The 4 fad diets that you should definitely NOT try. But I did.

The first fad diet I ever tried was the cabbage soup diet.

I wish I could say it was the only fad diet I’d ever tried – but that would be a lie, my friends. Because in my younger days…well, let’s just say I made some mistakes.

Mistakes with boyfriends, mistakes with fashion, and mistakes with pretty much every fad diet ever invented.

“Fad diets? I’ve tried them all.”

I tried Atkins. I tried lemon detox. I tried the point system. And surprise, surprise – none worked.

Just as an FYI, this post is sponsored by Trim For Life. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.

Here’s what I learned over a decade of fad dieting:

1. The cabbage soup diet.

I was 20, and I wanted a quick fix. And sure, I lost half a kilo in a few days (mostly because I would rather starve than eat any more watered-down cabbage).

But then? I put on 3kg almost immediately after.


2. The lemon detox diet.

Again, I did lose some weight in my mid-20s on this – but after eight days of starving myself I could barely lift my head off the pillow in order to get the lemon detox I was apparently dieting on.

And, again, all the weight piled right back on almost as soon as I stopped.


“After eight days of starving myself I could barely lift my head off the pillow in order to get the lemon detox I was apparently dieting on.”

3. The blood type diet.

Apparently, my blood is the type to not accept fad diets, because this one left me with nothing more than a hole in my life where grains and dairy used to be.

And I didn’t even lose one lousy kilo.


4. The point system.

I stuck with this one for a while in my late 20s, but it just became too much. Because you can’t live your life doing complex mathematical calculations with every mouthful.


“You can’t live your life doing complex mathematical calculations with every mouthful.”

I’m sure you’ve been nodding along while reading this, but don’t beat yourself up about it – because when it comes to fad diets (and their dismal, dismal failures) we’ve all been there.

But now we’re all a little older (and hopefully wiser) it’s time to ditch the fad diets for good.

Because while they promise the world, they never seem to deliver, do they?

Related: “Why you shouldn’t diet just because it’s January.”

Nutritionist and dietician Arabella Forge agrees that fad diets are bad news:


“Fad diets don’t provide a sustained, long-term solution to weight management and wellness. Studies show that while they might cause weight changes in the short term, they don’t provide a long-term solution for weight management,” she says.

“In addition, some fad diets can potentially be dangerous – those that have extreme kilojoule restriction may result in energy depletion and nutrient deficiencies. They may also cause you to feel tired and fatigued throughout the day.”

“Eat healthy foods, and get moderate exercise. Yep. It’s that simple.”

When you put it like that, it actually seems pretty simple –fad diets that restrict calories are a no-no, because not all calories are created equal. Restricting your diet can mean missing out on proper nutrition from eating real food – and no one wants that.

But I have good news, people – now I’m in my 30s, I’ve finally found the dieting Holy Grail: Eat healthy foods, and get moderate exercise. Yep. It’s that simple.

My big secret is to eat real, unprocessed meals that have lots of vegetables, a bit of protein, and some carbohydrates to boot.

It also involves making the effort to get just a little bit of exercise in – even walking more often will make a difference.

Related: Are some people using ‘gluten-free’ etc to mask an eating disorder?

I’ve also (finally) learned that tailoring your diet and exercise to suit your lifestyle and needs is incredibly important.

It’s not rocket science, but for some reason it took me a good 10 years to realise that fad diets that seem too good to be true always are too good to be true.

Because cutting out entire food groups never works. Obsessively counting every single calorie never works. And existing on lemon or watered-down cabbage never works.

What does work? Eating sensible amounts of real, fresh foods, getting some exercise into your routine and not feeling guilty about every mouthful.

If only I could go back in time and tell my 20-year-old self that piece of wisdom…

What’s the craziest fad diet you’ve tried?

Take a look at which celebrities have been on these crazy fad diets…

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r Life is your personalised weight loss journey – because no two people are the same. The program was designed by Australia’s leading weight loss coach Geoff Jowett.

It brings together proven weight loss approaches, smart technology, and a team of health and wellbeing experts. The program features a real food diet and no strenuous exercise. 

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