Mono-Diet: Examples and Side Effects
It is impossible to come up with something simpler than the mono-diet. Eat only one food and lose weight! Total savings and weight loss. However, the doctors are against it. They consider such nutrition unhealthy, its result is short-term, and long-term adherence is harmful to health. So why are mono-diets dangerous for the body?
What are Mono-Diets?
Everything new is well forgotten old. In the history of medicine, the first mono-diet appeared at the end of the 16th century. In the book About Weight Loss, Luigi Cornaro talks about the experimental restriction of eating only hard-boiled eggs by the artist Piero di Cosimo. Books that also described mono-diet options published in the 17th century also became bestsellers: “The Lounger Book of Common Place”, D.W. Newman, 1838, and Readers’ Guide to Hints, References, Plots, and Stories, by E.K. Brewer, 1880.
So what are long-lived diets?
Mono-diets for weight loss are nutrition systems that strictly limit the daily diet to one, less often two, products. In this case, weight loss occurs due to the natural rejection of sugar, salt, and fat. But if at the same time you also monitor the daily calorie content so that you consume fewer calories than you burn, then weight loss is not only guaranteed but will also be fast.
The duration of the mono-diet is determined independently. Most often, they choose 1-day, 2-day, a week, 10 days, or 2 weeks. Mono-diets for 1 or 2 are usually called fasting days.
Types of Mono-Diet
There are 2 large groups of invented eating systems – clinical nutrition and commercial (trendy, fancy, fad) diets. Mono-diets for fast weight loss are included in the second group, in the subgroup: Food-oriented diets.
The number of such systems is countless:
- meat (carnivorous, predators);
- cottage cheese;
- egg protein (meat, poultry, eggs);
- egg and wine;
- set of fruits and vegetables;
- dairy fish and seafood;
- cookies (protein cookies and bars);
- pineapple and lamb;
- energy drinks;
Today, the best mono-diets, recognized by nutritionists as the safest for health, are petal mono-diets for a week, made up of 7 one-day monotrophic days, 5 of which must be healthy food groups: meat/fish, dairy products, cereals, vegetables, fruits.
At the same time, it is important that the mono-diet menu does not contain a restriction on the daily norm of clean drinking water and there is a recommendation to enrich the diet with supplements with vitamins and minerals, and lecithin.
Why Mono-Diets are Dangerous?
Extreme dietary food systems in 90% are always dangerous. There is no superfood with the ideal composition of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, amino acids, soluble and insoluble fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients. Therefore, this applies to any non-petal mono-diet, the harm during its observance for more than 2 days is:
- catabolism (destruction) of muscles instead of burning fat reserves;
- bad breath, flatulence, stool disorder (constipation, diarrhea);
- deterioration of the skin and hair, change in the smell of sweat;
- fast fatiguability;
- difficulty concentrating and short-term memory;
- mood and sleep problems.
In almost every case, the disappeared fat reserves quickly return back, and in larger quantities. It is worth mentioning that it is very difficult to sustain any mono-diet for a long time, even on your favorite product.
The obsession with food leads to a breakdown, gluttony, depression of the psyche, and a decrease in self-esteem due to the admitted weakness of the will, which requires seizing on sweet and fatty foods, thereby closing the vicious circle of eating behavior.
Possible Side Effects of Mono-Diet
Long-term adherence to fancy monotrophic diets can adversely affect health in the long term. Possible consequences of a mono-diet are as follows:
- Imbalance of the intestinal microbiota. Weakening of the immune system. Increased risk of infectious diseases;
- Hyper- and hypovitaminosis. Mineral intoxication and deficiency. Anemia. Seizures;
- Decrease in the volume of circulating blood, the inadequacy of diastolic (lower) pressure, a drop in cardiac output, deterioration in the blood supply to internal organs, brain damage;
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Cholelithiasis. Problems with the kidneys and liver. Pancreatitis;
- Eating disorder.
Effective mono-diets for weight loss are also dangerous because in the vast majority of cases they limit fat intake, which has been proven to cause a violation of the production of sex hormones. The female reproductive system suffers more, but in men, such nutrition can change the quality of sperm in a few days.
It is also a health hazard to enter any therapeutic or commercial diet with a multi-day mono-diet without adequate mineral-vitamin support. In this case, it is highly likely that if there is a shortage of some and a toxic excess of other vitamins and minerals, this pathological condition can continue during the “basic” diet, disrupting metabolism and causing significant harm to health.
