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The three diets voted most ineffective by dietitians.

Okay, friends. The dietitians have spoken and they’ve decided on the top 3 worst diets of all time. The diets that you should avoid at all costs, because they will destroy you and your healthy body and your healthy mind, and if you invite them to dinner, they won’t bring any dessert and they’ll watch every bite you eat and judge you for it.

Australia’s peak nutrition body, the Dietitian’s Association of Australia, polled 200 Accredited Practising Dietitians (as in, the ones who know that they’re talking about). They looked at the most popular diets – the ones suckering people in with clever marketing and extreme claims of weight loss – and decided on the nutritional worst.

I won’t hold you in suspense too long. Here are the three worst diets, as decided by dietitians…

3. The Ashy Bines bikini challenge

32% of the experts voted against this one, which slots it right into third place. It seems not everyone’s a fan of Ashy’s clean eating guidelines, despite the fact that the 24-year-old has made millions of dollars selling her plan to unsuspecting customers – not many of whom realise that she doesn’t actually have any nutritional qualifications…

2. SkinnyMe teatox

55 per cent of nutritionists didn’t like the sound of SkinnyMe tea, which put it in the incredibly undesirable second place on the worst diets list. The SkinnyMe tea diet is essentially a detox, where you drink loose-leaf tea for 14 or 28 days… and pair that tea with colon-cleanse teabags.

Apparently the tea “is a powerful mix of natural health & weight loss ingredients” that “helps you lose that unwanted weight quickly”. And also has you potentially sitting on the toilet all the time. Yay!

And in first place, we haaaaave…

1. The Lemon Detox Diet

A whopping 68% of nutritionists weren’t a fan of this diet, which involves replacing everything you eat/drink with a lemon detox drink – for 10 days. You can also drink salt water, which is apparently a great natural laxative. Hungry? Don’t worry!

The website says that when you’re hungry – “simply treat yourself to another Lemon Detox drink.” Oh. Delicious. There’s also a ‘relaxed’ version of the program, which allows you to eat a light lunch, but nothing that includes red meat/dairy/refined flour/coffee/sweets/any processed food whatsoever.

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Yeah, all of the above diets might claim to make you lose as many as 6 kilos in a week. And to some of you, that may sound like an incredibly tempting offer – especially when you look at the websites and see their testimonials and pretty pictures.

But there’s a big problem with the fad diets above – and any other fad diet you might try. I asked Amy Vero, an Accredited Practicing Dietitian, to tell Mamamia more about it…

The problem with fad diets is that they are based on fasting and restrictive eating patterns, often excluding whole food groups, making it difficult to meet nutritional needs, this can lead to harmful side effects such as low energy, low blood sugar, muscle aches, fatigue, light headiness and nausea.

Additionally, any weight loss achieved is temporary, as any weight loss is achieved from the loss of water and glycogen (the body’s store of carbohydrate), instead of body fat. This means that any weight you do lose is easily and rapidly regained once you revert back to a normal eating plan.

 Fortunately, our body already has a detox system in place. Our lungs, kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract and immune system remove and neutralise toxic substances within hours after we ingest them and there is no scientific evidence that special herbs, juices, or diets help enhance this process.

So forget about the loose-leaf teas and the silly lemon drinks. Here are the most basic points for staying happy and healthy. Follow those and you’ll be doing pretty damn well…

– Consume a varied and nutritious diet;

– Cut down on ‘extras’ such as alcohol, sugar-sweetened drinks and foods high in saturated fat, added salt and sugars and unhealthy habits such as smoking;

– Drink plenty of water and aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, preferably all days;

And if you really, really, really want to lose weight?

“Make a long-term commitment to a healthy lifestyle focused on eating healthy foods and keeping physically active in a way that is sustainable and enjoyable,” Amy says. “It is important to set yourself realistic and achievable dietary and physical activity goals, such as eating more vegetables at dinner or cutting out a takeaway meal each week.”

So? Eat when you’re actually hungry, not just when you feel like it. Enjoy some foods occasionally, not all the time (donuts anyone?). And for weight loss, aim for at least 60 minutes or more of moderate intensity physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week.

Have you tried any of tea above diets?  Why! Silly you! Sorry. Tell us how you fared?

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