7 Ways to “Lose Weight Quickly” that DO NOT Work!
Many people want to lose weight quickly. Not surprisingly, the methods that promise quick results are tempting. Unfortunately, many of them are excessively restrictive and simply inefficient in the long term. What’s more, some are frankly dangerous. Here are 7 “quick fixes” to lose weight that just don’t work.
1. Liquid Diets:
Liquid diets for weight loss have already been known for several decades. They involve replacing all or a portion of your meals with a meal or a liquid shake. Some liquid diets intended for weight loss include:
- The Cambridge Diet: The strictest option in this diet provides 440 to 550 calories as a meal replacement for up to 12 weeks. The original plan was criticized for providing only 330 calories a day without being medically supervised.
- Protein-Sparing Modified Fast (PSMF): Under medical supervision, obese patients consume less than 800 calories daily for six months. Today’s PSMFs are considered safe, while previous versions were even linked to the possibility of death.
- Optimist and Medifast: There are several options available. Plans that provide less than 800 calories per day usually last 26 weeks and require medical supervision.
Although people can and do lose weight quickly on very low-calorie liquid diets, regaining lost weight is extremely common. This makes sense, since drinking liquid foods does not encourage healthy eating habits, which are necessary for successful weight maintenance. In addition, research suggests that following a fluid-based weight loss plan can lead to eating disorderly, as well as compulsive eating or restricting food. In a 28-week study, a group of obese women were assigned to one of several weight loss strategies. At the end of the study, food binge eating was significantly more frequent in the group of women who followed the liquid diet. While liquid diets can lead to rapid, short-term, long-term weight loss, they seem to do more harm than they benefit.
Summary: Very low calorie liquid diets can cause short-term weight loss. However, they must be supervised by a doctor. Weight recovery is very common and disordered eating patterns can develop.
2. Carb Blocker Pills:
Carb blockers, or starch blockers, are supplements that are said to help promote weight loss easily. They contain bean extracts that interfere with alpha-amylase, an enzyme that breaks down complex carbohydrates into smaller sugar units that your body can absorb. Complex carbohydrates include grains, potatoes and sweet potatoes. If complex carbohydrates do not break down into sugar, their calories cannot be absorbed by your body. However, carbohydrate blockers cannot completely prevent the digestion and absorption of complex carbohydrates. They only slow down the action of alpha-amylase. In one study, a starch blocker was found to inhibit more than 96% of amylase, but only prevented 7% of carbohydrates from being absorbed. This suggests that if a carb blocker with a portion of spaghetti containing 60 grams of starch was taken, it would only end up absorbing about 4 grams less carbohydrates and about 16 calories less. However, some studies have found that carbohydrate blockers can cause moderate weight loss, especially when carbohydrate intake is high.
“In one study, carbohydrate blockers caused the greatest weight loss in people who ate more carbohydrates”.
On the other hand, a 2011 review of the studies concluded that larger and more reliable studies on carbohydrate blockers are needed to determine if they are effective for weight loss. In addition, carbohydrate blocking supplements can cause digestive problems in some people, such as gas, diarrhea and bloating. In general, you should not count on carbohydrate blockers to cause significant weight loss.
Summary: Carb blockers or starch blockers inhibit the enzyme responsible for starch digestion. However, they cannot block the absorption of complex carbohydrates completely, and their effect on weight seems minimal.
3. Juices, Cleansers and Detoxifiers:
Several cleaning methods and detox diets have become very popular lately. In addition to the promising rapid weight loss, they tend to purge your body of “toxins” that accumulate over time. Here is a list of several detoxification or cleaning methods, which can last from 1 to 21 days:
- Do not drink more than water for up to seven days
- Consume only fresh fruit and vegetable juices
- Drink certain liquid mixtures, such as lemonade sweetened with maple syrup and cayenne pepper
- Consume only clear liquids while taking laxatives, enemas or herbs to “clean the colon”
Because they are so low in calories, these diets can produce rapid weight loss. For example, some detoxification plans say that you can lose up to 21 pounds in 21 days. However, most of the weight lost with these methods is probably water, especially during the first few days when the weight loss is faster. With the exception of a small study in overweight Korean women, no studies have corroborated these claims or the ability of people to maintain the weight they lose during a cleansing or detoxification. In the Korean study, women drank a mixture of lemon and syrup that contained less than 500 calories for seven days. Although they lost weight and improved some heart health markers, they also lost an average of 0.6 pounds (0.3 kg) of muscle. This muscle loss is not surprising, since detoxification generally provides less than 20 grams of protein per day. To protect muscle health,adults need at least 0.45 grams of protein per pound (1 gram per kilogram), or a minimum of 50 grams daily. What’s more, your protein needs increase during weight loss. Having a higher protein intake has been shown to help prevent muscle loss in people who are actively losing weight. Also, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest. In addition, animal research suggests that low-protein diets increase the production of NPY, a hormone that drives hunger and belly fat storage. Finally, as for the claim that pounds your body of toxins, your liver and other organs already perform this function every day. “Detoxify” your body is completely unnecessary. In fact, it is best to get away from these detoxifiers and purifiers completely.
Summary: Juices, detoxifiers or purifiers can produce rapid weight loss, but a large part of this weight loss is water. They also contain very little protein, which can lead to muscle loss and a slower metabolism.
4. Impact Diets and Fad Diets:
Impact diets or fad diets have always been popular because they promise rapid weight loss if you follow very specific guidelines. Some of the best-known impact diets have been around for decades, and new ones are constantly being created that result in trends.
