Ditching Fad Diets And Gimmicks, Drinking Coffee For Best Health

13 min read JAN 12, 2024

Throughout history there have been some incredibly strange fads and diets which claim to promote weight loss, and some even guarantee supreme health.

Do you recognize any of these…

  • Overweight individuals who live near swamplands can potentially lose weight by relocating to dry and arid climates.
  • Consuming vinegar water and raw egg tea guarantees weight loss (may cause excessive vomiting and diarrhea).
  • You can smoke cigarettes to suppress appetite and trim your figure.
  • Ingest tapeworm cysts, and you’ll be able to eat all you want without gaining a pound.
  • Skip the diet altogether, and use fat reducing soap to wash away those unwanted pounds each time you shower.

Believe it or not, yes, these are actual dieting gimmicks that many folks, or at least a few people, followed throughout history.

Of course, we can easily read through the above lines describing aged weight loss advice and raise our eyebrows, roll our eyes, or truly laugh out loud.


Because, today’s fad diets and gimmicks are often robed in slightly more sense-worthy apparel. However, in many cases, the garments are still the same, proving in the end to be nothing more than another trick seeking to surpass the tried and true basics of healthy living.

So, how can you spot such gimmicks? What fads have recently been debunked, and why?

Then, when tossing out these unhealthy schemes, how do you know which practices amidst those empty promises you should rightly incorporate for optimal health?

Today we’ll answer each of these questions and more as we examine some debunked diet fads, highlighting where and why these plans fall short.

Then, we’ll look at why coffee is commonly included in many diets and discover whether or not this tasty treat can be trusted when it comes to achieving your health goals.

Fad Diets Debunked

Like anything worth having in life, health isn't something achieved or maintained through outlandish measures or minimal effort.

Yet, the overviews for many diet plans read like a politician’s campaign speech - promises, promises, promises- and unfortunately, we often fall for such claims.

So, what are some tell-tale signs that the fad or gimmick you’ve recently seen on social media likely falls short when it comes to truly making good on its professed benefits?

Common red flags for fads and gimmicks include:

  • Miraculous claims
  • Promise of absolute success without factoring in health conditions, limitations, etc
  • Short term changes which are unrealistic for long term adherence to the plan
  • Cutting out entire food groups (long term)
  • Promising rapid weight loss
  • Labeling foods as good vs bad
  • Overly strict rules
  • Severe caloric restriction
  • Promotion of a book, pill, or product to achieve health
  • A lack of research or scientific evidence to support claims
  • No maintenance plan to transition to once weight loss goals are met

When diet plans make such extreme claims or come without evidence to support those claims, such plans are likely nothing more than fads or gimmicks which often do little to support whole body health.

One group of doctors put it this way, “Fad diets fail over and over again. They simply aren’t the answer for achieving a healthy body weight. The way forward is a sensible approach to food and nutrition.”

And, I think the two key words there are nutrition and sensible.

Take these fads, for instance, which may seem like a good idea in some regards, but lack sensibility and proper nutrition overall.

1- Juice Cleanses

Juice cleanses sound decent, right?

I mean, we’re talking about juicing fresh fruits and vegetables and drinking these nutrient dense beverages in an effort to cleanse the body and lose weight. So, they can’t be that bad.

The problem here is these efforts and their benefits are short-lived.

First, you likely can’t live (healthily) on juice alone for a long period of time.

So, this fad doesn’t meet the sustainability requirement for whole body health.

Then, while such a cleanse can be good for your gut, initially increasing good bacteria and reducing bad bacteria, when you return to your normal diet, this healthy bacterial balance diminishes.

In other words, the benefits you received depart as soon as you return to normal eating.

Can a juice cleanse have health benefits? Sure.

Are these benefits, especially regarding weight loss, long lasting. No.

2- Atkins Diet

Some refer to the Atkins Diet as the OG of low carb diets, but over time scientists have weighed in on this carb-restricting style of eating for weight loss, and their findings don’t favor this type of plan.

Sure, cutting back on processed carbs can result in weight loss, but the reason we’ve included this plan in our debunked list is due to its detriments.

First, restricting carbohydrates to an extreme level (less than 20 grams per day on the most extreme versions of Atkins) is not sustainable long term.

Also, limiting carbs in such an extreme fashion eliminates most fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains from one’s diet, and experts have noted that this can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies as well as a marked lack in needed fiber.

