Popular diets for weight loss – which is more, harm or benefit?

New diets for weight loss – like trends in fashion, appear with the same enviable regularity. And each diet has adherents who enthusiastically tell how they lost 10 or more kilograms in a couple of weeks. But volunteer-experimenters are silent about the safety of diets and the benefits for the body.

What threatens the passion for dubious diets and the neglect of the basics of a healthy diet? Are there safe diets? And how to eat right to lose weight?

Diet by blood group

It was invented by naturopath Peter D’Adamo in 1996. He proceeded from the fact that blood groups appeared at different times, which means that each group has its own diet and type of metabolism. According to D’Adamo, the human digestive and immune systems retain a genetic predisposition to the foods that their ancestors ate.

  • The first blood group is the oldest. Ancient people ate meat, fish, nuts, vegetables and fruits; there were no dairy products, cereals, and bread in their diet. Accordingly, for people with the first blood type, D’Adamo recommended an appropriate diet for weight loss.
  • People with the second blood group, according to the naturopath, should be vegetarians, because their ancestors led a sedentary lifestyle and were engaged in agriculture.
  • D’Adamo attributed people with the third blood type to nomadic cattle breeders, so their diet for weight loss should consist of milk and meat.
  • The fourth blood group appeared as a result of mixing the first and second, so it is best for them to eat what representatives of these blood groups eat.

Research by scientists from the University of Toronto tested the consistency of D’Adamo’s hypothesis and did not find its scientific confirmationNo association was found between the blood types of the participants in the experiment and the consequences for their health status.

In fact, regardless of blood type, people have the same physiology – weight is reduced when there is a calorie deficit, and increases if calorie intake exceeds expenditure.

Protein (low-carbohydrate) diets

These diets for weight loss are united by a common direction – an emphasis on protein foods (or fats – in a keto diet) and the almost complete exclusion of carbohydrates. Only a minimum amount of vegetables is allowed.

Weight loss occurs by reducing the calorie content of the daily diet, and the complete rejection of cereals, flour, and sweets. This diet is used by athletes during drying. It is believed that the body after it looks more toned and embossed.

Keto diet

Fat is the mainstay of the keto diet. Depending on the diet options, fats account for 60-75% of daily calories, carbohydrates – 5-10%, and proteins – 20-35%.

What is the essence of the diet for weight loss: due to a change in nutrition, ketosis occurs – the body, instead of getting energy from glucose, as nature intended, takes it from animal food. From the fatty tissues of the body and incoming fats in the liver, ketone bodies are formed, which nourish the organs, brain and muscles instead of glucose. It is assumed that burning fat instead of carbohydrates contributes to weight loss.

The popular high-fat diet is especially dangerous for those who suffer from diseases of the pancreas, liver, biliary tract, and thyroid gland. Fatty foods increase blood cholesterol levels, so the keto diet is not recommended for diseases of the cardiovascular system.

But the most unexpected was the result of research by Polish scientists. For more than 6 years, they studied the relationship of low-carbohydrate diets and all-cause mortality in a sample of 24,825 participants.


Ducan’s diet

The Dukan diet includes a lot of protein foods and a minimum of fats and carbohydrates. The weight loss diet is very similar to the keto diet. The principle is the same – the body is rebuilt to receive energy from proteins instead of carbohydrates.

The diet is divided into 4 phases:

  • attack – only foods high in protein;
  • alternation – non-starchy vegetables are added, fats and some carbohydrates are limited;
  • consolidation – repeats the diet of the alternation phase;
  • stabilization – combines the fastening phase diet and weekly protein days according to the attack pattern.

In the first weeks, weight is rapidly reduced. The reason for this effectiveness is dehydration since in the absence of carbohydrates, the body loses fluid. This alone speaks of the dubious benefits of a diet for weight loss. But besides this, the Dukan diet has many contraindications.

Proteins are an essential part of the human diet. But their excess worsens health, disrupts the intestines, increases bad cholesterol, and additionally burdens the kidneys. Due to a deficiency of vitamins, primarily of group B and other important trace elements, hair and skin become dull and dry, and the functioning of the nervous system is disrupted. 

There is no scientific confirmation of the effectiveness and usefulness of the Dukan diet. It also does not enjoy particular popularity – it took the last place in the ranking of US diets.

Atkins Diet

Unlike Dukan, the Atkins low-carb diet is in the top 10 most popular diets in the world. Interestingly, the American cardiologist developed it for himself and did not count on such fame.

