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Why some diets just don’t work

Is the desire to quickly fit into that little black dress prodding you to follow fad diets popularised by many Hollywood divas? The celebs you admire might look ultra-glam on the red carpet but the diets they endorse come at the cost of your health, say experts.

health and fitness Updated: Feb 27, 2012 00:51 IST
Aishwarya Sati

Is the desire to quickly fit into that little black dress prodding you to follow fad diets popularised by many Hollywood divas? The celebs you admire might look ultra-glam on the red carpet but the diets they endorse come at the cost of your health, say experts. We take a look at some of the famous celeb diets and ask experts why they won’t work for you in the long run:

Jennifer Aniston's baby food diet

Diet: Baby food like creamed porridge plus baby food: One meal of steam fish and vegetables
Calories intake: 1400 calories
Intake: 14 portions a day
Average weight loss: 2 kg
Duration: 14 days

Why it won’t work:

It is said that Jennifer Aniston’s version of the baby food diet includes up to 14 small porridge pots a day plus one main meal of fish and steamed vegetables. Nutritionist Prachi Agarwal says about this diet, “This diet lacks essential nutrition. It does not provide the body with calcium, vitamins and minerals. Also, eating the same food in small portions can be very boring and eventually one may resort to crash dieting.”

Beyonce's Maple Syrup diet

Diet: Lemon juice, Maple syrup, Cayenne pepper, Water
Intake: 6-9 cups a day
Average Weight Loss: 6 kg
Duration: 14 days

Why it won’t work:
An average person requires a minimum of 1000 calories to maintain the body mass index and 6-9 cups of this mixture only provides 312-468 calories. Agarwal says this diet is similar to going on a crash diet. “It fails as it also lacks essential macro-nutrients. It should be considered as another form of fasting, rather than a diet. You are not allowed to eat any solid food while on this diet.” she says.

The Boiled Egg diet

Diet: Eggs, lean protein, green salad
Calories intake: 600-700 calories
Intake: 3 meals a day
Average weight loss: 3-4 kg a week
Duration: 1 month

Why it won’t work:
“It’s a high protein diet. Since it eliminates several important food items, it is quite unbalanced. It is devoid of carbohydrates, and leaves you feeling lethargic. It is not sustainable as a lifestyle plan for healthy weight management. Also, it doesn't work for vegetarians or people who are allergic to eggs,” says Agarwal.

The Chicken Soup Diet

Calories intake:
Approximately 800 calories everyday
Intake: Breakfast and unlimited amount of chicken soup
Average weight loss: 2-3 kg a week
Duration: 1 week

Why it won’t work:
The chicken soup diet starts with a breakfast. Breakfast consists of a combination of dairy products such as milk, yogurt or cheese along with cereals and sometimes some fruit juice. This breakfast is followed by unlimited amount of chicken soup for the rest of the day. It’s too high in protein and can result in constipation and fatigue. You gain back all the weight lost during one week once you resume a regular diet pattern.

The Raw Organic Diet

Why it won’t work:
This diet advocates eating raw organic fruits and vegetables. The calories and the intake is not specified in this diet that is supposed to be followed for a month. It propagates the philosophy of getting back to eating healthy fresh fruits and vegetables.

Nutritionist Kajal Gupta says, “It may sound very fancy, but this diet doesn’t work as drastic weight loss is not easy to sustain. One might face problems such as low blood sugar, high acidity and even mental disorders.”