Mono-diets are tempting, but often sound too good to be true. But why do people, including experienced healthy lifestyle dieters, so easily fall into the trap of one or another monotrophic diet?
Indeed, according to numerous surveys, most people know that mono-diets are not always consistent and give the declared result in losing weight, are extremely doubtful in terms of maintaining normal physical well-being and psycho-emotional state during their observance, and definitely do not guarantee long-term weight loss.
Forewarned is forearmed! We list a complex of psychological factors that reveal the hypnotic secret of mono-diets:
- Effortless and cost-free simplicity of mono-dietary nutrition.
- It’s a novelty, depending on the age of the person.
- An unconscious fear of a missed opportunity to quickly lose weight is triggered, as well as an underlying desire to be among those who have achieved this.
- Belief in advertising, falling into marketing, and pseudo-scientific information traps.
- Subconscious choice of the information in which you want to believe. For example, when evaluating the most effective mono-diets, positive reviews will be selected for reading, and negative ones will be skipped.
- The influence of the Law of Large Numbers and the fact that there are many positive reviews about the diet, and few negative ones. The last fact can be easily explained by the fact that no one wants to share their fiasco and warn strangers about the impending danger.
- Triggering the placebo effect. As expected, in 30% of cases, body weight during a mono-diet will decrease slightly, even if it does not imply a daily calorie restriction.
By the way, many do not correlate the cause-and-effect relationship of weight loss while following a mono-diet. Sometimes the cause of weight loss may be another factor or a coincidence, for example, a high cleansing enema delivered the day before, a simultaneous drastic change in lifestyle with daily high-intensity training, non-compliance with the drinking regime, dehydration in the steam room, severe psychological stress, the onset of a systemic disease of the internal organ.
As Men’s Health writes: “The mono diet sounds like a good idea until you actually do it.“
How to Do It Right
Still, irresistibly want to quickly get rid of excess weight with the help of a new multi-day mono-diet? Then follow the next rules to help reduce the harm of a monotrophic menu:
- Make plans in advance for 3-5 days of entering the diet and at least 2 weeks of leaving it – a gradual decrease/increase in calories + exclusion/inclusion of familiar foods and drinks + inclusion/exclusion of a mono-diet product;
- Calculate the amount of clean drinking water needed to meet the norm of drinking balance for days with and without training;
- Make sure that on days when there is no training or heavy physical work, the calorie content is not lower than 800 kcal;
- Find out the full nutritional characteristics of a mono-diet product – find out if there will be a toxic excess of vitamins or minerals (in this case, give up the diet without hesitation), and select the necessary nutritional supplements that will make up for the lack of macro- and microelements.
If you feel worse, observe restraint and exit the diet gradually.
A sharp return to the usual regimen and composition of nutrition will only exacerbate the ailments that have arisen and may add new ones.
- Use effective mono-diets as one or two fasting days. Even in this case, do not choose a program on an unloved product.
- Do not enter a commercial or medical diet with a multi-day one- or two-component monotrophic diet.
- Follow the norms of the daily drinking regimen. Immediately abandon multi-day, including petal mono-diets, where it is forbidden to drink enough clean drinking water and/or liquids. For example, a cottage cheese-milk diet: 1 kg of cottage cheese + 1 liter of milk, without tea, coffee, juices, or water.
- Don’t fall for newfangled diet trends. Trust only those diets, including monotrophic ones, whose safety is confirmed by full-fledged studies published on reputable medical sites or Internet resources.
- If you really want to try another “new” monotrophic diet, then enter and leave it according to the rules described above, and be sure to include a multivitamin complex adequate to the mono-diet product and a drink corresponding to training loads. Fat burners, lecithin, carnitine, insoluble fiber, as well as sleep normalization with melatonin or tryptophan, will help you lose weight.
And yet, in order not to lose health, do not succumb to whims! Instead, change your eating behavior with a mono-superfood-swap diet, gradually eliminating one unhealthy food/drink/dish/sauce from your diet.
For example, first, replace chips with carrots, then mayonnaise with yogurt, then give up sugary sodas and packaged juices.
Eat, drink, and don’t get fat!
Check out other diet-related info:
- FODMAP Diet: All You Need to Know
- Foods for Paleo Diet: Myths and Real Benefits
- Plant-Based Diet: Guide for Vegans, Vegetarians, etc.
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