With obesity as one of our top killers, it is no surprise that Americans are scrambling for any kind of weight loss help. Unfortunately, in this eternal struggle to be thin and healthy, people end up looking for salvation in all the wrong places. Instead of relying on exercise and following the credo "everything in moderation," we turn to miracle solutions, diet supplements, and calorie deprivation. The results are the following bogus diets that may work in the short term, but may also cause severe harm to your body over time.
1. The Cabbage Soup Diet
The title is self explanatory: the dieter's survival is based on a constant intake of cabbage soup. Even on the Cabbage Soup Diet website, red flags are evident. The first being the opening words on the homepage, warning that the diet should not be used long term and that followers of the Cabbage Soup Diet have felt light-headed, weak, and have suffered a lack in concentration. The second red flag appears in the suggested seven day menu. Each day, the dieter is instructed to "stuff themselves" with a different food group. How about a little "moderation?" The third warning lies in the "Health" section of the website, warning the dieter that the diet lacks "complex carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals," all of which are necessary for your body to function properly.
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2. The Grapefruit Diet
The Grapefruit Diet functions the same way as the Cabbage Soup Diet; both are only successful because they deprive the body of calories, but at the same time leave out essential nutrients that keep you alive and healthy. The Grapefruit Diet claims to allow the dieter to eat a wide array of foods that they would not think possible, but as long as you follow your meal with half a grapefruit, you will lose weight. This claim is both startling and far-fetched. As predicted, and mentioned on the website, the Grapefruit Diet is dangerous. The Grapefruit Diet website suggests that the diet may lead to dehydration due to the low amount of calories and high levels of caffeine involved. The restrictions in this diet also make it an incredibly difficult and unlikely regimen to follow.
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3. The Hallelujah Diet
Developed by Rev. George Malkmus, the Hallelujah Diet is mainly comprised of organic raw fruits and vegetables, and the miracle worker of this diet: barley juice. Because the Hallelujah Diet strictly prohibits meat and dairy, the barley juice is meant to fill that vitamin and protein void with its high nutrition content. While not necessarily depriving the dieter of essential nutrients, the Hallelujah Diet's highly restrictive nature makes this diet hard to live on and therefore, not ideal.
4. The Martha's Vineyard Detox Diet
The regimen alone explains why this diet is both dangerous and bogus. The diet is meant for the short term, "lose 21 pounds in 21 days," where the dieter survives on highly nutritious cocktails, a short list of raw vegetables, and soup. According to the itinerary for the Martha's Vineyard Detox Diet Retreat, dieters enjoy a breakfast of "detoxification cocktails." Hourly cocktails follow until lunch when an assortment of raw juices are available. Dinner is slightly more filling, with the option of nutritious soup. The bottom line is that surviving on nutritious cocktails and juices will only deprive your body of the nutrients it needs. Also, the minute you begin to eat normally again, the weight will pack back on.
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5. The Apple Cider Vinegar Diet
Once used as a cure for Scurvy amongst American soldiers, apple cider vinegar is now used as an appetite suppressant amongst dieters. According to various evaluations of the Apple Cider Vinegar Diet, the diet touches that fine line between a dangerous and regular diet. The most dangerous part is the apple cider vinegar itself, which when taken in the recommended doses of 3 tbsp gets dangerously close to the point of damaging your stomach due to its high acidity. However, the diet's regimen includes eating in moderation and daily exercise, which is most likely why people lose weight on this diet, not the apple cider vinegar. It is still unclear as to whether or not the vinegar actually assists you in losing weight at all, apart from making you so sick that you don't want to eat anything at all.