Diets to rule out

Dietary regimens that are too restrictive and incompatible with normal social life, which promise to lose a lot of weight in a short time and often turn to natural products to which they attribute miraculous powers, leave a profound mark on health, with multiple side effects and a subsequent rebound effect.

"They are unsustainable in the long term and totally discouraged to achieve a healthy weight loss", highlights the nutritionist José David Pirela, who notes that, among the less advisable diets, the so-called monodiets stand out by far. "Those diets based on lemon, apple or pineapple are extremely restrictive in calories, very unbalanced and with a guaranteed rebound effect," says the expert.

The apple and pineapple diets have become popular due to their diuretic and cleansing properties; But they are fruits that do not contain protein, so when it comes to losing weight, we will mainly eliminate muscle mass and, when we finish the diet, we will regain the weight with great ease ”, he points out.

The next in the top of the less indicated diets is that of multivitamin juices. It is designed based on drinks made from fruits, vegetables and vegetables. It contains vitamins and minerals, but a very low amount of protein and fat, so it is also an incomplete approach, with the risk of losing muscle mass and causing hypervitaminosis. with the nutritional and protein requirements of a main meal ”, recalls Pirela. The specialist details that, when ingesting the crushed fruit and vegetables, we omit chewing and salivation, a part of the digestive process that can influence the effect of satiety, so that their absence will accentuate the feeling of hunger. Therefore, such a diet should never last more than 48 hours.


The European Food Information Council (EUFIC) points out that we need more than 40 different nutrients and no single food can provide them all. For this entity, there are no good or bad foods, only good or bad diets. Don't feel guilty about the foods you like, just eat them in moderation and choose other foods that provide the balance and variety you need for good health.


The second place on the list is occupied by the 500 kilocalories (kcal) diet. It consists of doing a couple of days of fasting a week, consuming a maximum of 500 kcal. In many cases, meal replacements such as bars or shakes are used, which do not contribute to creating correct eating habits. As a general rule, no diet should be less than 800 kcal. daily. Likewise, it is easy to lose between two and three kilos a week, but the insufficient amount of protein consumed will be reflected especially in the loss of muscle mass. The risks assumed by those who follow this diet are numerous: nutritional deficiencies, anemia, osteoporosis, lack of vitality, short-term skin problems, eating disorders, anxiety, a constant feeling of hunger and a guaranteed "yoyo" effect.


It is a diet of French origin that is divided into several phases, from four to seven depending on the laboratory. Use sachets and protein preparations to replace meals. The first stages allow the intake of limited amounts of low-fat vegetables and a protein supplement for food. Do specialists point out that it is not a balanced diet, and the fact of replacing everyday foods with protein preparations makes it unsustainable over time. "Practice indicates that severe caloric restriction favors the rebound effect and the metabolic increase of cortisol ( stress hormone) in the vast majority of patients ”, says Rubén Bravo, an expert in nutrition.


The zero carbohydrate diet is one of the least desirable. It is a method to lose weight that has gained special strength in the United States. It is an evolution of the well-known ketogenic diet, which bears many similarities to the famous Dukan diet. The zero carbohydrate diet allows you to lose weight quickly by not introducing carbohydrates (cereals, legumes, vegetables and fruit), which are our main source of energy, it forces the body, which does not have enough glucose in the blood, to deplete glycogen stores in the liver and muscles ”, explains nutritionist Andrea Marqués. That's when, for lack of choice, fat starts to be used for fuel. In this process, the body forms molecules called ketone bodies.

“Ketone bodies or ketones are waste products of fats. They are produced when the body uses fats instead of sugars for energy. In a person with diabetes, they occur when there is not enough insulin to get glucose into the cells. The cells then believe that there is no sugar and will use fats as a source of energy ”, says the specialist. When a person without diabetes fasts for many hours or vomits a lot, ketones can also be produced. In this case, it occurs due to a lack of glucose because, when sugar is lacking, the cells will burn fat to obtain the energy they need.

With regard to weight loss diets, the problem occurs when ketosis is not properly controlled and ketones begin to damage muscle mass and cause various alterations. In this sense, following the zero carbohydrate diet can cause dizziness and headache in the short term, since our brain needs energy in the form of glucose to function. It can also produce a bad smell from the breath, urine and sweat due to the excess of ketone bodies eliminated through these routes. In addition, it can cause severe constipation due to the lack of fiber ”.



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