Clean Cooking – Fad Diets – Kitchen Maverick
There are so many dietary plans to choose from it is mind-boggling and overwhelming. I feel your pain. Barry from the gym tells you to eat loads of carbs 8 times a day, Petra thinks that going vegan is the only way to prevent the world from bursting into flames and Steve believes in a good quality wild meat. Some diets are used for weight loss, some to gain muscle mass, some to manage our hormonal balance, some for mental health and so on.
The list can go on forever. I decided to research as many relevant, irrelevant and utterly absurd diets as possible, so you don’t have to. I will always try to find pros and cons and throw a recipe or two in the mix. I will also try not to be too judgmental, probably failing at times (I am looking your way, Air Diet J).
Silly Fad Diets
This week I am going to talk about two silly/amusing diets. These can actually be quite harmful or even lethal, but frankly, even considering and researching any of them is foolish (oh, hang on!). Also, geniuses who came up with these should be punished. Possibly, by following their own meal plans for some time. Please do not try these at home!
Cotton Ball Diet
Let’s get the (cotton) ball rolling with this little lunacy. It is rather simple. There are some people in this world who are willing to swallow soaked cotton balls to make them feel fuller. It has gained popularity, especially in modelling, in recent years. This “diet” can cause obstructions in the digestive tract or even death. Another issue is that regular cotton balls are not really made of cotton. They contain chemically tempered and bleached polyester, definitely not something you’d want to eat (Neporent. 2013).
Air Diet and Breatharianism
Air diet, also known as a virtual diet, is a weight loss program recommending eating nothing at all. But it is not as simple: You actually make your favourite dish, plate it nicely, sit down and then you smell it for a bit and pretend to eat it. Yep, using a spoon, fork or chopsticks to scoop nothing and chew on air. After your virtual feast is over, you just chuck it in the bin. I suppose that the idea behind this is to fool your brain with visuals and smell to think that you are actually eating. It might work well as a willpower exercise, but as a dietary plan it is not only stupid but also really wasteful.
Another derivate of this dietary plan is called breatharianism. In this case, people gulp on air bubbles instead of eating much real food and claiming that the cosmos provides most of the nutrients needed. Proponents go without food and water for as long as seven days. This one differs from most of the other methods in its focus on spirituality rather than simple weight loss. Nevertheless, breatharianism has been connected with several deaths in the past years (Kerr, 2017).
The biggest difference between a fad diet and a solid long-term plan is that these often ridiculous quick methods have no health benefits at all. They are solely focused on weight loss, ignoring nutritional requirements and health. Also, none of these usually mention any form of exercise which is worrying. Why do we feel so desperate that we are willing to put our mind and body in danger?
Let’s focus on the bigger picture, strength, health and longevity over summer bodies, photoshopped celebrities and dehydrated six packs.
Stay tuned and eat well.