A Strict Diet – Pull Yourself Together!

“I’ll have to get on a strict diet”. Such a disappointing verdict is often made by those, who are totally displeased with their appearance and are determined to bring their body in a good shape in the shortest possible time. Indeed, significant dietary restrictions is proven by generations tool to help quickly get rid of extra pounds. However, the abuse of a strict diet can lead to unexpected results, the opposite to the expected ones.

Strict diet

Restrictions in a strict diet relate not only to the caloric value of allowed products, but also to the volume of servings, as well as meal schedule. Most of the meal plans that aim weight loss, consider six o’clock a magic number, after which your mouth should be shut with a lock on it.

A strict diet for weight loss: punishment or salvation?

A strict diet, of course, will not follow you with a lash or curse you for fails to comply with restrictions. You are supposed to set all the restrictions on your own, observe them on your own, and, thus, take full responsibility for the consequences of any violations you make. The award for “obedience” is a quick elimination of extra pounds, at least of a couple of them.

The very idea of a strict diet depends on the actual dietary habits. For someone, a horrible ordeal would be giving up one of three daily cakes, and someone is ready to eat lettuce five times a day. However, the universal standard notion of a strict weight loss diet includes the following indicators (individually or collectively):

  1. Strict diet involves a categorical rejection of certain foods or nutrients, and, as a rule, a rather monotonous menu;
  2. Strict diet clearly regulates the schedule of food intake and its volume;
  3. Strict slimming diet must be calculated for no more than 1,000 calories a day;
  4. Strict slimming. It is not recommended for a long time and/or continuously (except for diet plans, prescribed by a doctor), since it can be dangerous to your health.

Nutritionists believe a strict diet of limited duration (e.g., in the form of fasting days) a good tool for giving a starting impetus for weight reduction and helping to “reboot” in cases where weight loss has stalled.

The duration of such strict diet options by various nutritionists is one to five days maximum, not more.

It usually supposes that you eat only:

  • rice cooked in a special way,
  • or chicken,
  • or vegetable salad.

Restrictions in a strict diet relate not only to the caloric value of allowed products, but also to the volume of servings, as well as meal schedule. Most of the meal plans that aim weight loss, consider six o’clock a magic number, after which your mouth should be shut with a lock on it.

A strict diet – why it works or does not work?

The logic of a strict diet is clear. You become leaner, if you:

  • eat less and choose products based on the low-calories principle,
  • try to avoid foods that provoke hunger (this is naturally achieved by avoidance of foods with a high glycemic index that causes a sharp rise in blood glucose levels).

Therefore, a strict diet aimed at weight loss under a supervision for a limited period does make sense. It is often used in clinical practice in the fight against obesity (the one resulting from diabetes, as well).

However, once the meager menu goes into the category of routine, nuances appear. At the beginning of a strict diet, where the caloric value of the daily nutrition is limited to 1000 kcal, your body goes into emergency mode and begins to part with stocks.

However, the more significant the limitations are and the longer they last, the slower your metabolic processes become. Most importantly, without getting energy from food, your body sends signals that indicate the need to cut down the efforts. Frequent companions of strict weight loss diets are:

  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Concentration disorders.

Combining a meager monotonous nutrition with a normal, active life is difficult, and exercising may be simply dangerous. If you have no forces, you start moving less, and hence the energy expenditure reduces. Thus, your weight loss process that started in such a happy way gets into the “plateau” phase, when your weight doesn’t reduce, despite a very strict eating system.

Yet, there’s more. Anatomically, your body finds it more “pleasant” to expend your muscle energy. Having started a strict diet, you’ll notice pretty quickly that “the process has begun”. However, the undesirable extra kilos “melt” by fat reserves in a very insignificant extent. The main weight loss is achieved through muscle loss.

It would seem a simple response to this trouble is the choice of a strict protein diet and physical activity. However, protein-rich meal plans for weight loss have their contraindications and peculiarities. In addition, a healthy fitness diet, as the nutrition experts say, should be balanced in macronutrients. Human body needs proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Voluntary rejection of any of them for a long time is at least short-sighted.

A strict diet that carries certain anxiety already in its very name, inevitably becomes a stress that provokes the production of the hormone cortisol. It is one of the factors that also contribute to the well-known effect of “gaining weight from the air”. Cortisol not only blocks the expenditure of fat reserves, but also replenishes them through virtually any food that gets into the body.

This is one of the reasons why such strict diets are fraught with an extremely rapid weight regain. The moment you get to your usual nutrition, you gain the kilos you lost and get some more for company.