Another downside to such a diet is that if/when you add carbs back into your normal eating routine, you will likely gain back the weight lost while restricting these macronutrients.

3- McDonald’s Diet

Yes, apparently this is a thing.

At first, I thought the McDonald’s diet surely would find its place in the list of outlandish fads mentioned in our intro of today’s article, but apparently one man (and those who’ve since followed suit) found it possible to lose nearly 60 pounds in 100 days, eating McDonald’s fast food three times per day.

And, while this diet clearly isn’t a popular or well known gimmick, we’re including it here to illustrate the following:

  • First, the man likely experienced success, according to the expert opinion of scientists and dieticians, because he only consumed half of each meal, each day. Therefore, his success is largely attributed to an overall, even drastic, reduction of calories eaten each day.
  • Second, this diet makes the fad list as it, obviously, is in no way sustainable long term.
  • Then, another obvious, and unhealthy, aspect of such a diet is the lack of a variety of foods being consumed, resulting in a great risk of nutrient deficiencies.
  • And, fast food commonly contains high amounts of sugar, saturated fat, and salt, none of which (at these levels) are advisable to consume long term as they can greatly hinder your health.

4- 5:2 Intermittent Fasting

You’ve likely heard that intermittent fasting can bring multiple benefits to your health, and this is true.

However, this doesn’t take into account individual health.

In this specific style of intermittent fasting, one eats normally 5 days a week, then fasts (consuming less than 600 calories) 2 days a week.

Sounds simple enough, however, for some people, this can trigger disordered eating habits, prompting over-indulgence on non-restrictive days.

In other words, a severe restriction of even healthy foods can often result in poor outcomes in other ways.

One sports dietician describes the results of the 5:2 diet in the following way: “This style of eating will help you lose weight, but it also could result in binge eating.”

Obviously, if adhering to the 5:2 intermittent fasting plan triggers disordered eating binges for you, the negative outcomes would then outweigh any positives gained from each week’s fasting.

Researchers also note that busy, active people, those who are still growing, and those folks with physically demanding responsibilities could experience more negative impacts from such a diet.

Overall, the big picture is what’s important here. Can you sustain this style of eating (healthily) for a long time, and how does this diet impact your mental and emotional health as it pertains to food.

Truly, these are the questions we should ask regarding any diet, attempt to lose weight, or adoption of any specific nutritional changes for the betterment of your health - body, mind, and spirit.

So, now that we’ve briefly reviewed why a few popular fad diets have been debunked, let’s zone in on one common item that often makes the “okay to enjoy” list of acceptable foods when it comes to diets, fad or otherwise.

Ditch The Debunked Diets, Keep The Coffee

Other than the outlandish dieting fads we mentioned in the intro, most diets contain some good practices.

In other words, amidst the gimmicks, sometimes you’ll find some solid, healthy advice. After all, these nuggets of golden truth are likely what draw some folks to such diets in the first place.

For instance, most diets recommend drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated, which is definitely a valuable tip.

And, many diets also advise against consuming processed foods in excess, another bit of advice you don’t want to ditch when you discover the overall fad turned out to be a flop.

Then, yet another commonality across most diets is the inclusion of coffee, specifically, as a healthy beverage.

Why coffee?

Coffee is often included in popular diet plans for a variety of reasons.

  • Black coffee (sans cream, sugar, and other additives) contains little to no calories, making it a great, and tasty, option for those seeking to lose weight.
  • Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world, so while many diets limit your intake of commonly enjoyable foods and beverages, coffee serves as a familiar treat that won’t sabotage your weight loss efforts.
  • Sometimes dieting, especially in the initial phases of incorporating such changes, can leave individuals feeling weak and weary, but coffee provides a welcomed pick me up due to its natural energy boosting properties.
  • And, while coffee tastes more like a special treat than a typical diet “food,” the primary reason it’s commonly included in most diet plans is because of the incredible ways it can improve your health.

Coffee isn’t simply one of the world’s favorite beverages, it’s also one of the healthiest beverages you can consume!

We commonly think of diets as a quick fix for weight loss, but any diet or nutritional plan that’s worth its salt addresses the bigger picture - overall health and wellness.

When health is prioritized, weight loss and overall fitness generally fall right into place, essentially being a byproduct of a healthy body.

