Seven fad diets that won’t work

One can get a flatter stomach on a detox tea diet because the laxative effect causes them to excrete food before it is fully digested. They often also contain diuretics which cause drinkers to pass fluid more regularly, resulting in a temporarily flatter stomach. However, consuming laxatives and diuretics can cause stomach cramps and diarrhoea. As soon as a person stops consuming them, any perceived weight loss will be reversed. Beverly Hills DietCreated by the author Judy Mazel in 1981, this is an extreme diet that claims to promote weight loss through specific food combining. The Beverly Hills diet is based on the idea that the order and combinations in which foods are eaten causes weight gain. Mazel claimed that eating foods in the wrong order could stop some foods from being digested, causing fat build-up. The diet divides foods into four groups: carbohydrates, proteins, fruits, and fats. Fruit, even different types of fruit, must always be eaten alone. If a different type of food is eaten, such as a protein, the dieter must wait until the next day to eat fruit again. Protein and carbohydrates cannot be eaten together. You won’t be surprised to hear experts are very sceptical about whether food combining actually works. You will probably lose weight initially because of the low calorie intake but it’s very complicated to follow and following such a restrictive diet for an extended period of time could result in nutritional deficiencies. Best to confine this one to the history books.Vagus nerve stimulationCurrently being trialled by scientists at Moscow State University, this technique involves clipping electrodes to a part of the ear which contains a branch of the vagus nerve. The nerve stimulates appetite so the thinking goes that an electrical current passed through it could tell the brain that the stomach is full, curbing a person’s appetite. Vagus nerve stimulation has already been heralded as a miracle cure in epilepsy and depression, and animal trials have suggested it may work for weight loss. Users in the Russian trial will wear the clips on both ears, connected to a battery-powered generator which will provide 10 minutes of stimulation per day. However, it isn’t clear whether it will work, let alone its long-term efficacy. “Ultimately, the only way to make weight loss work is if you can shift your habits to move your weight anchor down,” says Dr Andrew Jenkinson, a bariatric surgeon and author of How To Eat (And Still Lose Weight).Carnivore dietThis involves cutting out all food except meat. The idea is that protein has a ‘high thermic effect’ meaning the body has to work hard to digest it, burning more calories in the process. Additionally, since protein is used for building muscle, the body quickly increases in muscle size, raising its basal metabolic rate – the calories are burned simply by staying alive.

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