A strict diet for a week: where to find an example of a menu?

Of course, the awareness of the peculiarities of a strict diet doesn’t always discourage people in following it. The desire to lose weight quickly often outweighs all “buts”. Deciding to become slimmer and at the same time make you body “obey”, do not forget that a strict diet, designed for about a week, makes it possible to obtain a significant result with relatively little risk.

Yet, you still should consult your doctor before you start it. If you feel strong fatigue or other ailments during a strict weight loss diet for a week, inform your doctor and stop your slimming experiment.

As a sample for a strict diet menu for the week, you can use the data of any popular and effective low-caloric meal plans, including, for example, the “Ladder” diet, the Yogurt diet, or the 7-days diet.

A strict diet – by prescription

Strict diets are used not for weight reduction. Gastronomic restrictions, including fairly substantial ones, often become part of doctor’s recommendations for diseases that are not related to excess weight.

Such a strict diet that provides for the rejection of any food (that causes unnecessary load on the body, irritation of the gastrointestinal tract or the risk of exacerbation) or other constraints should be carried out by prescription and under medical supervision.

When a qualified person is monitoring the patient in person and the alleged damage caused by the lack of any macronutrient is lower, than the potential harm that can be caused by consuming food that contains them, a long-time strict diet duration is possible.

Such a therapeutic eating system, in which all strictness is good, is known as:

  • Dietary treatments
  • Light diets.

Eating plan can vary considerably depending on the disease, and must be determined by a physician in each individual case. It is strongly forbidden to prescribe yourself with a strict medical diet on your own!

Carefully, a strict diet with fads!

Fad Diet is a kind of a strict diet, which is nothing more than a way to intricately starve. You can find many of such meal plans that offer you to lose weight by eating only one or two or three rather strange products.

Invariably popular (probably, because of their extravagance) are strict Fad diets:

  • “on popcorn”
  • “on lemon juice”
  • “on sausages”.

Typically, stringent restrictions apply only to diversity. The food that the Fad diet generously allows you to eat, can be consumed in any amount, any time.

Danger of the strict Fad diets lies in the fact that their anonymous authors recommend to adhere to the strange menu for quite a long time (a week or longer). Even if you alternate products in the course of such meal plan, eating:

  • Only popcorn one day
  • Only cheese the second day
  • Only oranges the third day.

and continue like this ten times, health effects can be diverse, but equally unpleasant.

Comments that accompany strict fad diets usually praise the useful qualities of the foods that play solo in them. However, there is a certain duplicity:

The essential nutrients, minerals and vitamins are fully absorbed only in combination with other substanceseading line feel free to change me
This is one of the secrets of a good balanced healthy diet.

Therefore, strict diets for weight loss that insist on a long-term rejection of one of the major macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, proteins), or, on the contrary, enhanced consumption of only carbohydrate, protein, fat-rich foods, also can be attributed to the camp of “Fad diets”.

The exceptions are, again, are some types of therapeutic diets, like:

  • gluten-free diet that limits cereals,
  • ketogenic diet that is applied in epilepsy, as well.
  • Hey, strict diet, know your place.

The London University College has recently held a research, which showed that even a temporary weight loss in its excess:

  • Has a beneficial effect on health
  • Reduces the risk of mortality from heart diseases.

It does not matter at what age, and how the obese person managed to get rid of excess kilos, or how long he was able to maintain weight after weight loss. From this perspective, strict weight loss diets can be useful. As Pierre Dukan says, the alleged harm from the diet is often less than the harm from the excess weight.

The main task here is the right priorities. A strict diet is not by chance used in medicine. Perhaps, it can be treated as a potent, but a bitter medicine, which should be taken in doses and for a limited period of time.

By giving your body the first impetus to lose weight with the help of a strict diet, and seeing that your body is capable of responding to it, you should try to normalize your menu and dietary habits, and get though not immediate, yet a stable and well-deserved result.

Protein diet

What is the most common complaint from people who are on a diet? It is the following: “As soon as I come out of the diet, all the lost kilograms come back.”

A list of unsuccessful diets can be easily made that promise easy weight loss during sleep. These are diets high in protein, carbohydrates, as well as low-carbohydrate diet. You want to lose weight, but the final result is the same. Your excess weight remains with you and you are again facing the same problem. How can you avoid this vicious circle? If you are solve to control your weight, then how do you know that this time you will succeed?

The problem solution is the presence of protein in the diet. Without it, you will lose muscle mass, rather than fat. Thus, the lost weight will return at the end of the diet.

