Dieting Fads: Know the Facts

Dieting Fads: Know the Facts



Maintaining a healthy weight, especially when trying to lose some, can be really challenging. At this age of instant gratification, it seems that losing weight is one of the many things that people would want to achieve faster and easier. And with this need of a quick fix, various diets have continually emerged promising the same thing: Quick and easy weight loss. These are called fad diets.


McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine defines fad diet as “any of a number of weight-reduction diets that either eliminate one or more of the essential food groups, or recommend consumption of one type of food in excess at the expense of other foods; fad diets rarely follow modern principles for losing weight.”2 This type of diet is generally extreme and shady in nature and could even be detrimental to one’s health.


Fad diets can range from impractical to downright out of this world, you wouldn’t even believe such diet exists. Be informed and check out the following fad diets that you should stay away from1:


  1. The Raw Food Diet


It is true that increasing your veggies and fruit intake is indeed a safe and effective way to lose weight but taking it to the extreme by excluding foods that have been cooked or processed in any way is totally impractical. This diet claims that cooking destroys nutrients, thus lowering the nutritive value of the food. But there are also instances wherein cooking actually improves the nutritive quality of the food; moreover, cooking is also a great way to ensure that the food you eat is safe from unwanted bacteria. 


  1. Alkaline Diet


This diet pertains to alkaline ash diet and alkaline acid diet – which requires you to exclude meat, dairy, sweets, caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods and consume more fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds instead. So what’s wrong with this diet? In fact, it has a lot of positive points as it is heavy on fresh produce and low in processed food. Weight loss experts say that this diet unnecessarily removes healthy food such as meat and dairy, plus it’s too rigid and complicated and therefore difficult to follow through in the long run. Furthermore, our body is very much efficient in keeping our pH levels where they need to be. Plus, there isn’t enough study to prove that pH can actually affect your weight anyway. So why subject yourself to this kind of regimen?


  1. The Blood-type Diet


This diet is developed by Dr. Peter D’Adamo, a naturopathic physician. This diet is rooted on the idea that there is a specific kind of diet for every blood type. For example, those with type O blood should only eat lean meat, veggies, and fruits, and avoid wheat and dairy; or those with type A blood should go vegan; or those with type B blood should avoid poultry, corn, wheat, tomatoes, peanuts, and sesame seeds. Similar to the Alkaline Diet, this one has no scientific proof that blood type could affect weight loss. Also, this diet can be unnecessarily restricting depending on a person’s blood type.


  1. The Five Bite Diet


This diet is based on the principle “anything in excess is not good”. While that principle is very true, this diet is pretty lenient about the nutritive quality of food to eat and focuses more on the quantity. “Eat whatever you want – but only five bites of it.” Developed by Dr. Alwin Lewis, an obesity doctor, one must skip breakfast and eat only five bites of food for lunch and five more for dinner. This diet is almost ideal except that you have to skip a meal, plus you have to be very mindful that the food you eat is dense with nutrients to avoid micronutrient deficiency.





  1. The Master Cleanse Diet


This is very popular nowadays especially with celebrities. Some people think that when they consume “juice cleanse”, they are actually helping their bodies to detoxify. This couldn’t be further from the truth as our livers and kidneys are the only ones who can do that job. In addition, when you follow this diet, you’ll just basically be consuming diuretics and will only shed mostly water weight. Since this is an extremely low-calorie diet, one may experience fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and dehydration as side-effects. Also, once the dieter goes back to eating usual solid foods, he will regain that lost weight and maybe gain more.


  1. The Baby Food Diet


Believe it or not, such diet exists. This diet follows the logic that if a baby can grow up eating mushy stuff, why not consume the same stuff too? Guess what: You’re a full grown adult with higher nutrient requirements! And besides, would you really want to eat around 14 bottles of baby food (most baby food contains up to 100 calories per bottle) every day for the rest of your life? This is plainly unrealistic.


  1. The Cabbage Soup Diet


Lea (a fictional character from the hit movie Kita Kita) said that eating a lot of cabbage can make a person happy. While cabbage is indeed low in calories and a good source of fiber, this one’s just a quick fix diet since it lacks protein which is needed to preserve lean body mass. Also, you must know that cabbage is a gas-forming food and eating a large amount of it may promote bloating. The same goes with other cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, turnips, kale, and mustard greens among others.


  1. The Sleeping Beauty Diet


Well, if you’re asleep and not eating, how could you ever get fat? This diet was rumoured to have been followed by the late Elvis Presley. With that logic taken to the extreme, this diet encourages the dieters to take sedatives to stay asleep for days and days. This diet is pretty scary as one might risk death. If the body undergoes severe starvation, the blood glucose levels will also drop so low, a person might not be able to wake up from it.


  1. The HCG Diet


Human Chorionic Gonadotropin or HCG is a hormone that works as an appetite suppressant. This is taken while the dieter is consuming a maximum of 500 calories per day. However, there is no evidence that HCG can really suppress appetite and instead acts more like a placebo. Losing weight is only because of the extremely low calorie intake, not because of the hormone.


  1. The Tapeworm Diet


Yes, you read that correctly. As gross as it may sound, there are people who actually adhere to this kind of diet. So how does it work? The dieter should ingest tapeworm eggs, let it hatch and eat the food you consume once it gets to the intestines, and then, when the target weight is achieved get a doctor for de-worming. But here’s the downside: some tapeworm eggs can migrate to various parts of the body and cause other life-threatening problems. If that won’t make you freak out I don’t know what else will.



As per the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology, the best way to go in achieving a healthy life is through this equation:


Right amount of food + Proper hydration + Appropriate physical activity + Good lifestyle = Healthy Life



Nutritionists recommend a healthy weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week as drastic weight loss can never be good for your body. Firstly, you may be losing just water weight and muscle mass, not the fat. Secondly, you may just regain all those lost weight as quickly as you have lost them and then maybe gain even more because of deprivation. Thirdly, subjecting yourself to starvation may destroy your metabolism altogether. That’s why there are some people who complain of getting fat even when they don’t eat anymore.


Losing weight need not be a horrible experience. Who says healthy eating can’t be indulging? Maybe you haven’t tried Gardenia Vegetable Lumpia. This recipe is packed with nutrients, is low in calories and a source of fiber; a perfect appetizer to kick-start your healthy weight loss journey.


Gardenia Vegetable Lumpia

(Carbohydrates: 41grams Protein: 8grams Fat: 9grams Fiber: 5grams Calorie: 277kcal)


2 slices Gardenia Wheat Cranberry Loaf

30 grams white onion, chopped

30 grams garlic, minced

45 grams squash, julienne cut

45 grams Baguio beans

45 grams turnip, julienne cut

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp peanut butter

1 cup water

Salt and pepper to taste





  1. Heat oil in pan. Sautee garlic and onion.
  2. Add all the veggies, soy sauce, and water. Set aside and let it cool.
  3. Flatten each slice of Gardenia Cranberry Loaf.
  4. Spread peanut butter on each slice. Place vegetable mixture at the edge of the bread.
  5. Roll it tightly. Serve with stewed meat.