The Lemon Detox Diet has been rated the worst diet by Australia’s peak nutrition body, the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA). The Acid and Alkaline Diet followed by the Six Weeks to OMG Diet rounded off the top three of diets to avoid in 2013.
The DAA says while people who go on fad diets may lose weight, they usually put it all back on again and then some. In the process they change how their bodies work by disturbing their metabolism making it more difficult to achieve and maintain a healthy weight in the long term. Detox or cleansing diets are a perfect example. However, what the promoters of these diets neglect to tell you is that detox or cleansing is unnecessary and provides absolutely no assistance to people who are trying to lose weight. The body has an amazing detox system – the lungs, liver, and kidneys do this every minute of every day.
The Lemon Detox Diet
From a list of nine popular diets, the Lemon Detox Diet was deemed the ‘worst’ for the second consecutive year, with almost three quarters (74%) of the dietitians voting against it.
The Lemon Detox Diet is a 10 to 14 day cleansing program sold in a kit form online or through pharmacies and health food stores. It involves drinking six to nine glasses each day of Lemon Detox drinks. Despite what the scales may say, most of the weight lost on this diet is fluid and carbohydrate – so any weight loss is likely to be put straight back on once you revert to eating normal food and drinks. The Lemon Detox Diet does not provide the body with the essential nutrients it needs to function. And this is one diet that is impossible to sustain in the long-term.
If you want to ‘detox’, nourish your body by cutting down on fatty, highly-processed foods, alcohol and caffeine, and eat a balanced diet – making sure to get plenty of fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, and water.
The Acid and Alkaline Diet
This diet promotes ‘alkaline’ foods, and recommends avoiding ‘processed’ grains including bread and sugar, and restricting meat and dairy foods. It is based on detailed lists or charts of foods to eat and foods to avoid. There is no scientific evidence to support needing to eat this way.
The body naturally controls acidity on a daily basis and this is not dependant on the foods a person eats. That is, if there is a shift to a more alkaline or more acidic environment outside of the normal range, mechanisms within the body kick-in to restore the optimal balance. The DAA says there are some good features of this diet such as the inclusion of fruit and vegetables. However, this diet also recommends restricting very specific foods, so is likely to be difficult to sustain longer-term.
A person’s whole diet is important for good health and weight management, so the focus should not be on one food, food group or certain ‘type’ of food.
The Six weeks to OMG Diet
British celebrity personal trainer Paul Khanna (writing under the name Venice A Fulton), suggests dieters skip breakfast and exercise first thing in the morning after drinking black coffee and before eating – in an effort to boost metabolism. Carbohydrate foods are limited to very small amounts, but plenty of protein is allowed.
The DAA says much of the dietary information promoted is contradictory to health authority recommendations, and not based on scientific evidence. Avoiding food in the morning can play havoc with your metabolism, making it more difficult to achieve and maintain a healthy weight in the long-term. This book also makes controversial claims, such as that broccoli is no better than cola. This sends the wrong message to people.
By unnecessarily limiting nutritious foods, people risk missing out on important vitamins and minerals. Sadly, this book may appeal to younger women, who may be more vulnerable to body image concerns.
Warning signs that it might be a fad diet:
- Promote or bans certain foods or food groups.
- Promises quick, dramatic or miraculous results.
- Encourages miracle pills or potions.
- Claims a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to weight loss.
- Focuses on short-term changes to eating and exercise habits.
- Contradicts the advice of trusted health professionals.
- Makes claims based on a single study or testimonials.
For more information about visit the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) website: http://daa.asn.au/