What Diets Should You Avoid in 2021? The Worst Fad Diets

There are tons of diets out there that promise “super-fast weight loss!” and the ability to “burn belly fat in 10 days!” But a lot of them are extremely restrictive, and some are downright dangerous for your health. So, what diets should you avoid in 2021? And how do you actually maintain healthy eating habits? Let’s take a look.

What Diets Should You Avoid in 2021? Girl holding up an X with her arms.

What Diets Should You Avoid In 2021?

What diets should you avoid to lose weight and keep it off? Here are the four diets you should steer clear of.

Ketogenic Diet

The Keto diet is one of the latest fad diets that people swear by to lose weight. Those following the diet eat 5% carbs, 20% protein, and 75% fat. A far cry from the 55% carbs and 25% fat the USDA guidelines recommend!

By limiting your carb intake, you put your body in a state of “ketosis.” That means your body breaks down fat instead of carbs, using it for fuel. 

While you might lose weight initially, this diet can be dangerous for your health long term. It can cause nutrient deficiencies, fatigue, brain fog, headaches, and stomach problems. People also report experiencing a “keto flu” while following the keto diet. Similar to the regular flu, the symptoms are tiredness, nausea, and dizziness.

Whole30 Diet

The Whole30 diet requires you to cut out alcohol, dairy, processed foods, legumes, and added sugars for 30 days. With meat, seafood, and poultry making up the bulk of your food intake.

While eliminating sugars and alcohol from your diet does sound beneficial, don’t be so quick to jump on this regime. Since you’re required to eliminate entire food groups like legumes, it does come with some risks.

Cutting out whole grains and legumes while increasing meat consumption may cause digestive issues like constipation and bloating. Plus, it increases your risk of food sensitivities when you reintroduce food groups post-diet. Not to mention the fiber and nutrients you’re missing out on by avoiding these healthy food groups.

Master Cleanse

The master cleanse, sometimes known as the lemonade diet, is an extremely restrictive all-liquid fast. The cleanse involves drinking a lemonade-like beverage with cayenne pepper and maple syrup for 10 to 40 days. While following this diet, you also drink a “saltwater flush” drink in the morning and a cup of laxative tea in the evening.

While you may lose weight following this fast, it will likely be all water weight. Once you start incorporating solid foods back into your diet, that weight will return fast.

Additionally, there are a lot of health risks associated with this highly restrictive diet. You won’t get adequate nutrition since you’re not eating anything. Along with that, you’ll get a ton of horrible side effects like headaches, dizziness, nausea, and diarrhea. No, thank you!

The Raw Food Diet

The raw food diet, as you may have guessed, involves eating only raw, uncooked foods. Sometimes referred to as raw veganism, this diet is free of animal products and animal by-products. Those following the raw food diet eat fruits, vegetables, sprouted grains, seeds, and nuts. All of which are eaten raw.

While this diet is full of nutrient-rich plant foods, eating only uncooked foods can be restrictive. You are risking not getting enough protein, and essential vitamins, and minerals. Plus, it may become difficult to consume enough calories while following a raw diet, causing your energy levels to deplete.

On top of that, you risk becoming underweight, leading to a myriad of other health issues. This diet is also difficult to maintain, especially when you try to enjoy other aspects of life. It may be hard to sustain when traveling, eating out, or simply visiting a friend’s house for dinner!

How To Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle Without Dieting

What diets should you avoid to maintain healthy eating habits? Any diet that encourages you to cut out entire food groups, such as carbs or legumes, is rarely sustainable or healthy. While these diets may lead to short-term weight loss, the weight almost always comes back.

Let’s look at how you can incorporate healthy eating habits into your life to achieve your weight loss or health goals.

Girl eating fruit salad showing how to Improve Healthy Eating Habits in Small Kitchens

Eat Whole Foods

A diet rich in whole foods like fruit, vegetables, and whole grains should make up the bulk of your diet. Cut out processed junk foods and replace them with healthy alternatives. This is the perfect opportunity to experiment with creating delicious, healthy meals (with the help of a whole foods recipe book.)

Instead of reaching for ice cream for dessert, opt for a tasty and nutritious fruit salad. And if you’re craving a snack, choose carrots and hummus over potato chips. FYI, what’s out of sight is out of mind, so try not to have junk food in your pantry. 

Evaluate Your Portion Sizes

It can be difficult to know if you’re overdoing your portion sizes, especially if you’re used to eating a certain amount each day. If you want to lose weight, downsize your portion sizes to healthy amounts.

You could start by using a smaller plate or bowl. Or, even better, opt for a handy portion control plate for easy-to-see portion control!

Exercise Regularly

To lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you take in. But that doesn’t mean you have to follow a strict 7-day a week gym routine. Shockeryou can make exercise fun!

The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity workouts a week. Or 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise.

So head to the beach for some swimming or try out a hip-hop dance class. Or, if you prefer to exercise in the comfort of your home, invest in a home workout kit. This kit comes with resistance and workout bands, a door anchor, and a skipping rope to help you get your sweat on. You got this!

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About Jurnee

Jurnee is a writer and creative from New Zealand passionate about covering health, wellness, and fashion.