa can actually sabotage your weight loss goals. While these foods are packed with satiating protein, fats, and fiber, they’re also calorie-dense—so practicing moderation when munching is essential to trimming your waistline.
You’re going raw vegan
If you’re already vegan and want to kick it up a notch, know that this isn’t the best diet for maintainable weight loss. In addition to avoiding animal products or by-products, the raw vegan diet involves abstaining from eating foods that have been heated above 104 F. The premise behind it is that you maintain the nutritional integrity of the foods you’re consuming. However, certain foods—such as carrots, tomatoes, and spinach—benefit from cooking, as the heat helps extract nutrients.
For even more unhealthy ways you might be trying to lose weight, check out the original article here.
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