To lose weight and maintain a normal shape, you need to use stronger protein structures called amino acids. In fact, protein is a long chain of amino acids. Through the digestive system, the body splits this chain into separate amino acids for absorption them into the blood. During this long process, the body is working hard to digest protein. Protein helps to satisfy hunger and gives strength to muscles. Thus, metabolism does not slow down. However, most part of protein foods contains a lot of fat. It seems reasonable to find foods that are high in protein and low in saturated fats to achieve a stable weight loss effect. We want to provide the body with all necessary amino acids without causing additional stress to the body.

The protein diet is the most effective among all the diversity of the existing diets for weight loss. The result will not keep you waiting, especially if to combine this diet with power exercises, so it is ideal not only for women, but also for men.

In fact, the protein diet for weight loss is consumption of food with a high protein content and with a reduced content of fats and carbohydrates or without them at all. The principle difference of the protein diet is a restriction of food turning into fat during digestion; ideally, it should contain only pure protein necessary for muscles.

Such products are as follows:

  • Dietary chicken meat, veal, rabbit;
  • Low-fat milk (as an option – fat-free yogurt, however, it has more carbohydrates than protein);
  • Egg whites;
  • Sea fish with white meat, as well as pink salmon, tuna, salmon;
    Cheese with reduced fat content.

Who can use the protein diet for weight loss?

The diet including consumption of pure protein is indicated for young people leading an active lifestyle. However, elderly people will not be able to bear it without health consequences, such as possible occurrence of blood clots and increase in blood clotting, so they had better abandon it.

Nevertheless, not all young people can adhere to the protein diet. This diet is suitable for those who love meat, and herewith can exclude any sweets from their diet. Mostly men are meat-eaters, but some women, even though their percentage is much lower, also cannot live without this product.

Diet is ideal for athletes and bodybuilders leading an active lifestyle. To achieve new victories in the chosen field, they need muscle mass, but since much time is needed to do so using physical exercises, the protein diet will help to achieve the desired result in a few days.

Certainly, protein diet is suitable for people who are overweight, therefore this diet from “weight loss” category. One of the positive reviews of this diet is preservation of the lost body weight without much effort.

Pregnant women, who gain weight day by day, can also take advantage of this diet. It will help to normalize weight gain without negative effects on the health of the pregnant woman and developing fetus.

People having a sweet tooth is an exception to the list of people whom the protein diet for weight loss is recommended. This is because even if such a person can give up sweet for a certain number of days during the diet, he will likely resume consumption of foods with high sugar content and this will lead to regain of the lost kilograms, as well as to gain of new ones.

As it was stated above, elderly people cannot use the protein diet. This list also include very fat people, as well as those who suffer from diseases of the digestive system (such as colitis, chronic pancreatitis, irritable bowel syndrome, dysbacteriosis), as well as those who have renal dysfunction.

Pros and Cons of Popular Diets

What weight loss diet to choose and what diet will help you lose a few extra kilograms? Will we be able to maintain the achieved weight after a while? Today, we will tell you what happens to your body and what result you can obtain thanks to popular diets.


One of the currently most popular weight loss diets is based on the consumption of protein products, and the menu becomes more varied as you continue with the weight loss program. This diet allows you not to suffer from hunger and eat as much as you need individually, without counting calories.

The diet consists of four stages:

  • the first two are aimed at weight reduction,
  • other two are dedicated to weight stabilization, and includes 100 products.

The first two stages:

  • short attack stage – 3-10 days, during which weight reduces quickly. The diet includes 72 pure protein products, like meat, fish, eggs and so on.
  • second stage – cruise to achieve the correct weight. The diet includes about 30 vegetables.
  • consolidation stage begins when you finish the first two stages. Once a week, protein food, and the rest of the days – products from the cruise stage. This stage can last up to three months.
  • stabilization is the last stage. You need to have a protein day from the menu “Attack” on Thursday, eat 3 tablespoons of oat bran every day and walk for at least 20 minutes.

What happens to the body while keeping to this weight loss diet?

Due to a complete elimination of carbohydrates and fats (they serve as energy substrates of our body) from the menu during the attack phase, the mechanisms for fat reserves utilization are triggered. In addition, the lack of carbohydrates in nutrition reduces the blood concentration of insulin, which contributes to a decrease in appetite.

Not every person will be able to endure such a protein attack. Excessive protein intake can lead to an aggravation of the disease in chronic diseases of:

  • Liver
  • Kidneys
  • Heart
  • Urolithiasis.

The lack of fiber threatens to turn into constipation and unhealthy complexion. The non-fat menu in the Dukan diet is dangerous with:

  • reduction in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins,
  • skin flaking,
  • menstruation violations in women.

