Fad diets come and go over the years. Others make sensational waves while others get on a controversial roll leaving a trail of mixed reviews and opinions. The Monotrophic diet has been making loud virtual search noise because of its promise of a simple yet quick weight loss results. However, most claims don’t seem to take on solid scientific evidence that casts a shadow of doubt and risk to the program.
What is the Monotrophic Diet?
The Mono diet is practical—and yes, a fad diet. It requires you to eat only one type of food item or one type of food and nothing else for a certain period of time. This is almost similar to the Banana Girl who became a YouTube sensation after she ate 30 bananas daily! Penn Jillet, the other half of the illusionist duo of Penn and Teller also claimed he lost 100 pounds eating only 5 potatoes a day for two weeks. It was also said that actor Matt Damon went into this eating just chicken breasts to quickly drop poundage for a role he had to play.
Why It Supposedly Works
For 14 days, a mono diet dictates eating only one food item every day—like bananas. Or consuming one type of food daily such as all fruits, all meats or all veggies. Nothing else should be added to this. However, you may switch up the type of foods for each meal. Chicken for lunch and a plate of kale for dinner.
The goal of this diet is to break your system from what your body is used to consuming. This is to somehow reset everything before starting on a much healthier diet plan or eating habits.
For some people, the word diet basically just means putting structure around one’s eating habits. Diets are just a set of rules people feel are essential for imposing discipline on one’s self. Others view these set of rules as the key to weight loss because it makes things simple while. The limited choices of a diet plan render the dieter to make easier decisions.
Fact is, many dieters do get stressed just by having to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to different options every day.
The mono diet cuts out all thinking from making the right food combos or the optimum amount of macros and counting beneficial calories every day. All you need to do is stick to one rule. Eat one food item or one type of food every day for 10-20 days max.
What this diet claim leans on how the body is able to release the proper digestive enzymes needed to fully digest food because there are fewer enzymes and nutrients the body has to process. This allows the digestive system to perform better because it works less and optimizes absorption of nutrients and kicking those pesky cravings to the curb.
It is important to note though, that these claims were all made by bloggers, and people who say they have tried it and succeeded with results of weight loss. No dietician or doctor has ever come up to back these with scientific facts and evidence.
Yey or Nay ?
Typical weight loss programs and diet plans may ask too much from a person struggling to break the food bondage. This will require a lot of work and discipline from counting calories, to getting the right balance of macros as well as keeping a close watch on food portions. The mono diet is simple and requires no tough choices or decisions because you’re stuck with a very limited number of food items a day.
It naturally goes that eating only one food item per meal day in and day out means less calories consumed. No matter if you eat high-calorie foods such as chocolate, you can only eat so much chocolate in one meal. Water loss and a feeling of less bloat are most likely to make you lose some muscle mass and in turn, give you a feeling of being thinner.
The body is a complicated machine. It sets up defense mechanisms or it breaks down when it is not fueled and oiled properly. When an individual does not eat much variety of foods, the body misses out on a host of nutrients that keep the body functioning.
Nutrition experts say have warned that mono dieters are easily prone to fatigue, slow metabolism, muscle loss, and malnourishment.
The body usually retaliates after food restrictions especially if the diet cuts too much on the calories the individual is used to. Binge eating may ensue and cause weight gain once again. Although studies have shown restricting calories can curb binge eating—this mostly works with obese individuals who go into a strict diet with supervised programs that provide them with supplements to ensure their bodies are continuously taking in essential nutrients it needs
Poor Health Habits
The mono diet can be a really boring diet. Some may enjoy the simplicity of it, but others may eventually get bored with it because it requires no decision making. Losing weight and keeping it off is the goal of every dieter. Following a monotonous diet makes your trudge and drag along each day without really giving you any useful input or teaching you how to manage your portions. One will most likely depend on the mono diet to lose weight rather than incorporate healthy habits such as exercise and getting enough sleep.
Hunger is not an easy thing to deal with. It can even drive people to the edge of madness. Many studies on both human and animals have shown that restricting food intake increases a person’s stress levels. The hunger pangs can even lead women to experience body dysmorphia.
How Safe Is It?
The mono diet can definitely lead to weight loss at the end of the day. However, one also needs to take into consideration the risks of muscle loss and possible impaired brain function. It also causes the body to go slow to preserve energy and trigger slow metabolism
One may succeed in their weight loss goal but this may only be a temporary thing and cause the body to gain back the weight as soon as you resume normal eating.
The body requires a group of macronutrients to be able to maintain a healthy state. Protein, fats, carbohydrates all play an important role in the body to function properly. Eating a single food item means you are also getting too much of only one particular nutrient. This may have some serious health consequences such as cardiovascular disease from too much potassium or sodium, diabetes from sugar and kidney damage from too much protein in the blood.