The Water Diet?

Zack Fogarty

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Many people are extraordinarily attentive to their body image. While there are a number of countries that celebrate weight gain, most people around the world have the idea of the ideal body to be slender and muscular, and people have come up with crazy ways to try and reach that ideal. Some diets are simple and fathomable like the juice cleanse, a fad detox diet where a person only consumes blended fruits and vegetables. Some diets, however, can be quite the reach like the tapeworm diet where the dieter consumes a tapeworm out of their own free will so that it will consume all of the excess nutrients.

The latest crazy diet is being referred to as the water diet–a more forgiving name for self induced starvation. During “the water diet,” a person starves himself for up to three days at a time, drinking extra water to create the illusion of a full stomach. While this long-term intermittent fasting does help a person lose weight, most of that weight comes from muscle mass and the water that started off in your body. Most of the weight that is lost from this type of diet is usually gained back as the body tries to cope with the temporary lack of food. If the diet isn’t performed properly, it can also leave someone very dehydrated which comes with some side effects spanning from dizziness to constipation. Since around 25% of our daily water intake comes from food, to succeed with this diet one would have to add extra water to their normal diet. This diet comes with semi-guaranteed low blood pressure as well, which can lead to loss of consciousness if not properly handled.

Despite the possible side effects, the water diet can be very beneficial if executed properly. If you have naturally high blood pressure for example, the water diet can help to lower it significantly. In a study on water dieting, 174 people with high blood pressure fasted for an average of 11 days. By the end of this period, 90% of the participants lowered their blood pressure by around 37%, putting them back in the range of normal blood pressure levels. Fasting is also known to make a person’s body more sensitive to insulin, the hormone responsible for absorbing nutrients from the bloodstream which helps lower blood pressure. This gained insulin sensitivity can help keep a person’s body from returning to high blood pressure.

The vast majority of diets are started on whims of wanting to improve one’s body image, and more often than not, either the dieter gives up or the weight just comes back later. Many of us know the feeling of starting a diet just to break it a few days later. According to a study focused on dieting habits over 40 years of a person’s life, nearly 97% relapse back to the way they were prior to the diet.

A diet should be more of a lifestyle change than a dash to weight loss, at least if you want the effects to last. The water diet, if executed with great care and practiced in moderation, can be a part of a healthy lifestyle. But the majority of the time, it will mostly end up being a danger to your health. If your not willing to put in the effort and research the procedure, then I suggest you avoid this crazy fad.