Losing weight can be a battle, making fad diets that puport a cheat sheet to shedding the pounds seem very attractive.

However, these diets can be hard to sustain, encourage binge eating and in some cases can be harmful to your health.

The stress of extreme dieting can induce the body's fight or flight response, causing us to hold on to extra weight rather than get rid of it.

So how do we really know what diets are safe to try, and which ones we should avoid entirely?


According to the U.S. News and World Report, a team of experts has collaborated to create a report on the latest in popular diets, analysing their benefits, safety, nutritional balance and actual weight loss success.

Here are five popular diets you should avoid:

1. The Keto Diet

The high-fat, low-carb diet has been ranked the worst diet by the experts, despite its Hollywood popularity with stars like Kim Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow.

The diet causes the body to enter a state where it is reliant on fat for energy. While it is a quick weight loss strategy, it's not nutritionally balanced, and highly reliant on meat and fatty foods.

Dieters often put the weight back on quickly and can find themselves at risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

2. Dukan Diet

The Dukan diet is similar to the Keto diet in that is achieves short-term weight loss, but creates poor eating habits.

It focuses on a high-protein, low-carb diet meal plan that claims to bring on fast weight loss without hunger.

But experts say it is devoid of essential nutrition, requires dieters to consume excess amounts of protein and can cause both bad breath and constipation.

3. The Fast Diet

The fast diet, also known as the 5.2 diet, is a recent new craze where dieters are expected to eat normally for five days a week and cut calories by 75 per cent on the other two days of the week.

This requires eating just 600 calories for males and 500 for females, meaning subscribers will find themselves lacking essential nutrition, especially on fasting days.

4. Hormone Diet

The hormone diet is based on the idea that we should eat to regulate our hormones.

The diet begins with a two-week detox, so participants do see immediate results on the scales.

But dieters are unlikely to stick with the hormone diet long-term, meaning they won't sustain the rapid weight loss experienced in the detox phase.

5. Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet recommends dieters eat based on the food that was available during the Palaeolithic period, 10,000 years ago.

It requires cutting out food groups such as grains and dairy and involves rapid weight loss due to a decrease in body water.

Staying away from grains entirely is not sustainable or balanced, with some experts claiming the diet is founded on privilege rather than logic.