For someone who has never been interested in starting a diet, entering that world can be intimidating: there are many and varied, and each of them has defenders and detractors as if instead of a feeding method we were talking about a football team or a political party.
For you to make a composition of place, we have compiled here the most popular, what they consist of, why they work at the beginning and why, in the end, they are not only not a good idea but can even be a danger to your health.
1. The Dukan diet
The Dukan diet, created by the French doctor Pierre Dukan, is based on the massive protein consumption and almost absolute restriction of carbohydrates and fats. It consists of four phases: in the first phase, the consumption of carbohydrates and vegetables is eliminated, and only low-fat protein foods such as poultry, eggs or fish are eaten; in the following phases some vegetables, fruits and few carbohydrates are gradually introduced until they end up eating everything. In the last phase, which will have to continue for life, you will have to eat only protein one day a week.
The success of this diet is that initial weight loss is high, which is very motivating, and in that do not have to count calories nor measure food quantities, which makes it easier and easier to follow.
But its inconveniences in the medium term gain the advantages: to begin with, a diet that restricts carbohydrates so hard, that they are necessary for the body to function properly, is by definition a unbalanced and insane diet.
When you start restricting foods with fiber (mainly fruits and vegetables), it may appear constipation. By last, It is not a solution to overweight and obesity in the medium / long term, since a strict initial restriction is followed by an uncontrolled calorie intake, making it difficult to keep the weight lost.
2. The dissociated diet
This diet is not really one, but a set of diets based on the same principle: separate food, mainly protein and hydrates, and never consume them together, under the premise that the digestive system collapses when it has to process both together, and end up accumulating the seconds in the form of fat, which is what makes us fat. In addition to that, he asks to restrict fats and sugars.
This diet has no no scientific basis: There is no evidence that the digestive system needs to secrete nutrients to process them better. It is true that digestive enzymes are specialized in one or other types of nutrients, but all work together during digestion.
Actually, this diet works for other reasons. First because restrict sugars and fats It is a way to reduce the calories we eat, which is what really makes you slim. Second, because by separating nutrients you have to be more aware of what you eat, which is also a good way to eat more organized and generally healthier. And third because after a while, the feeding can become more tedious and therefore we eat less.
3. The Atkins diet
The Atkins diet is named after the American cardiologist Robert C. Atkins. Consists in severely restrict carbohydrates and increase fats to get the mobilization of body fat as an energy reserve.
It is one of the so-called ketogenic diets, which promotes the formation of ketone bodies, shorter fat chains that are used as fuel by the brain and organs. The presence of these ketone bodies together with the unbalanced consumption of proteins increase the feeling of satiety, so that those who follow it end up eating less, which favors weight loss.
The Atkins diet works in the short term because by limiting carbohydrates, the body pulls body fat to function. Also, as we said, you eat less. The problem is that it is a completely unbalanced diet: In this diet, hydrates provide approximately 20% of daily calories, when it is recommended that they provide between 50 and 60%. In turn, fats contribute up to 45% when it is recommended that they do not exceed 30%.
In the medium term, this way of eating can cause damage to the body: it can alter cholesterol and triglyceride levels and worsen kidney damage due to high protein intake. On the other hand, completely eliminating common foods such as bread, pasta or potatoes can be difficult to maintain.
4. Detox diets
The detox diets do not have in principle the objective of making us lose weight, although there are many people who promote them for it. It's about spending time (one day or several) consuming mainly liquids and maybe some fruits or vegetables with the aim of purify and clean our body inside.
They are a real business based on the sale of juices and vegetable milkshakes, but it is based on a wrong scientific concept: that our body accumulates toxins present in food and needs to be cleaned. This is absolutely false: the liver and kidneys, when they work correctly, They are responsible for processing and eliminating substances that the body does not need or it cannot absorb, and these do not remain freely swarming through our body or our intestines. If the kidneys or liver do not work properly, what we will need is a serious medical treatment, and not some juices.
If someone uses this type of diet to lose weight, they will surely get it. After all, several days drinking only juices, broths or fruit smoothies are several days eating less calories of which the body needs to function normally. But it is an unsustainable system over time without affecting health, because we will be denying the body essential nutrients.
5. Lightning diets
Again it is not a diet, but a set of them, which are characterized by promising spectacular results in a few days, at most two weeks. In that period of time there is a huge caloric restriction, which can reach 75 or 70% of the recommended daily amounts for an adult.
Imposing such a caloric deficit, the body goes to its fat stores to get the energy it needs, and that is why the person who is following it loses weight.
These diets pose several problems. To start, they are impossible to maintain in the medium term without health getting worse, since malnutrition can be suffered very soon. To continue, the days that this diet lasts, the person who follows it will suffer a strong feeling of hunger and may experience dizziness, fainting or lethargy among others.
To end, the rebound effect can be very intense after one of these diets: after having spent several days of shortage, by returning to normal eating the body can accumulate calories in anticipation of another stage of hunger, so that by eating the same as before doing the diet, we can end up getting more fat .
6. The artichoke diet
This diet, which also exists in other varieties (of strawberry, for example), consists of spend several days eating mainly artichokes cooked in different ways. In another version of the diet, called the arko artichoke, the supposed slimming properties of the artichoke are not achieved by eating the vegetable as such, but rather they are taken in capsules that are bought in pharmacies or herbalists (and at a price not negligible).
The supposed effect of artichokes to help us lose weight is based on the cinnarine, a compound that in theory helps to mobilize body fat and thus eliminate them more easily. But it is not a miraculous fat burning compound like many people advertise.
The artichoke diet works for the same thing as the aforementioned lightning diets: It is a low calorie food Ingested almost as a single meal for several days. It is logical therefore that makes us lose weight.
The problem is also the same as that of the other diets: that it is impossible (and absolutely inadvisable) to maintain that diet for a long time, so once we leave the diet, it is very difficult not to recover the lost weight, and even more.
7. The blood group diet
This diet stands out for its originality, since it is not only based on the nutritional groups of the food but also on the characteristics of each person. Specifically, it postulates that each person must follow a different diet according to your blood group, since that will optimize the digestion of food, improving their health and helping them avoid fat accumulation.
It is based on a supposed human evolution over time. So, people with blood from group 0 they would belong to the original group and they are the hunters / fighters, so they should eat the food that was obtained and prepared at that time (meat and fish) and avoid the rest. Those of group A they would be farmers and gatherers (vegetables, fruits, nuts and cereals), the of B they would be farmers and farmers (dairy, poultry and meat) and AB's they would be a mixture of the previous two (and therefore could follow a mixed diet).
There is no today no evidence that this theory has any real basis, neither in terms of its supposed health benefits nor in terms of its effectiveness in losing weight. Restricting a food group is never positive, but in case of recommending a eating pattern, in general would be the corresponding to group A the healthiest: Increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and cereals, limiting the consumption of red meat.
The problem common to all these diets
Making one of these diets to lose weight is generally an undesirable decision: abruptly changing our way of eating to follow strict patterns can give short term result but it is difficult to maintain, and once we get out of those strict patterns, the lost weight will recover easily.
But the main problem is that they don't teach us to eat better. Most of us do not eat as healthy and balanced as we should for lack of time, interest or desire, but that is the key to maintaining a healthy weight. Dieting does not educate us to improve our diet, but it marks a narrow path that we should not leave. If at some point we leave, we will return to our old customs and have not learned anything.
Healthy eating and physical exercise are the two basic pillars of a healthy life. In addition, they can help us lose weight if we are above our recommended weight. Always it will be slower than if we decided to undergo a strict diet, but usually also more stable and sustained over time.