Are weight loss diets worth it? Let’s find out

Raise your hand if you have come across different diets on your journey to weight loss. Whatever may be your fitness goal, there’s no shortage of weight-loss diets on the internet. While some help you lose weight, others can end up creating health problems that become hard to shed. Not all diets are one size fits all or the healthiest.

Health Shots reached out to Juily Wagle, an ISSA USA Certified Nutritionist, to help us understand the kind of fad diets that are not for you if you are trying to lose weight.

Weight loss diets that claim more than they deliver

Wagle lists down the diets that should not be the ideal choice for you if you are trying to lose weight:

Keto diet

About the keto diet, which is widely followed by people, here’s what Juily Wagle recommends. “This is quite a common choice for people who want to lose weight but I would generally not recommend this, especially for those with thyroid. The Keto diet is known to aggravate the thyroid by putting your body under stress,” she says. Plus, carbs are also equally important and should be consumed in the right amount. A super low carbohydrate diet tends to show higher cases of side effects, including constipation, headaches, fatigue and much more.

keto diet for weight loss
Is keto diet good for weight loss? Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Keto is unsustainable in India where carbs are a norm. You don’t need keto to lose weight. Keto weight loss is harder to maintain in the long run. You are going to have occasions where you may give in to the rice. Once your body is used to no carbs it won’t tolerate any at all.

Intermittent fasting

According to the expert, the body needs what it needs. “I wouldn’t recommend intermittent fasting to a client that is looking for sustainable weight loss results, and results that last in the long run,” Wagle adds. The right nutrition does its job the way it has to whether it’s in a 10-hour, 8 hours or 12-hour window. Intermittent fasting is not necessary for weight loss.

Also Read: Effective ways to do intermittent fasting for an improved lifestyle and better metabolism

However, intermittent fasting, if done keeping in mind all nutrition requirements and giving your body all the food constituents that it needs, will bring results. Just eating anything in a certain eating window will not help.

Most people believe that they can eat whatever they want within a limited time, say around 8-10 hours and the other times you don’t eat at all. Initially, it may work as you are restricting your calorie intake by limiting your eating window but if you don’t account for your proper macronutrient ratio within that eating window you will hit a plateau after a certain time. So, the key here is good and correctly planned nutrition according to what your body needs.

Extremely low-calorie diet

A low-calorie diet may show results initially but they are absolutely not sustainable, asserts Wagle. She explains that your body needs food and you will have to start eating more at some point. Extremely low-calorie diets can trigger hypothyroidism and reduce your basal metabolic rate. A huge calorie deficit will leave you with hardly any energy for movement, which is crucial to your weight loss journey.

Calorie intake
Should you eat a low calorie diet to lose weight? Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

General motors diet

This involves a high protein, low calorie diet. The GM diet or General Motors diet may make you lose a bit of weight, but you will gain all of the weight back when you start eating normally again. Besides, such diets cause loss in muscle mass and is not sustainable in the long run.


You need a diet customised according to your lifestyle, likes, dislikes, your psychological biases, some people can be strict with their diet, and some people need a cheat meal once in a while. Your energy expenditure needs to properly be calculated. Other things like the amount of physical activity, whether or not you live a sedentary life, whether you are overweight, what is your health status like – all of these aspects matter to calculate your specific calorie needs. The right calorie deficit plan with the right exercises that helps you burn fat while helping you maintain muscle is what you need to maintain a healthy weight.

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