Robert Atkins focused on proteins in his weight loss diet, but did not limit fats. But he recommended minimizing the use of carbohydrates, because, in his opinion, they contribute to weight gain and heart disease. Therefore, he severely limited the intake of sugar, white flour and other refined carbohydrates. But if the desired weight was reached, Atkins made an indulgence – it was possible to include up to 100 g of carbohydrates per day in the daily diet.

The benefits and effectiveness of the Atkins diet can be judged by the end result of its creator. The cardiologist died from a cardiovascular disease caused by obesity. Shortly before his death, with a height of 180 cm, his weight was 110 kg.

Kremlin diet

More correctly, this diet should be called the “diet of American astronauts”, since it was really developed for US astronauts. But the diet was tested by Soviet officials, and they liked it, or rather, in the stomach and wallet. Therefore, this diet option was called “Kremlin”.

Certain points are assigned to products, 1 conventional unit is 1 g of carbohydrates. The allowable norm of the daily diet for weight loss in the first weeks is 20 USD, then by 5-10 USD. per week can be increased. Protein foods have very few conventional units, sugar and carbohydrates have a maximum. Therefore, you can eat a lot of protein foods and limit the intake of light carbohydrates. According to the creators of the popular diet, due to a lack of carbohydrates, the body begins to burn stored fats.

Many famous personalities have tried the weight loss diet on themselves and were satisfied. Still would! You can eat delicacies, drink alcohol and still lose weight. But pitfalls lurk behind external well-being.

Mono-diet – a diet of one product

Diets in which you can eat only one product for no more than 7 days, then dilute with others and switch to your usual diet. Buckwheat, kefir, cucumber diets are popular. The effectiveness of the diet is due to a sharp reduction in calories.

By the way, one of the adherents of mono-diets was Mariah Carey. What other dangerous experiments with health were staged by celebrities, read in our article “The five most harmful diets of world stars for weight loss, do not repeat, dangerous! »

The mono-diet has collected all the disadvantages of low-carbohydrate diets. Needless to say, such a diet for weight loss does not make up for the loss of all micronutrients. Mono-diets can cause eating disorders, obesity, and even type 2 diabetes. Deficiency of essential nutrients is dangerous for  bone loss, osteoporosis and chronic diseases.

With such a limited diet, there is no energy left for fitness and sports, and regular physical activity and a balanced diet are the best strategy for losing weight, staying fit and healthy.

It is especially dangerous to follow a mono-diet for more than 2 weeks, as this can cause irreversible consequences for the body.

What is the main harm of diets

You can’t constantly limit yourself in vitamins, proteins, fats, live on 1000 calories a day and do fitness or sports. This is a direct path to exhaustion. Returning to the usual diet leads to the return of weight, and even in excess. And this does not mean a lack of willpower, but a natural reaction of the body to stress.

Products that are included in the daily diet of a person are raw materials used as energy to maintain the vitality of the body. Each product has its own set of energy value, trace elements and vitamins necessary for the normal functioning of all systems. A strict weight loss diet with limited food intake increases the risk of depleting vitality.

By limiting our diet in proteins, we damage the nervous system and brain function. After all, it is the proteins contained in the products that are the building material for organs, including the brain, muscles, and tendons. Proteins are involved in the production of hormones, enzymes, and neurotransmitters and perform many other functions.
The absence of “healthy” fats has a bad effect on the work of the immune and circulatory systems, memory worsens, metabolism is disturbed, mood drops. It is not surprising that already in the first or second week of such a diet, along with the appearance of depression, performance deteriorates and physical activity decreases.
What threatens the lack or worse, the complete absence of carbohydrates in the diet? Among the risks of a carbohydrate-free diet is a lack of energy. After all, it is from carbohydrates that the body receives energy in the first place. Due to the lack of vegetables and fruits in the diet, there is not enough fiber, which means that problems with the gastrointestinal tract are provided. Due to the deficiency of prebiotics and antioxidants, the recovery processes in the body slow down, and the risk of heart disease increases. In the long term, metabolic changes, sleep disturbances, and deterioration in memory and concentration are inevitable. The lack of micronutrients, especially vitamins A, B and C due to the lack of fruits, will also negatively affect health.

Are there safe diets?

No diet guarantees a long-term weight loss effect, and the health risks are very high. How to eat right to lose weight?

The most effective and safest way to lose weight and keep fit is to choose the right diet and change your lifestyle.


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