The worst weight-loss trends of 2013

These are some diet trends we definitely don’t want to see in the new year

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The cotton ball diet

The cotton ball diet

In an effort to stay skinny, some models participate in the cotton ball diet, Bria Murphy, a model and daughter of actor Eddie Murphy, told “Good Morning America” in June. The diet involves swallowing cotton balls that are dipped in juice, which helps the women feel full. It’s no surprise how dangerous this diet is. In addition to that fact that the women doing this are basically starving themselves, swallowing cotton balls also comes with the risk of choking or an intestinal tract obstruction, reports the Daily Mail. According to experts, synthetic cotton balls made of bleached fibres also contain chemicals.

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body image

Frank Personal Training Plan

Nobody likes to see unflattering photos of themselves tagged on Facebook, but for some people that’s all part of their weight-loss plan. In November, the Daily Mail reported that Pippa Lewis, a 36-year-old from the U.K. had lost weight on the 12-week Frank Personal Training Plan. The plan consists of – surprise – diet and exercise, but it’s what participants must do before beginning the plan that’s unusual. The plan requires that participants post a photo of themselves in just their bra and underwear at the start of the plan, and every week thereafter. The social scrutiny is supposed to be motivation to stick to the diet and exercise plan. Our advice? Skip the half-naked selfie and find another way to motivate yourself to get to the gym.

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The fat shaming app

If verbal insults motivate you to hit the gym, you’re in luck: a Japanese app called “Nenshou! For Girls” features attractive men who call users “fatty,” among other names in order to get them to work out.

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drinking wine alcohol


An alcoholic drink once a day is perfectly fine, and could even have some health benefits, but starving yourself all day in order to “save” up enough calories to binge drink? Definitely not healthy. Experts calls this “drunkorexia,” and say it can be extremely hard on the body. It will also lead to getting drunk very fast, which can lead to other health problems.

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breakfast granola fruit

Skipping breakfast

Research published this year in the journal Physiology & Behavior, suggested that skipping breakfast a few times a week actually promotes weight loss. That advice is contradictory to a lot of existing research and the study authors acknowledge that; however, they say “There’s a fundamental belief that if you don’t eat breakfast, you will compensate for the lost calories at lunch or later in the day. We’ve found that there is no caloric compensation in a normal group of eaters. If you skip breakfast, you may be hungrier, but you won’t eat enough calories to make up for the lost breakfast.”


This advice sounds like they’re suggesting people skip meals to lose weight, which will cut calories, but could also have a negative effect on your blood sugar and metabolism. Besides, why skip the most important meal of the day when there are so many healthy, low-calorie breakfast options.

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cutting and preparing vegetables

The Whole30 Program

This 30-day diet is highly restrictive, which almost always spells failure as far as keeping the weight off goes. What’s good about the Whole30 Program is the emphasis on whole ingredients such as meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, nuts and seeds, etc. What’s not so great is the number of foods that aren’t allowed: no added sugar of any kind (including honey and agave nectar), no alcohol, no grains, no legumes, no dairy, etc.

The plan also declares that it “will change your life” – a pretty lofty promise for a 30-day diet. Instead, adopt new, healthier eating habits that you’ll have no trouble keeping up long-term.


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