The Mysterious Appeal of the "No Food Diet"
What’s all the rage right now? The “No Food Diet,” of course. Celebrities endorse them, some athletes try them, but none of them actually realize the hardships they are putting their bodies through. From just drinking juice and water, to merely consuming liquid substances like lemon juice mixed with cayenne pepper, BistroMD's founding physician, Caroline J. Cederquist, M.D., analyzes why these diets spell more trouble for your weight loss goals than success.
Sometimes the Lemon Isn’t Worth the Squeeze…
If you have watched any entertainment news show in the past few months, you have probably seen segments on celebrity diets that are designed to “cleanse” your body and keep you at a healthy weight.
"While the cleansing part may be right, it is important to realize that this type of no food diet isn’t healthy at all," says Dr. Cederquist.
Probably one of the most popular diets right now is the “Master Cleanse Diet.” This diet, developed in 1941 by Stanley Burroughs, was later made popular by Peter Glickman through his book, Lose Weight, Have More Energy, and Be Happier in 10 Days. The diet is a liquid fast where you drink a concoction of freshly squeezed lemon juice, grade b maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and filtered water that is free of fluoride. It is recommended that you ONLY drink this mixture for a maximum of 10 days.
"It is generally agreed by most physicians across the country that the 'Master Cleanse Diet' and other diets that employ similar weight loss mechanisms cause more harm than good. While only using this method for a day may have limited harmful effects, using a diet like this for a longer period of time can have potentially detrimental effects on your health," states Dr. Cederquist.
A no food diet will help you lose weight, but not the “right” kind of weight you are hoping for. According to Dr. Cederquist, instead of losing the unhealthy fat that you want, you lose precious fluids and body protein instead. Detox diets like the “Master Cleanse” are so restrictive on nutrients, that most of the time your body gets denied the nutrition it needs to function properly. Since most of these detox diets don’t allow but a bare minimum of calories, your body will find itself losing out on healthy nutrition.
The Dangers of Fasting Without Food
Celebrities endorse detox diets because most of them need to lose weight in a hurry, which is what these diets are designed to do. Most of these celebrities have to lose weight for a movie role, and are only on the diet for a short period of time. What most of us living in the real world don’t realize is that we think that just because the “A-listers” are doing it, that it must be healthy.
Dr. Cederquist explains why this is not the case at all: "When your body starts losing essential fluids on a no food diet, this can disrupt its liquid and electrolyte balance causing gastrointestinal distress, headaches, irritability, fatigue, and dehydration." One way Dr. Cederquist recommends getting yourself on a healthy diet, is to choose a plan that contains good doses of fiber. Fiber is great because it can give your body the nutrition it needs, without sacrificing necessary body fluids in order for your body to maintain its function.
Why Is There So Much Love for Detox?
With all of the recent attention given to diets centered on the principle of detox, it is important that dieters know the truth about the diets they undertake. "What most people don’t realize is that a no food diet can actually slow down your body’s metabolism instead of speeding it up," says Dr. Cederquist, "This is the side of the detox diet that no one tells you about. Once you start eating solid foods again, your body often encourages you to overeat because of excess hunger."