5 Extreme Diets to Avoid in 2014

upside down weight scale

Our Reality-TV and viral-internet-meme filled days have spawned a culture of extreme. Is it any wonder that nutrition and diet trends have gone crazy in the last few years?

If you are planning to lose weight, improve your health, and eat better foods this year, please do yourself a favor – do not fall prey to any extreme scheme. Much like cults, these diet programs suck you in with a religious fervor and promises that cannot be fulfilled. Just a few of the crazy diets that made a big hit in 2013 (and earlier):

1. Juicing cleanses and diets – basically starving yourself to cleanse your digestive track. Hello, you’ve got a liver for that.

2. Fruitarian diet – perhaps inspired by the Steve Jobs book and movie, this diet is composed of 80% fruit. News flash – there is too much of a good thing! Too much sugar, and not enough muscle building protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients.

3. Ketogenic diet – this is an extreme version of a low carb diet that is high in fat and protein to the point that not enough energy is available for proper cellular function. The body starts to break down fats to provide the energy the body needs. But the breakdown also creates “ketone bodies” that can cause ketosis – a condition that messes with your body. Ketosis causes headaches, mental slowdown, dizziness and interestingly a fruity acidic breath. A prolonged state of ketosis may cause serious health issues.

4. HCG Diet – This starvation diet requires eating just 500 calories a day and injecting yourself with a hormone found in pregnant women’s urine. Read that again and stop at 500 calories a day. That’s too low for your safety! The second part (HCG stands for Human chorionic gonadotropin, produced in the placenta during pregnancy.) is just a fancy way to rip you off.

5. SAD – also know as the Standard American Diet, is an extremely unhealthy way to eat that most of us have taken for granted because it is the norm these days. We caught you by surprise with this one didn’t we? Read on…

There’s a story about 2 frogs that were put in frying pans. One was put in a pan that had been preheated. The instant the frog was placed in the pan, it jumped out because the surface was too hot. The second frog was put in a cold frying pan, and the pan was heated very slowly. The frog didn’t notice the heat build up until it was much hotter than the first frying pan. It never got the chance to jump off.

Folks, we are the second frog. Our frying pan is the American food economy. If you look at the state of obesity, diabetes, and other food related disease in this country, you realize something must be very wrong. It’s been getting worse from year to year. Jump out of this craziness now!

In tomorrow’s post we’ll share 5 simple hacks to avoid the pitfalls of the Standard American Diet. In the meantime, have a great New Year party tonight!

  • Erika McLeod

    Just another example of how we Americans overcomplicate.We have the all resources at our fingertips.Whether one chose to grow their own food or just simply WALK into a grocery store and simply make a healthy choice.

  • Corey Rowland

    I consider myself a fruitarian and I don’t think it is at all unhealthy to eat as much fruit as I do. I’ll eat up to 15 bananas in a day, in addition to other fruits, and I feel great. All of the sugar I ingest is natural sugar, and it comes with a bunch of nutrients and yes, plenty of protein as well. I do often have a satiating cooked meal for dinner (brown rice and beans, steamed potatoes) but during the day, nothing but fruit makes me feel my best.

    • Fruity gal

      Thank you totally agree!

  • Gary

    “Fruitarian diet – perhaps inspired by the Steve Jobs book and movie”

    Hmmm, not sure I’d want to follow that diet (much as I like fruit) given the outcome in his case :-(

  • Fruity gal

    Wow…….. Fruitarian diet……. Extreme….too much sugar?!?!!? You have got to be kidding me! Maybe you guys should check out freeleethebananagirl and durianriders on YouTube for the truth. You know what I think is extreme? Eating a low carb high fat diet. Having clogged arteries, murdering baby animals, and guzzling down some puss filled milk. But hey us fruitarians are just crazy hippies that have no idea what we are saying.

    • Corey Rowland

      Frelee and Harley are awesome! Love their messages and their videos :) fruit is definitely not at all extreme.

    • Dan

      Geez, thx for the insult.

      I eat nothing but a lower carb high fat diet, and it’s not extreme at all. Unclogged arteries here, Great blood work from my last test. Raw organic unpasteurized milk- not the puss chemically laden type. Your statement above shows your lack of knowledge in this type of diet.

      You perpetuate your own statement, “us fruitarians are just crazy hippies” lol.

      • JohnL

        I’m of the belief that the fruitarian movement is a conspiracy put forth by vegans to make vegans seem less socially repugnant.

        • Fruity gal

          No… Not really :/ I’m a vegan for health and ethical reasons….

