When regular dieting and weight loss plans don’t seem to be working, it’s tempting to turn to one of the diets that promise quick fixes, fast weight loss, and endless health benefits—that’s where the watermelon diet comes in. However, if something seems too good to be true, it usually is! The watermelon diet is not a long-term, healthy choice for weight loss.
The Premise of the Watermelon Diet
The basis of the watermelon diet is that watermelon, like most fruit, has high water content. Water fills you up quickly, leaving you unable and unwilling to eat any more calories. As a result, if you substitute daily meals with watermelon, you’ll consume fewer calories, still feel full, and lose weight.
Quick Initial Weight Loss
When you first replace meals with watermelon, your body will lose weight initially due to your lower caloric intake. This is exciting, because it’s what you’re looking for when you start a fad diet. However, your body adjusts quickly to what you are doing to it and the weight comes creeping back on.
Why It Doesn't Work Long Term
If the explanation of the watermelon diet does seem logical, it is not a diet that should be maintained for long periods of time or be used as a long term weight loss plan. Cutting your daily caloric intake to the level required by the watermelon diet is a surefire way to trick your body into thinking you’re starving. Once it realizes that you’re in danger of not getting the calories you need, it shuts down and goes into starvation mode. It slows down your metabolism and holds on to all the fat it can in order to save you. Even if your resume a normal, healthy diet, it still takes your body time to recover and recognize that you’re safe from the threat of starvation.
The watermelon diet is not sustainable. You can only replace meals with fruit for so long, before your body starts losing the essential nutrients that it needs. Once you return to your regular food intake—even if your body never reached the threat where it prepares for starvation—it will have to adjust to a higher caloric intake, and you’ll gain weight back.
Furthermore, eating just one type of food everyday is not healthy. Watermelon is full of vitamins and minerals, but it is still only one food source! Cutting out other nutrients your body needs and replacing them with a food that is mostly water will lead to you being tired, weak, and fatigued. Replacing meals with any one food is one of the quickest ways to run your body down and leave it unable to get you through the day, much less exercise.
If you’re seriously considering the watermelon diet or another fad diet, realize that the disadvantages far outweigh the benefits. Although it can be frustrating to wait for the long-term effects of a regular, healthy diet, the weight you lose will be healthy, stable weight loss. Following the watermelon diet is just a short road to disappointment, yo-yo weight loss and gain, and poor health. The only long-term solution to losing weight involves a healthy diet that you can stick to indefinitely and a regular exercise plan.