Before you even think about starting a diet to drop pounds fast, I’ve compiled a list of the worst diets around so you won’t waste your time on them. This list isn’t just my opinion, either; I sought the help of registered dietitians who are members of the Weight Management Dietetic Practice group of the American Dietetic Association. Here are the nominees:
Raw Food Diet
Eating raw is based on trying to get the majority of your calories from unprocessed and uncooked foods. Rawists believe that eating foods above 116°–118° F will destroy enzymes that provide many health benefits. While most dietitians would agree that eating lots of minimally processed fruits, vegetables, and grains is best, we also understand that processing actually boosts the bioavailability of several key nutrients, primarily the phytonutrients, and inactivates some of the unhealthy compounds.
The raw food diet is rich in all plant-based foods including fruits and vegetables; nuts and seeds; and sprouted seeds, grains, and beans. Don’t get me wrong; these ingredients are great―and you can make plenty of meals (here are five delicious ones) using these guidelines. But following this type of diet to a T requires a lot of complicated food preparation―creating pine nut and yeast “cheese,” for example―that makes it impractical for most working women.
I have had plenty of experience with raw foods because I live in Marin County, Calif., where Roxanne Klein, the coauthor of Raw, started Roxanne’s Fine Cuisine, a line of pricey prepared raw food creations available at our Whole Foods and other high-end supermarkets. I’ve tried several of the items but have found them to be extremely expensive and not very tasty―certainly nothing I could follow for more than a day or two at most.
As a “flexitarian” and part-time vegan, I know that eating lower on the food chain can help promote weight loss, but I also know that caloric content is not related to the heated treatment of food. Skip the raw food diet, and eat more healthful whole foods―cooked or raw―to help whittle your waist, not your wallet.