We believe that this is a successful commercial project, another type of low-carb diet. The popularity of the Dukan diet is explained by its quick efficiency, especially at the beginning of the course.

The first kilograms go away easily, yet not at the expense of fat tissue loss, but, as with all other diets, due to fluid loss. Dukan diet is easier to endure, because protein (cottage cheese, lean meat, eggs) helps you to feel full fast and for a long time.

If you add intense exercise during the Dukan diet, the chance to keep lost pounds is quite high. If you follow all the principles of the diet and then move on to a daily balanced diet, you can say that you have achieved your goal. However, most of the Dukan diet adherents do not manage to maintain their results for a long time since:

  • their craving for sweets is too high,
  • they are unable to cope with stress and cave in.

In addition, it is necessary to clearly understand all dangers of this protein weight loss diet.


The Atkins diet is based on the restriction of carbohydrates consumption, i.e.:

  • sweets,
  • starchy vegetables,
  • sweet fruits.

Just like the Dukan diet, the Atkins diet divides the process into three phases.

  • first phase is a ban on bread, muffins, any products made with flour, sugar, sweets, fruits, starchy vegetables, margarine, cooking fats, so-called light oils, and alcohol. That is, in fact, you can have all the same proteins with a limited addition of healthy fats (nuts, avocados) and vegetables. All in a moderate amount.
  • second phase is intermediate. When the body adjusts to a new diet, you can gradually add carbohydrates. The second phase can last up to a year, until you reach the required weight.
  • third phase is maintaining. You can increase the amount of carbohydrates, yet you need to make sure that your weight does not begin to return.

If you did gain a few extra kilograms at some point, you need to get back to the first phase.

What happens to the body while keeping to this weight loss diet?

The first kilograms disappear easily, especially if you initially had a lot of excess weight. Just like practically with any diet, the first thing you lose is only water. It is quite a difficult task to stimulate fatty depots to give up the accumulated fat, and it is a long process.

At that, sticking to such a diet for a long time is problematic for health. If used as a start to a healthy lifestyle forever, it’s wonderful. If you expect miracles from being on the Atkins diet for two weeks and getting back to eating buns, it is totally useless.

A sharp decrease in the intake of carbohydrates, especially easily digestible ones, leads to a decrease in the insulin production by the pancreas, because the body does not get any glucose from outside.

And the body reconstructs into another metabolism way – ketone metabolism. In fact, the Atkins diet is a kind of ketogenic diet. Instead of the glucose, fat components go to the “furnace”, which turn into the liver into ketones.

These are the elements, which when entering the brain, create a feeling of extraordinary lightness in people, who feeds by the Atkins diet. Hunger is dulled because the insulin blood level is low, and namely the insulin is responsible for triggering hunger.

Like other weight loss diets, the ketogenic diets are dangerous for those, who suffer from chronic diseases of such systems, as:

  • digestive,
  • cardiovascular,
  • urinary.

The protein load on the liver and kidneys increases many-fold, the composition of the intestinal microflora worsens, and the efficiency of thinking processes decreases.

DIET 5:2

Michael Mosley’s “5:2” diet is based on the principle that five days are spent in accordance with the usual nutrition, without limiting and reducing the calorie content of foods, and two days a week are the “fasting” or unloading days.

However, the “fasting” days do not consist of traditional hungry mono-diets on apples or yogurt. You just need to reduce the daily intake of food by four times. It turns out that during these two days:

  • woman should eat no more than 500 calories,
  • man should eat no more than 600 calories.

You can choose any two days during the week to make them the “unloading” ones. At that you can choose consequent days or split them and go low on calories, for example, on Wednesday and Sunday. The result that this diet aims is to create a stressful situation and force the body to expend old fat deposits.

What happens to the body while keeping to this weight loss diet?

Due to a sharp decrease in the caloric value of the menu in fasting days, you create an energy deficit for the body. This turns on the mechanisms that search for additional energy sources. Such, as we know, are fat deposits. It is from the places of excess adipose tissue deposition that the extraction of stocks takes place.

Two-day cycles of such “unloading” nutrition will not affect your body in a negative way. And almost every one of us intuitively used this technique on our own. For example, the next day after a plentiful feast.

From the medical point of view, this method is not suitable for:

  • individuals with a large excess of body weight,
  • those who suffer from gastritis, peptic ulcer of the stomach or duodenum

In the first case, this weight loss method is of low effectiveness and is fraught with exacerbations of the gastrointestinal tract diseases.

