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The worst diet trends of 2019

Keto? The 800-calorie diet? Boombod? Diet recovery coach Louise Thompson unpacks the worst diet trends of the last year – and why most of them are simply money down the toilet.

Feb 14th • 
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Every year it seems like there is a new diet and a new way to feel guilty about the food you’re eating and the choices you’re making.

A recent study suggested that over 80% of us feel confused about nutrition and what ‘healthy’ really is. It’s not surprising given how much information we get bombarded with daily, and that new diets and trends get more extreme and confusing just to grab our attention.

So, here are my top 5 worst diet trends of 2019: the ugly, the dangerous and the money straight down the toilet:

1. Keto

What is it?
A diet which encourages you to eliminate your carbohydrate intake so that your body runs in a fat-adapted state known as Ketogenesis. In simple terms, it tries to trick your body into using fat as a fuel rather than carbohydrates, and therefore increasing your fat burning.

What makes it awful:
As with any restrictive diet, the focus on demonising one food group – carbohydrates – sets people up for black and white thinking. Rigid thinking around food leads to disordered thoughts and disordered eating.

A diet this restrictive will impact negatively on your socialising, budget and mindset.

You will likely lose weight from doing Keto; however, when you stop and return to previous eating patterns, all the weight rushes back plus more.

The verdict:
Dangerous and ugly

2. The 800-calorie diet

What is it?
Popularised by Michael Mosley whose famous diet was the Blood Sugar Diet. It encourages fasting of 800 calories per day for eight weeks, progressing to the 5:2 diet.

What makes it awful:
An average active woman needs anywhere between 1300-2100 calories a day and this is providing merely half of that. A diet which is intensive, highly restrictive and encourages rapid fat loss will also encourage rapid fat gain; binging and restrictive behaviours does not promote long-term sustainable change.

The verdict:
Dangerous and ugly

3. Water fasting

What is it? 
A period where your intake is nothing but water. It is intermittent fasting but taken to the next level.

What makes it awful:
Energy intake of zero is controlled starvation. It is incredibly unsafe and could lead to dizzy spells, fainting and lightheadedness. Any weight loss will be returned as soon as normal eating is resumed and the likelihood of overeating and bingeing after the fasting is completed is very high.

The verdict:
Dangerous

4. Weight loss drops

What is it?
Weight loss drops to put under your tongue that suppress your appetite

What makes it awful:
The appetite suppressant itself is merely caffeine. By choosing to take a weight loss drop over a real meal, you are messing your hunger signals and setting yourself up for some unhealthy thoughts around food and appetite. There is no long-term benefit and any appetite suppressed is likely just a placebo.

The verdict:
Money down the toilet

5. Boombod

What is it? 
A weight loss shot drink to be used as a meal replacement.

What makes it awful:
Side effects include diarrhoea, bloating and flatulence. You are likely to lose water weight and electrolytes, feel awful and possibly have a very upset stomach. Once you stop using the supplements, any weight lost will return in the way of water almost immediately.

The verdict:
Money down the toilet

If you are confused and overwhelmed about nutrition don’t worry you are not alone. Millions of dollars are spent every year to come up with new and fancy ways to encourage us to dip into our pocket and jump on the latest diet trend.

Be an educated consumer – do your research and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Lulu Thompson is a diet recovery coach and personal trainer. You can find out more about her here.

You can also find her on Instagram and Facebook.

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