National Nutrition Week 2022: Keto to Atkins; 5 diets you must avoid

By, Delhi
Aug 31, 2022 01:58 PM IST

Planning to follow a diet to shed extra weight? Nutritionist Anupama Menon tells you what not to do for weight loss.

Obesity is a root cause of many diseases and it's important to fight it to keep diseases at bay. Once you embark on a weight loss journey it's extremely satisfying to see the fruits of your hard work in weighing scale. Setting a target and achieving it can be an ultimate motivator to do more. However, to see fast results, many of us take the route of following certain diets that help us shed inches fast but are also quick to disappoint as in most cases, the weight is gained back just as rapidly as it was lost. (Also read: Eating nothing but pineapple for weight loss? Know side effects from dietician)

Beware of static diets that do not accommodate change as your body changes and do not test and validate the changes your body may be going through(Pexels)
Beware of static diets that do not accommodate change as your body changes and do not test and validate the changes your body may be going through(Pexels)

One must find a sustainable way to lose weight and stick to it instead of trying out several diets that do not benefit you in long run. Many of the diets that are quite a rage on internet focus on specific nutrients which could make cause deficiencies, impact our energy levels and even lead to muscle loss. Filling your plates with just soups and salads and depriving yourself of major food groups can lead to disastrous consequences. Anupama Menon, Nutritionist & Food Coach in an interview with HT Digital tells us that one should beware of very specific diets and follow sustainable methods for weight loss.

"The bane of following a diet is not unknown. Besides, of course, the fact that it challenges your limits of tolerance and tests your abilities of determination, it also risks a boomerang. The weight bouncing back with a vengeance, which leads to not only disappointment at having all your efforts going down the drain but also disillusionment. After having endeavoured sincerely, to have yourself seen at the sore starting point beats down confidence to pick up the threads again," says Menon.



Menon says 70% of what you do to lose weight is what you will have to sustain to maintain results, so beware of very specific diets.

Giving an example of Keto diet and Atkins, the nutritionist says if the method one uses makes one lose muscle, they may lose weight on the scale, but their metabolism will be affected. Menon says that at some point, it’s inevitable that the weight will come back and not as the lost muscle but as excess fat. She asks one to beware of very low calorie, soup salad based and highly restricted diets.


"Our body responses are important because they signal the changes inside our body. As our body changes, what our body needs will also change. We need to address that. At the onset of your journey, you may have only required a 1200 kcals diet, but as you lose significant weight, you may need 1500 kcals and on maintenance, 1700-1800 possibly. So beware of static diets that do not accommodate change as your body changes and do not test & validate the changes your body may be going through," says Anupama Menon.


Each of you is unique, and so is your body, so is your microbiome, enzyme efficiency and genetic code. Any diet that is not tailored to the specifics of your body is not hard working enough. You could try these and watch with heightened awareness how it works for you. And make changes in your diet based on how your gut, energy levels, or scales respond, as per Menon.

Anupama Menon suggests a few diets that you could avoid completely or at least tweak to use:


Keto diet for months on end is not a sustainable plan. You could use the Keto to lose weight quickly; it provides protein and good fats and provides for much-required nutrients. But you could follow it as a plateau breaker or even for about a month, then follow a Keto wean-off diet, proceed into a high protein low carb diet and finally sustain on a moderate protein-carb diet.


It just makes you lose weight quickly – for a short period of time. You tend to gain this weight just as soon as you lose it. Its core is a restricted, very low-calorie diet that keeps you hungry and high on cravings. Simply avoid this diet; it has no potential.


This is a very high protein, very low carb diet. Your body needs carbs, at least an Asian body does. For women, a diet that has a moderate amount of complex carbs in the daily diet is important for regular periods and, in general, for sanity and a good gut. Complex carbs like whole grains and legumes provide important prebiotics that help the probiotics in your gut grow.


This is definitely a highly unsustainable diet for a normal working body. The eating window is just 6 hours, and while on a high, you may accelerate through this diet with seemingly amazing results, but you will soon tire. The fasting window will start to seem too long; energy levels may drop, and worse, you may start facing nutritional deficiencies on restricted calories.


Your liver is the most powerful detoxifying agent, and it usually needs no help to detox the body. Cleanse diets are usually a veiled ruse to lose weight quickly in the name of detoxing the system and kick in after a long high-calorie-laden vacation, festival season, or family function.

"Diets made well enough to suit your body towards the larger purpose of health act like a bridge that translates into a lifestyle that you can sustain. But diets that only target weight loss quickly with no vision do you no good and promise only short-term results with long-term damage," concludes Menon.

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