Sometimes dieting has its place in our lives. Some people are constantly on the next new diet, other people only use diets to lose that last minute emergency weight. Most celebrities are also constantly on diets.
Dieting can help you fit into your favorite pair of jeans again or to be able to wear your bikini with pride again. But diets have a dark side – there are many dangers associated with going on a diet.
You need to take special precautions before going on any diet, whether it is only a 7 day cleansing diet, or if you choose to diet for longer. In this article, I discuss everything you need to know about 7 day diet plans.
What is a 7 day diet program?
A 7 day diet is an eating plan that is usually not balanced, and it may only contain foods from one (or limited) food group. The dieter then goes on this diet for 7 days and eats only what is prescribed to him/her by the eating plan. Examples of these diets are 7 day soup diets, detox diets, low calorie and low fat diets. Some of them are healthy (very rarely) but most of them are unhealthy fad diets.
What you should know about fad diets
Dieting is not a long term solution to weight management, but rather a quick fix that results in temporary weight loss, which is usually only in the short term. This means that once you are done with the diet, you usually bounce back to your previous eating behaviors and this can make you pick up weight. Also, because the diet usually slows your metabolism, you run the risk of gaining more weight than you lost, and struggling more to get rid of the weight in the long run.
Along with that there are lots of other dangers and you also need to take the necessary precautions before going on a 7 day diet plan(even more so when you are dieting for longer).
What are the dangers of 7 day diets?
These types of diets are not just that fabulous as the marketers would want you to believe, they also hold very real dangers. It is your responsibility to evaluate these dangers and to decide for yourself if it would hold in any real threats and risks to you as an individual. Let’s look at some of these dangers:
- Damage to your metabolism – Limiting your calorie intake may damage your metabolism. This will cause your metabolism to lower – resulting in the inability to lose weight as easily in the future.
- Adaption of yo-yo dieting principals and unhealthy behaviors – 7 day diets may teach you unhealthy eating principals, and you may also be caught in the yo-yo diet trap. This means that you may struggle to eat healthy and normal after dieting and you may also pick back up all your weight (even more than before).
- Dehydration – As most of your weight loss stems from water loss, you may suffer from dehydration. To limit this effect, you must drink more water when dieting.
- Loss of lean muscle – As your muscles are heavier than fat, your body disposes of your muscles first when losing weight with fad diets. And you may even hold on to your body fat while you shed your muscle mass. This has the effect of lowering your metabolism, causing you to gain back the lost fat after stopping with the diet.
- Fatigue and malnutrition – As fad diets are unbalanced and unhealthy, you will be missing out on some food groups or vitamins and nutrients. This can leave you malnutritioned and with less energy. To avoid this from happening don’t diet for too long and also don’t do too much strenuous exercise while dieting.
Is a fad diet (like 7 day diet plans) healthy?
My first concern would be if it is healthy or not to diet for 7 days or longer. Well, while some of these diets are more balanced than others, most of them only concentrate on the results (weight loss) without worrying too much about ones health, or the consequences. It is up to you to take into account your specific circumstances and to make a sound decision if this would be the best thing for you to do or not.
What precautions do you need to take before going on such a 7 day diet meal plan?
It would be foolish just to jump onto the dieting band wagon without taking the necessary precautions. Here is a list of the things that are vital for you to do before undertaking such a diet, and also while on a diet:
- Go see your doctor – it is very important when undertaking a new weight loss regime, to consult with your doctor. This will help you to avoid injuries and more serious unwanted effects.
- Consider the side effects and the dangers – Every new diet and exercise regime holds some dangers and negative side-effects. Make sure you now what you are letting yourself in for when undertaking the new diet.
- Stay adequately hydrated – As water loss is a side effect of dieting, you have to replenish the lost fluids. Make sure that you take in extra water and herbal teas during your diet.
- Don’t exercise too hard – During a new diet (which is probably going to be a low calorie one), you will have less energy. To avoid getting fatigued, don’t exercise too hard while dieting. But do still participate in light exercise.
- Take a break from your diet – If you have any unwanted side effects, take a break from your diet for a while. If the funny side effects still occur, consider stopping your diet altogether.
Now that you are aware of the dangers and the precautions that have to be taken before going on 7 day diet, let’s look at the different weird, crazy and fun 7 day diets that there are:
7 Day Detox diet plan
This diet involves following a cleanse and detox for 7 days. Fruits and vegetables that have detoxifying ingredients are usually the main ingredients in such diets. It should only be used for seven days and are usually used to speed up the metabolism just before a diet.
The cabbage soup 7 day diet plan
In this 7 day soup diet, you are supposed to eat nothing but cabbage soup for 7 days. It is claimed that you can lose up to 10 pounds in 7 days. Losing that a big amount of weight in such a short time doesn’t really make for long term weight loss, as you usually pick all the weight back up after the 7 days. But it is for you to decide.
7 Day all you can eat diet
Don’t be mistaken that this diet means all you want to eat. It is mainly a eat as much fruit and veggies you want diet. The last few days luckily include some meat, as the first 4 days you may only eat either fruit and veg or a combination of the two.
7 Day vegetarian diet
This is one of the healthier diets, as it is more balanced, it also includes lots of healthy (non-animal) protein and it includes healthy carbohydrates. This is one of the only diets that can be used for more than 7 days. If you want to try the vegetarian way, you might want to check out these 25 fat burning superfoods.
7 Day low calorie diet that includes cheating
This is one of the easier diets to be on, as you have a day where you can eat one (or sometimes more) cheat meals. This helps you to stick to your diet and you can even stay on it longer (if you want) by including a cheat meal. If this types of dieting interests you, you might want to check out Fruits that Burn Fat.
Other types of 7 day diets:
In addition to the types mentioned here, there are other types of 7 day diets, such as:
- 7 day juice diet – in this diet, you are required to mostly drink juice for a 7 day period. This diet can be VERY dangerous, so check with you doctor before considering this.
- 7 day liquid diet – similar to the 7 day juice diet, on this diet you are only supposed to drink certain liquids for 7 days. Also considered very dangerous.
- 7 day fruit diet – as the name suggests, this diet requires you to only eat fruits that burn fat for 7 days
- 7 day brown rice diet
In my opinion 7 day diets are not a long term approach to healthy weight loss. You can use it to lose a few pounds, but those pounds are bound to come back, and then you sit in the same position as you did.
This behavior usually encourages yo-yo dieting. If you want to go on a diet, go on a healthy, well balanced one. Diets that teach you healthy eating patterns and behaviors are the best to go on. As this will ensure that you stay lean and avoid that you pick back up all your weight.