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Every BODY Talks

Debunking 5 diet trends that are feeding you lies while breaking your bank

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Editor's note: This column contains explicit references to disordered eating, restrictive eating, and weight and may be triggering to some readers.

Diet culture is thriving right now with the help of patriarchy and fatphobia. According to the Boston Medical Center, it is estimated that Americans spend over $33 billion on weight-loss products annually, with 45 million Americans partaking in dieting each year. 

But are any of these pills, gummies, teas, plans, and juices actually resulting in weight loss? According to researchers at UCLA, after finishing a diet, most people return to their normal eating habits and gain more weight than they lost. 

According to Healthline, doctors are extremely hesitant to prescribe weight loss products or pills, as most of them are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and have been shown to cause severe side effects, including death. Mayo Clinic states that “makers of dietary supplements rarely carry out clinical trials. That's part of the reason why there's little scientific evidence to show that weight-loss supplements work.”

Have you fallen into the diet industry’s web of lies along with the rest of our country? As busy students, we do not have the time or money for this BS, so I am going to share five diet products that are not giving you any bang for your buck. 

1. Chlorophyll Water

Possibly the newest diet trend popular among Tik Tokers specifically, this green liquid racks up around $50 for a case of twelve 20-ounce bottles and claims to be “promoting healthy alkaline pH levels,” “oxygenating the body,” “boosting energy levels,” and “detoxifying the body,” among other attributes. According to Healthline, none of these claims have been proven, as larger studies are necessary, and there are some potential side effects, such as gastrointestinal (GI) distress. 

2. Celery Juice

Yet another green liquid takes the stage (if it's green, it must be healthy, right?), claiming to help with weight loss, digestion, “detoxing,” autoimmune conditions, acid reflux, and more. 

“There’s no scientific evidence to support any of the claims being made,” as there are not robust human studies on the juice, according to UC Davis research scientist Rachel E. Scherr in the New York Times. Any positive effects people are noticing may just be due to increased hydration — pricey hydration, that is.

3. Detox tea for weight loss

When I think of detox tea, pictures of the Kardashians posing alongside bags of Fit Tea come to mind. With their “28 Day Detox” costing you $54.95, you better hope this stuff works. Sadly, according to Healthline, zero research studies have proven detox teas to be an effective weight-loss tool. But thankfully, our bodies detox themselves free of charge! As long as you have working kidneys, a liver, lungs, and a digestive system, your body is always flushing toxins out of your system. Potential side effects of detox teas include GI distress symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, bloating, gas, and dehydration, which may result in decreased water weight but not legitimate weight loss. 

4. Superfoods

Chia, flax, goji berries, kale, cacao, oh my! Nutrient-dense? Yes. Superpowers? No. News flash, the word “superfoods” is just a marketing scheme — there are no magic-bullet foods to solve your problems. Promising to promote weight loss, increase heart health, improve energy levels, and reduce aging effects, “superfoods” have gained massive popularity. But these positive results are due to eating a diet that includes more nutrient-dense foods in general. There are no foods with magical properties. Especially considering the hefty price tag tied to most of these “super” products, my advice is to buy a variety of products that you love. Your body and bank will thank you.

5. Flat Tummy Lollipops 

Endorsed by Kim Kardashian herself, these pops claim to suppress your appetite to aid in weight loss. For $38 a bag, the jury is out on whether or not this supplement works. This product is not regulated by the FDA, so the ingredients and claims the company is making are not supported by sufficient clinical trials or deemed safe. Even if these lollipops did help reduce your appetite, the effects would only be observed while using the product, so these may not be part of a healthy diet. 

We all love a good shortcut, but when it comes to our health, it is worth the time to implement lifestyle changes that can last our whole lives. If you're struggling with your health, I recommend looking into the principles of intuitive eating. This eating style deserves an entire article dedicated to it, but in short, intuitive eating prioritizes honoring hunger signals, making peace with food, and incorporating gentle nutrition to honor your health.

Reach writer Aspen Anderson at Twitter: @aspenwanderson

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