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Get excited about nutrition, and learn as you go with these information-packed resources on a wide variety of nutrition-centric topics! Our bistroMD experts review the importance of the macronutrients protein, fat, and carbohydrates, as well as how to make them work most efficiently for you.

The Mysterious Appeal and Dangers of the 'No Food Diet'

With food being enjoyed by many and the center of attention at most social events, why would straying away from it seem tempting? The appeal is linked to hopeful weight loss. So, can you lose weight by not eating and is the no-eating diet healthy?


With food being enjoyed by many and the center of attention at most social events, why would straying away from it seem tempting? The mysterious appeal may be linked to its hopeful support of weight loss, though it comes with dangerous concerns. So what exactly is a 'No Food Diet' and should you be saying, "yes" or "no" to it?

What is the 'No Food Diet?'

The 'No Food Diet' is actually exactly (and astonishingly) as the name suggests, a diet with no food. Though to some it may seem outlandish, others seek such a regimen in hopes for weight loss. The varieties of such a diet are broad, but often feature juices and other weight loss-promoting concoctions. Some individuals go to further extremes and partake in a 'water only diet' to fully "reset" the body.

The beginning of such rigorous diets may have been prompted by the infamous 'Master Cleanse Diet.' Essentially, the diet is a liquid fast with the inclusion of common pantry items - lemon juice, grade B maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and filtered water free of fluoride. BistroMD's founding physician, Dr. Caroline Cederquist, further explains, "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."

Can You Lose Weight by Not Eating?

Absolutely! Any diets that restrict foods and calories will foster weight loss, though not recommended weight loss. More specifically, you will more than likely lose precious muscle mass rather than fat along with water weight. "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," explains Cederquist. Eliminating food further deprives the body of essential nutrients it utilizes for day-to-day processes. So though you may lose weight, you will also more than likely lose energy and lower metabolism - mostly appearing as a lose-lose situation!

Something to Say "Yes!" To

But rest in case, nutrition experts mostly discourage such eliminating diets. Unless subscribed to a liquid diet leading up to a medical procedure or additional health requirements, cutting out food is unnecessary and completely harmful to your health. So instead of inducing harmful measures, implement a diet that lives up to weight loss appeal while enjoying flavorful meals. Dr. Cederquist and husband, Ed Cederquist, paired their love of health and food to create the nation's leading meal delivery service. Crafted meals, created by the hands of well-seasoned chefs and the brains and knowledge of nutrition experts, arrive straight to your doorstep. Each meal provides 1,100 to 1,400 calories daily with 40 to 50 percent total caloric intake from lean, adequate protein, 20 to 25 percent of calories from healthy fats, and 30 to 35 percent from complex carbohydrates - the totality ultimately fostering not only weight loss, but healthful weight loss. BistroMD offers both male and female programs, continuous support, and an extensive health library. Join the 'Yes Food Diet' with one simple click of the button!

Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on November 07, 2012. Updated on April 27, 2017.


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