The Worst Diets Ever continued...
Keep in mind that all foods can fit into a healthy lifestyle in moderation -- even things like bacon, super-premium ice cream, and chips. And when diets forbid certain foods and dieters envision a life without their favorite treats, those diets usually fail. "Any time you restrict a certain food, it triggers cravings for the forbidden fruit and sets up a restriction-binge cycle," says Blatner.
And what about restrictive diets that offer a rewarding "cheat day"? May labels them "absurd."
"It just doesn't make sense to try to be perfect (whatever that is) on Sunday to Friday while obsessing about everything you are going to eat on Saturday," she says.
2. "Detox" diets (like Master Cleanse, the Hallelujah Diet, and The Martha's Vineyard Diet Detox). Extreme regimens calling for procedures like liver flushes, bodily cleanses, colonics, hormone injections, and more are highly suspect, experts say.
"All the flushes and cleanses are pure nonsense, unnecessary, and there is no scientific basis for these recommendations," says Pamela Peeke, MD, chief medical correspondent for the Discovery Health channel. "Your body is well equipped with organs, such as the liver and kidneys, and the immune system, to rid itself of potential toxins and does an excellent job of cleansing itself without needing flushes or cleanses."
3. Diets with 'miracle' foods or ingredients (like supplements, fructose water, bitter orange, green tea, apple cider vinegar). Dieters are always searching for the food, pill, or potion that will help them lose weight, but unfortunately, there are no such miracle ingredients. "No one single food or group of foods eaten together or at a certain time of day has any impact on weight loss," notes May.
Be leery of any plan that recommends a shelf full of supplements, enzymes, or potions (especially if you purchase them from the diet book author or company).
"You don't need expensive supplements," says Blatner. "If you want to take a once daily multivitamin for nutritional insurance, that is fine, but otherwise, we recommend you get your nutrients from food."
4. Fasting and very low-calorie diets (like the "Skinny" vegan diet, Hollywood Diet, and Master Cleanse). Fasting has been a cultural and religious tradition for centuries, and is fine for a day or so, but fasting for weight loss is counterproductive, Giancoli explains.