Pooping, burping, grogginess, pooping again, constipation and heart palpitations are just some of the super fun side effects we can experience from popular fad diets. Oh and did I mention weight GAIN can happen too? Yep, some of the most popular fad diets out there like Keto, the 5:2 Diet (intermittent fasting) and juicing can cause a whole list of sometimes embarrassing (but hilarious for your friends) side effects.
So maybe this will sound familiar to you; your BFF has a friend, and that friend’s colleague managed to drop 20 kilos in three weeks following the Keto Diet. Ya, I’ve heard it too, she got to eat butter and lick the olive oil dressing off her plate when she finished her avo salad - blah blah blah. BUT, did she also tell you that her friend’s colleague was running to the loo EVERY 30 minutes and not exactly leaving it smelling like Tom Ford’s Neroli afterwards? Nope, didn’t think so. Let’s be honest, these fad diets sound doable, easier, and if some of them are followed correctly, CAN actually work for a lot of people. But, let’s have a think about what we’re REALLY doing to our bodies and what diet pushers are conveniently leaving out of the conversation…
Let’s start with Keto because it’s possibly the most researched diet of the bunch. This is a high fat, very low carb diet. Sounds a bit cray cray, maybe so cray cray that it could work… Well, it can, for those who follow it PERFECTLY and with absolute self-control. So, if you enjoy anything sweet or sugary or anything fun like bread and pasta, you cannot slip up or you actually risk not only GAINING weight, but potentially increasing your cholesterol levels to unhealthy levels (if you’re choosing the wrong fats). Let’s get medical here for a sec, the concept behind Keto is if you eat mostly healthy fats and eliminate carbs, your body will go into a “Ketosis” state and actually go straight to burning fats rather than carbs like it normally would. This means that you can drop kilos pretty quick (assuming you’ve completely eliminated carbs from your diet). So, if you feel you can live without carbs for awhile -- good for you, but there are some other things you should know about Keto:
- Green Stinky Poop!: Your body cannot break down all that fat fast enough so be prepared have some interesting and colourful experiences in the loo.
- Diarrhea: Still on the poop subject, frequent toilet visits are in your future with a high fat diet, your digestive system will essentially be a waterslide (and not the Yas Waterworld variety).
- Hypoglycemia: You’ve eliminated sugars (which are carbs) so your body will need to get used to being fatigued, sometimes dizzy, peeing a lot (perhaps pair it up with your other toilet visits), irritability (looking forward to that one) and shakiness (think of the ruined selfies!)
The 5:2 Diet:
So this one is based on intermittent fasting which again, can work wonders for almost anyone but not because it’s the famous “5:2” diet, it’s because ANYONE who cuts their calories drastically for two non-consecutive days a week and then eats at normal levels for five, will of course see weight loss! Not a shocker, this is proven again and again by science; if you want to shed KGs then you need to cut calories from your diet. One pound (0.45 KG) of fat is 3500 calories, meaning you need to cut that amount of cals every week from your diet to lose that amount of fat. With the 5:2 Diet, you’re only eating 500 calories on your fasting days, this means you are already minus about 2500 calories (this will vary based on your non-fasting day consumption) towards your weekly goal of 3500, it’s definitely a push in the right direction but by fasting on two days instead of simply reducing calories every day, you might find you’re having these symptoms:
- Bad Breath: I don’t think we need to go too far into this one but say ciao to your social life.
- Irritability: HANGRY is a legit mood.
- Difficulty Sleeping: Not exactly what anyone needs right now and causes a whole other set of issues.
Let’s take a sec to NOT thank Beyoncé for her cayenne and lemon water diet that had us all sleeping at our desks, waking up every hour with hunger pangs and feeling super weak all the time. A juice cleanse is only a short term solution. If you have major bloat and want to drop some water weight quickly, then a day or two of a strict natural juice diet won’t do much harm, in fact you’ll likely feel pretty good from getting all your veggies in and feeling a bit lighter on the scale (and in your purse -- juicing is very pricey!). But, if you try juicing for a week straight (which I do NOT recommend), you can look forward to these very common side effects:
- Moodiness: Warn your friends and family! We are much more prone to ups and downs on this type of diet.
- Diarrhea: This one again… the loo is your new best friend.
- Headaches and Grogginess: Starving your body of essential proteins can really impact brain function.
- Starvation Mode: Yep, this type of diet if done for over a week can put your body into starvation mode which can actually slow your metabolism and cause you to actually have a harder time losing weight in the future.
Looking at the bigger issue here, these diets also encourage us to think of food in a negative way, like we shouldn’t eat or we need to not eat certain foods. This isn’t a sustainable or healthy way to look at food. Plus, you may actually be contributing to the depletion of the world’s toilet roll levels by starting any one of these popular diets. Seriously though, the main reason any of these diets may work for you is because you’re making a lifestyle change for the better. The thing is that you don’t have to go so extreme to drop weight, the fool proof way of losing fat is being in a calorie deficit by burning more calories in a day than you consume. Start tracking your calories using an app and reducing your intake by 500 calories a day, you WILL see yourself losing weight every week without having to worry about side effects, strict rules and of course, green stinky poop.