Those, who want to eliminate a small amount of excess weight using this method, can achieve quite high results. But these will be noticeable in six months, not earlier. A similar technique called “zigzag method” or “fasting days method” has been used in dietetics for more than half a century. With obesity, such system of alternating 5 days of “food sins” with 2 days of “food remorse” will not lead to a weight loss.


This diet consists of three mono diets, each of which lasts 3 days. The complex is designed to give a shake to the body and, according to the author’s statement, allows losing 5-10 kilograms in a short time.

  • first phase is the rice period. Daily nutrition consists solely of rice (choose brown, it preserves vitamins and cellulose). 250 g of rice after cooking should be divided into 6 parts and consumed during the day, the last meal being before 20:00! You are also allowed to eat 3 teaspoons of natural fresh honey. Rice cleanses the body of toxins, which accumulate in our body for a long time.
  • second phase is protein. During the day, you can eat up to 1200 g of skinless chicken, cooked without salt and spices, or white fish. Important: you can not mix and eat chicken and fish in the same day. Choose one option. Your body gets protein, the processing of which requires spending more calories than it gets. That is, it expends the stored fat.
  • third phase is the vegetable period. During the day, you should eat 500 grams of fresh and as much steamed vegetables without salt and spices.

During each phase, you need to drink at least 2.5 liters of water. During the vegetable days, the vitamin and mineral complex is filled and volumes reduce. Margarita Koroleva recommends using this weight loss diet after a long series of holidays or feasts, during which you allowed yourself a little too much.

What happens to the body while keeping to this weight loss diet?

Margarita Koroleva, the author of this weight loss method, should know more details about her method. Consequent use of three long-known mono-diets appears to have a certain effect.

  • Rice probably has a light diuretic and dehydrating effect, thus creating the illusion of lost kilograms.
  • Chicken days make up a protein diet that lowers the insulin level, thus reducing hunger.
  • Vegetables in the third phase can apparently eliminate constipation that manifests after the consumption of rice and chicken in the previous 6 days.

While keeping to this weight loss diet, weight loss is unlikely to be great. The result is not persistent and very short-lived. However, you will not bring any harm to your health.


This cereal is one of the most useful ones and it:

  • cleanses the body,
  • provides a therapeutic effect on the cardiovascular system.

The eating system is very simple, since the nutrition is based exclusively on buckwheat without adding spices, oil and salt.

You need to cook buckwheat in a certain way. Rinse it and pour with boiling water at a rate 2:1. Wrap the saucepan with a blanket and leave to steam until the morning, so that the buckwheat is crumby. However, it is rather difficult to keep to such diet for a long time.

What happens to the body while keeping to this weight loss diet?

In spite of the fact that buckwheat contains an impressive amount of vitamins that are valuable for our body (group B, etc.), consuming buckwheat only for a long time is not recommended.

After all our body experiences stress from the lack of protein, fat and fat-soluble vitamins, if we keep to the buckwheat diet. Buckwheat does not contain the necessary calcium, iodine and other necessary micro- and macro elements.

Against the backdrop of such food stress, you can reduce weight easily, but your general condition and mood may worsen. After all, according to the principles of healthy nutrition, your daily menu must be diverse and include different groups of products.

Like with any mono-diet out there (buckwheat, rice, yogurt, apples), the result is unstable and short-lived. If you keep to this diet no more than 4 days, it will not bring any considerable harm to your health.


The Greek diet does not require calculations. You are allowed to consume traditional Greek products, including cucumbers, goat cheese and… that’s it! You are allowed to consume these products in unlimited quantities, but without oil and salt.

Cucumbers contain useful vitamins and trace elements, while goat cheese is a protein that helps avoid hunger.

What happens to the body while keeping to this weight loss diet?

Cucumbers provide a good diuretic and laxative effect. It is logical that a combination of these qualities will lead to some weight loss. Yet you should not expect that you will lose fat mass.

You will get rid of excess water in your body, and gain weight back once you stop sticking to this cucumber-cheese diet. Goat cheese is really good for health due to its high content of:

  • protein
  • calcium.

However, it can contain a lot of salt, so people with high blood pressure and cardiovascular issues should not consume it in large quantities.

If you do not live in Greece and do not eat that way every day, short-term food restrictions (albeit with the consumption of the most useful products) will not lead to a sustainable result. While you keep to such weight loss diet, you lose a little weight, and quickly gain back all kilograms you managed to lose, or even more, when you stop dieting.

Therefore, once again, we urge you to give preference to a balanced and natural diet that you will be able to stick to for life.