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We Byrdie editors try dozens of wacky diets, cleanses, and nutrition trends so that you don't have to. If an eating plan claims to banish belly bulge, skyrocket our metabolisms, or make our bodies burn fat more efficiently, we are on it like cacao nibs in a protein shake.
That said, these extreme diets aren't exactly fun (and they're not even always safe). We've tried relinquishing all acidic foods and eating nothing but fruit, pushing through mood swings and digestive disturbances in the name of optimal nutrition. In the end, we don't recommend sticking to most of the radicalВ diets we've tried in the long-term. But we have gleaned a few valuable, dietitian-approved lessons along the way.
Do yourself a favor and skip the extreme dieting. Instead, check out the reasonable weight-loss lessons we've learned below!Bryan Rodner Carr
Life Is Still Good Without Junk Food
вЂњI recently did Dr. Passler's Pure Change program. He's a super-knowledgeable nutritionist and wellness guru (he works with Bella Hadid and tons of other notable models and celebrities), and the detox is no joke. I was meant to eat only protein shakes, protein bars, and steamed vegetables for seven days. It was truly difficult, but taking that time away from indulgences did force me to realize I don't need them as much. It's important to me to keep my favorite foods around from time to time, but Dr. Passler's program weaned me off the idea that I'd be miserable without them. In fact, I felt so much better in just one week.вЂќ - Hallie Gould, senior editorThe Curious Pear
Cooking Your Own Meals Will Save Your Body (and Budget)
вЂњCooking always seemed so daunting, but Dr. Daryl Gioffre's Get Off Your Acid 7-Day Cleanse helped me realize it can be quite easy-enjoyable, even. Plus, weighing the cost of the pricey smoothie and salad I purchased against my pre-made meals made it glaringly obvious how much I would/could be saving.вЂ¦ I finished this cleanse realizing that I canВ indeed cook-and subsequently save so much money (while eating healthier).вЂќ - Faith Xue, editorial director
Hunger Is Actually a Healthy Sensation
вЂњResearch shows intermittent fastingВ is safe (and effective). More than that, many experts say it's actually what our bodies are designed for. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors didn't have the steady access to food we do now. Sometimes we couldn't find anything to eat, and our bodies evolved to be able to function without food for extended periods of time. Some may argue that intermittent fasting is perhaps more 'natural' than eating three (or more) square meals a day.вЂќ - Deven Hopp, beauty director
Late-Night Snacking Will Derail You-Unless You're Snacking on the Right Thing
вЂњI did the whole 'no food after 7 p.m.' thing once, and it was torture. I *always* need a snack after a night out. Now my strategy is only to keep healthy snacks around-I really don't have any chips or sweets or anything in my fridge or in my cabinets. Instead, I'm always stocked up on raw veggies and hummus, salsa, avocado, etc. I don't deny the urge to eat, but I do control what I'm snacking on!вЂќ - Victoria Hoff, associate editorPinterest
Dairy and Sugar Are Slowing You Down
вЂњMy rendezvous with the alkaline dietВ taught me that incorporating more greens into my diet while cutting out dairy, sugar, and meat helps me feel slimmer and more energetic in just a few days. Nowadays, when I'm feeling sluggish or slow, I always make sure to load up on fresh veggies and cut out my lattes (which, according to the alkaline diet, is extremely acidic).вЂќ - Faith XuePaleo Hacks
Hyperprocessed Food Has No Place in Your Diet
вЂњYou know what's just as convenient as a junky granola bar, a package of salty crackers, or a frozen TV dinner? Fresh, raw fruits and vegetables. My week on the fruitarian mono-dietВ taught me this. Before trying this admittedly bizarre diet, I was eating more artificial foodВ than I ever realized. Now I try to reach for fresh foods whenever I can. After all, a banana and almond butter or a handful of raspberries tastes so much better than a crappy bag of rice cakes.вЂќ - Amanda Montell@bonnyrebecca
You Can Cleanse Your Body Without вЂњGoing on a CleanseвЂќ
вЂњThe Master Cleanse is a sh*tshow (figuratively and literally). But lemon juice and cayenne does make for a wonderful drink to get things flowing first thing in the a.m.-followed by ACTUAL FOOD.вЂќ - Victoria Hoff
Shop editor-approved diet swag below!The Microbiome Diet by Raphael Kellman $11ShopThe Vitamin Shoppe Liquid Chlorophyll $10Shop The Starch Solution by John A. McDougall and Mary McDougall $12Shop
Next up, read all about the secret to burning fat like crazy.