      • Fruity gal

        I was being sarcastic lol :)

      • Fruity gal

        I’m not here to insult you or make you change your ways. I’m just saying that I have done lots of research and I am happier and have a lot more energy from becoming a high carb low fat vegan. Check out freeleethebananagirl and durianriders on YouTube, they rock! Have a great day! :)

      • Vegan love

        Animal products are highly acidic and leech calcium from our bones. Organic dairy and grass fed meats are not any better for you… Isn’t funny how America drinks the most milk yet we have the most osteoporosis? I recommend doing your research.

        • Dani

          Organic or raw dairy and grass fed meats are much better. Grass fed beef has much more omega threes than the factory farm stuff. Also it is literally impossible to get vitamin b 12 without eating either meat or some artificial “food.” I’ll take meat over processed food products any day.

          • Amilkar Mejia

            Dude, get your facts about vit b12 correctly. Unless you eat raw meat there’s no way you can get b12 from meat. Plus vit b12 is artificial or you think cows, pigs, chicken, fish or any other animals you may eat produce them naturally? They don’t even produce it all!

          • Amilkar Mejia

            By artificial, I mean produced by bacteria not by plants nor animals.

      • healthyandliving

        Raw milk is banned in America so unless you dont live in America you are lying

        • pennsylvaniafarmgirl

          No. It is not banned. It depends on the state you live in. Thank heaven it is perfectly legal where I live, as I grew up on it, and cannot tolerate pasteurized milk. Soy is out of the question as it’s bad for thyroid, not to mention over processed. Nut or rice have too much sugar added and taste awful.

    • will

      wrong, you have no idea what you are talking about you sugar Laden idiot. Im studying dietetics and they spew non sence at times. however the low carb Approach
      Is the way to go!

      • Fruity gal

        fyi the world’a fattest lady eats a high fat, high protein, low carb diet.:) enjoy your rotting flesh

      • Vegan love

        Oh so we should believe the “genius” that doesn’t know how to spell.

  • Dan

    Ketogenic diet is NOT unhealthy, and has shown to keep cancer at bay. There have been many civilizations that have been ketogenic by necessity throughout history, the Inuit/Eskimo population come to mind. They eat meat, whale blubber, etc with little by way of carbs—and they had none of the diseases of modern civilization: heart disease, diabetes, stroke.

    The reason people experience a “slow down” as the article suggests, is because us as a society are so dependent on carbs—which has been shown to be as addictive or more addictive than cocaine—that when you take it away, it’s almost like withdrawal symptoms. But after time thus goes away, and your body will burn fat for fuel. I know this because I’ve been in a ketogenic state at times, although I’ve reintroduced some carbs back into my diet now.

    The same negative things about a ketogenic diet continue to be parroted all over the internet.

    • John Cserkuti

      Came here to say the same thing.
      Although eating too many calories on any diet will cause weight gain, it is the effects of hormones that regulate energy usage and storage that are the main culprits in gaining weight, obesity and diabetes. Eating too many carbohydrates regardless of the source will elevate the blood sugar and cause insulin secretions to remove that sugar either into the muscles for usage (or storage as glycogen) or into the fat cells. Once keto-adapted with a limited carbohydrate intake there is no spike in blood sugar/insulin response. Furthermore the body makes more fat burning enzymes and prefers to use the body’s fat stores for energy rather than glucose/glycogen.

      And just as a preemptive response to anyone saying that the Inuit have a shorter lifespan than others I would argue that living isolated in the wilderness without access to modern medicine can skew those averages since more children and mothers would be at risk during child birth.

    • healthyandliving

      Wrong the eskimos and inuits lifespan was short they werent healthy and such and have you seen dr. Atkins the author of wheat belly and more they are fat af and unhealthy

  • The Frugal Dietitian

    PLUS avoid all weight loss dietary supplements!!!

  • http://gigieatscelebrities.com/ GiGi Eats Celebrities

    I love that the SAD diet is listed here – sadly (ha, see what I did there?) it’s pretty much the NORM for a lot of people! :(

  • amelie

    Very interesting information. Thank you.

  • jcolson1027

    Truth mingled with Broscience. Completely disregarding the ketogenic diet. I would like to see him say that to Lyle McDonald.

    Also, the HCG Diet is completely misunderstood now. 500 calories… woooooo. Scary. Too bad hardly anyone actually follows that plan any more. http://www.hcgreviewsonline.com – Half the stuff they claim about this diet is idiotic, and regurgitated by some other person who also quoted some other person, who knew nothing of it.