Don’t get conned into following fad diets that seem exotic, but don’t promise you sensible long term weight loss or good health.

Don’t fall for any old diet, just because your favourite celebs swear by it. So, even if the Maple Syrup Diet is favoured by Beyoncé, and Lady Gaga advocates eating Baby Food, this doesn’t mean you should try them out.

The truth is, that these fad diets may help you lose a few kilos, but the loss is temporary. That’s because you lose mainly water. So, when you return to your normal eating routine, your weight will shoot up again. Also, fad diets are nutritionally unbalanced, and may also lead to health problems if you stick to them for too long.

#1 Baby Food Diet

Not for babies, but for adults instead. This involves eating a jar of baby food or freshly prepared baby food such as pureed fruit and vegetables instead of regular, whole food in lieu of meals. Since there’s no official meal plan for this diet, you’re supposed to eat baby food in place of your meals.

Experts criticize the baby food diet, for not being nutritionally versatile enough for adults. Another criticism is that food that comes out of a jar, is likely to have additives.

Also, eating pureed food all day long is bound to leave you feeling starved. Since you don’t really taste or chew food, the experience of hunger is acute, and binge-eating is common.

#2 Maple Syrup Diet

A liquid diet, that involves drinking a concoction of lemon, maple syrup and cayenne pepper all day. As you can imagine, this may lead to a drop in kilos at first. Get back to normal eating and watch the weight pile back on. Obviously, losing weight by drinking a maple syrup based drink, is both foolish and bound to lead to a cranky disposition!

#3 Paleolithic or Caveman Diet

Not for hunters, but it still encourages you to eat more like a hunter in the Paleolithic Era (2.5 million years ago) than a city dweller. The Caveman diet focuses on heavy protein intake, with some amount of nuts and seeds thrown in.

But you can’t eat dairy, grains, legumes, or anything sweet, leading to nutritional imbalance. Also, the excessive protein content of the Paleo diet makes it dangerous to the kidneys and heart.

#4 Alkaline Diet

Though not a mainstream diet, many still endorse its health benefits. The Alkaline diet is based on the notion that balancing the body’s pH levels and reducing acidity can lead to weight loss. You can eat fruit, raw vegetables, and plant proteins like nuts and beans, but wheat, meat and refined sugar are a no-no.

Though may lose weight, in the end the diet is nutritionally unbalanced and causes deficiencies.

#5 Military Diet

This diet has nothing to do with the military or army, and is an intermittent fasting plan. So, for three days a week you are in semi-starvation mode, and eat about 500 calories a day. On the other four, you eat normally.  The cycle is repeated till you attain your weight goal.

Experts say that pushing your body into starvation mode for three days in a row leads to nutritional deficiencies, and fatigue. Some complain that this sets up a cycle of weight loss and gain. But proponents swear by it, saying it is an effective way of keeping the weight off, over the long term.