Here are Some Examples of Popular or Fad Diets:
- Cabbage Soup Diet: This diet promises weight loss of up to 10 pounds in 7 days. Every day you eat everything you want from one or two types of food. A soup made from cabbage and other vegetables is also consumed every day.
- Grapefruit Diet: This classic grapefruit weight loss plan was created in the 1930s and based on the supposed properties attributed to grapefruit for burning fat. In addition to a grapefruit at each meal, a low carb diet is consumed, high-protein foods such as eggs and meat.
- Five Snacks Diet: This approach involves eating whatever you want, but it only allows you to take five snacks per meal. It was created by Dr. Alwin Lewis, who promises weight loss of up to 15 pounds per week.
- Baby diet: In this diet, 1 to 2 meals per day are replaced with several jars of baby food containing between 25 and 75 calories each, consumed at intervals of one hour during the day.
Although some of these diets sound fun, they are not a good idea if your goal is sustainable weight loss. They are not well balanced; they are not nutritious nor are they based on science. Most of them are very low in calories, which can certainly cause rapid weight loss in the short term. However, research has shown that severe caloric restriction can lead to a reduction in metabolic rate, loss of muscle mass and hunger for the rebound effect that makes weight inevitable again. In addition, these fad diets are typically low in protein. As discussed earlier, this can cause many of the same effects as drastic calorie restriction. A 1996 study even suggests that very low-calorie diets can lead to insulin resistance and diabetes in some individuals. In the case of the Grapefruit Diet, which provides adequate protein and calories, there is no evidence that grapefruit increases fat burning. Therefore, any weight loss experienced in this plan is mainly due to its high protein and low carbohydrate content.
Summary: Accident or fad diets are based on tricks and promises of rapid weight loss. However, they are typically unbalanced, low in calories and protein and associated with weight recovery.
5. Pills “Fat Burners”:
Taking a pill that helps you burn fat may seem like the perfect solution to lose weight quickly. However, some of these pills contain questionable ingredients that can end up doing much more harm than good. Caffeine is one of the main ingredients in many “fat burner” products. It has been shown to help you burn more calories when consumed as a drink or pill. In one study, men experienced an increase in metabolic rate after consuming a supplement containing caffeine and antioxidants such as EGCG, which is found in green tea. Although moderate amounts of caffeine are safe and can help promote fat loss and increase physical performance, some fat burners contain substances that can cause dangerous side effects. Reports of liver damage and other health problems have been linked to certain fat burner supplements, including those that contain DNP and udic acid. In two cases, previously healthy young women developed liver failure that required a liver transplant after taking fat burners containing nicnic acid. Ironically, advertisements for fat burners and weight loss pills are often found in women’s fitness magazines that promote a healthy lifestyle. Instead of taking pills that contain potentially harmful ingredients, it is recommended to drink a few cups of coffee or green tea a day.
Summary: Fat burner pills contain caffeine and other ingredients that can increase metabolism. However, there is no evidence that these pills are more effective than caffeine alone, and some have been linked to liver damage.
6. Eat Only One Food:
Eating only one food has been a popular method of rapid weight loss for decades. Known as eating monotroph, or “mono feeding,” involves eating as much as you want a food for several days. Some examples include eating only fruits, eggs, potatoes or cookies. Like the other methods discussed, rapid short-term weight loss can occur with this strategy. This is mainly because being so tired of eating only one food your calorie intake automatically decreases. One of the problems with this eating strategy is that it is unbalanced. While eating only eggs provides much more protein and other nutrients than a diet consisting of potatoes or cookies, it lacks the fiber and antioxidants found in plant foods. There are few studies, if any, on monoalimentation. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that people almost always regain weight after the diet is over. And like other diets that severely restrict food options, it does not help you develop eating habits that will lead to successful weight maintenance.
Summary: Eating only one food can help to lose weight due to automatic calorie reduction. However, this approach is unbalanced and cannot be maintained in the long term and often leads to weight gain after the diet is over.
7. Raspberry Ketones:
Raspberry Ketones are the compounds found in red raspberries and other berries and fruits. They are frequently used to add flavor and fragrance to food and cosmetics. In recent years, they have also been marketed as a supplement to lose weight. It is claimed that raspberry ketones increase fat burning and increase levels of adiponectin, a hormone that has anti-inflammatory effects and helps regulate metabolism. Although adiponectin is produced by fat cells, obese people generally have much lower levels of adiponectin than thin people. Initial studies in mice and rats found that raspberry ketones increased fat burning and helped protect against fatty liver. However, the doses these animals received were extremely high. But very little research has been done on humans, and so far the results are not so impressive. It was found that a supplement containing a combination of ingredients, including raspberry ketones, increased fat loss in obese people, but only when combined with diet and exercise. On the other hand, a 2016 study found no significant differences in metabolic rate or fat burning among people who took raspberry ketones, compared to those who received a placebo pill. At this point, research does not support the use of raspberry ketones if you wish to lose weight.
Summary: Although raspberry ketones have been shown to be useful for increasing fat burning in mice at very high doses, the few available human studies have shown little or no benefit for fat loss.
Many diet plans and products promise rapid weight loss. But while some may temporarily reduce weight, they are unlikely to help you reach your goal of losing body fat and maintaining the desired weight. In addition, these “quick fix” approaches can lead to health problems, eating disorderly and regaining more weight than you lost. The only solution for sustainable fat loss is to follow a well-balanced diet that works to lose weight according to your body and in turn you can maintain in the long term.