Mono diet, in simpler terms is to eat only one type of food and nothing else except consuming drinking water each day. The most commonly seen example is to eat only fruits or vegetables each day, where in the popularly known "3-days apple diet" or "5-days apple diet" which could help losing about 2-4kg within 3 to 5 days allegedly. Is this possible from a nutritional perspective? Is it going to affect our health in the long term? Let's find out together.
A mono diet may help with weight loss, but it comes with many side effects
The principle of mono diet is simple, which is to create a rapid decline in weight by having a calorie deficit by consuming a lower amount of calories than our body needs.
For example, the daily calorific value that an adult needs is around 1500-2000 kcal, while the calorie of a banana is only 62 kcal. Eating 7 bananas each day would provide only 434 kcal, thus this tremendous calorie deficit would inevitably contribute to weight loss.
Although the mono diet provides rapid and obvious weight loss results, this also means a massive loss of nutrition, which could in turn bring more damage to our body! Despite being able to lose weight, individuals who follow the mono diet would become unhealthy and weak in the long term.
Unsustainable diet that contributes to the rapid weight gain again
Mono diet may be helpful for weight loss, but its main issue is being unsustainable as this form of diet imposes heavy restrictions on our food choice, forcing us to eat only limited tastes and flavors. Practicing this diet for a long time may require exceptional perseverance, which could become a source of pain and suffering.
Moreover, if there is a lack of protein consumption, we may lose our muscle mass really quickly, which makes our metabolism slower that could in turn make our body more susceptible to weight gain. Once the individual stops practicing a mono food diet, it is highly likely that his/her weight will bounce back and become harder to lose weight than before.
Research shows that Weight Cycling or Yoyo-Dieting are associated with the increased risk in mental health concerns, dissatisfaction in life and eating disorders. Therefore, they key to a successful weight loss programme is to ensure its sustainability, such as incorporating regular exercise, a balanced diet, healthy cooking methods and others. Although these changes in lifestyle may not gain rapid weight loss results, they are the most sustainable approaches.
Balanced nutrition is the key to a healthy weight
The Human body requires a large amount of carbohydrates, protein and fats as well as an optimal among of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Therefore, each group of foods is equally important. Eliminating any groups of food in our daily diet would affect our health, which is why having a mono diet would result in an imbalanced nutrient.
For example, if we only consume vegetables and fruits, our body would be deprived of protein and fats. If we only consume meat and vegetables, our body would be deprived of carbohydrates, not to mention that there is no food that could provide all important nutrients to our body by its own. For instance, orange may be rich in Vitamin C but lacks Vitamin B12 and Iron.
Evidently practicing a mono diet for a long time will cause nutritional imbalance due to its restrictiveness, which may lead to fatigue, hair loss, heart palpitations, loss of eye sight and other side effects. Therefore, it is unsuitable for long term weight management. Eating a variety of food is the key to making sure our body consumes enough nutrients to carry out its optimal functions!
The importance of a sustainable diet
To conclude, the mono diet gives us a massive calorie deficit that could impact our metabolism rate, making subsequent weight loss even more challenging. Is this the result we would hope for? This approach also discourages its follower to exercise, especially during the three days before the programme begins. The lack of protein on top of restricting exercise may cause a decline in muscle mass.
A mono diet maybe effective in reducing weight in a very short amount of time, but it poses many risks for our health, and not everybody is suitable for it, especially pregnant women and children. There is no shortcut to proper weight management, not just on the diet but it requires the individual to make diet and lifestyle changes. Hence, a lifestyle with a balanced diet and regular exercise is the best choice for weight loss!
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Editor: CIND / Image Credit: 27Designer
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- Tags: Health