And, coffee…well, this mighty mug filler fuels health, thereby assisting you in your efforts, weight loss or otherwise.

But, how?

According to the USDA, a cup of black coffee only contains about 2 calories. However, that same cup is a rich source of vitamins B2 and B3. It also contains magnesium, potassium, and a wealth of antioxidants.

The antioxidant content of coffee is largely where most of the benefits of this delicious beverage come from.

For instance, caffeine is one of the antioxidants in coffee, and research shows drinking at least one cup per day helps to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This is due to caffeine’s positive effect on blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.

Coffee is also considered a great weight loss companion as studies have found increased caffeine intake to help curb appetite.

Here, coffee is said to stimulate the sympathetic nervous system resulting in increased satiety and decreased feelings of hunger.

The caffeine in coffee also helps to increase energy expenditure, upping the amount of calories you burn in a day.

One compound found in coffee, chlorogenic acid, has even been shown to boost fat-burning in lab studies.

Regarding the abundance of other antioxidants found in coffee, these have been shown to reduce inflammation as these health-boosters work to reduce free radical damage within the body.

And, if you’ve been researching diets, weight loss, or simply healthy living for long, you likely know that inflammation plays a large role in not only weight gain, but in nearly all chronic diseases as well.

As the antioxidant content of coffee gets to work reducing both oxidative stress and rampant inflammation throughout the body, a wide range of benefits are extended to those enjoying this beloved bean as part of a healthy diet:

  • Decreased risk of heart disease
  • Reduced symptoms of depression
  • Lowered risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases
  • Reduced risk of chronic liver diseases such as cirrhosis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Decreased risk of many cancers such as colorectal, liver, endometrial, prostate, and some cancers of the throat and mouth
  • Reduced risk of death by all causes

Coffee can even provide energy and stamina for your workouts, another needful component of any diet which focuses on whole body health.

Sounds great, right?

With all these benefits, it’s no wonder coffee is commonly recommended in healthy diets and eating plans.

However, there are a few things to consider when desiring to reap all of these healthy rewards.

1. When consuming coffee while seeking to lose weight, improve, or maintain optimal health, be careful of unhealthy additions.

Heavy amounts of sugar, artificially flavored syrups, sauces, and creamers, and processed toppings can take your cup of joe from yes to no very quickly.

So, if you’re looking to enjoy your coffee with a few extras, look for natural sweeteners such as low (or no) calorie sweeteners like monk fruit and/or stevia. You can also add small amounts of raw, local honey or pure maple syrup for a touch of sweetness.

A small splash of heavy whipping cream can add a thick richness to your brew, and unsweetened non-dairy milks also make a great, creamy choice.

You can even try adding a ¼ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, a sprinkle of cinnamon, or dash of nutmeg, etc to boost your brew without packing on extra calories.

2. When seeking to reap the healthy benefits coffee has to offer, the type of coffee you drink matters.

While coffee is one of the healthiest beverages in the world, these health benefits can easily be negated by the presence of mold, heavy metals, and toxins.

When coffee is mass produced, it is often treated to accelerate growth, then it’s sprayed with harmful pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, and more.

Each of these can not only frustrate weight loss efforts, but they can hinder your health entirely.

This is why we’re precise in our growing, processing, roasting, and shipping methods.

We want to enjoy all this beloved bean has to offer, that’s why all Lifeboost coffee is single origin, low acid, grown at high elevations under a canopy of shade, grown without the use of any chemicals, and 3rd party tested for 450+ toxins, molds, and heavy metals.

Each of these measures, and more, allow our coffee cherries to absorb a greater amount of nutrients from the soil as they mature which produces the best flavors, chemical and toxin free beans, and an overall great (and healthy) cup of coffee.

We even freshly roast our beans prior to shipping to ensure you get the tastiest cup, every time!

See, super simple!

Incorporating coffee as part of a healthy diet is as easy as choosing a healthy, tasty brew, then being conscious of the ingredients you add to your cup, if any.

As you sip, you can not only savor your brew’s exceptional flavors, but you’ll be boosting your weight loss efforts and improving your overall health in the process!

Check out Lifeboost Coffee Dark Roast.

Medical Disclaimer
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Charles Livingston nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.


Drop a Comment

All comments are moderated before being published