As common as the desire to lose weight is the search for crazy diets. The Apple Diet is an example and has caught the attention of nutritionists. Does it work or is it just another restrictive strategy that results in weight loss, but not necessarily health? In the end, the apple is an important source of nutrients, because in addition to complex carbohydrates, it also has vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. But should we have a complete diet based on its consumption? Does it really serve for weight loss and does it have a detoxifying effect on the body, as you imagine? Thinking about these problems, I’m an athlete consulted with Luna Azevedo, model nutritionist Yasmin Brunet, singer Wanessa Camargo and duo AnaVitória, to clarify what the strategy is and whether there are actually benefits to eating apples. It may seem like a Snow White fairy tale, but this type of fruit consumption is also “poisonous” to health.
Apple diet can lose weight, but not in a healthy way – Photo: Adobe Stock
First let’s understand what a diet is and how it works. It basically consists of eating only apples on the first day and apples before all meals from the second to the fifth day, in order to reduce appetite, and not all food groups are allowed in these meals. And the reason is very simple: because the fruit is rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, an apple can help increase satiety and, consequently, reduce the impulse by consuming too many calories.
The diet usually provides for a maximum consumption of 1.5 kg of apples per day, along with the presence of several other foods that are also allowed, such as leafy vegetables, other fruits, dairy products and lean meats. In this way, the first boundaries are already clear, as are the limitations that exist within the apple diet.
- Whole grains
- Defense dairy foods
- Fruits and vegetables
- Lean meat
- Grains that are not whole
- Bread and cakes
- Fried food
- Carbonated drinks
The problem is not what is allowed or forbidden, but how much of what is allowed can be spent. In addition, you need to ingest plenty of water, as a restrictive diet usually recommends high consumption due to two factors: thermogenic effect (speeds up metabolism) and increased satiety. Because it has a restrictive character, it takes place for a maximum of five days. The biggest problem occurs when it is extended longer, being adopted for up to three weeks. Given this, below we will see an example of a menu in just five days, to be clearer.
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Menu for five days
First day: Apple is the only food that is eaten at every meal; however, the amount of apples should be distributed per meal, respecting the maximum limit of 1.5 kg / day.
- Breakfast: apple at will.
- Lunch: apple at will.
- Dinner: apple at will.
- Breakfast: 1 apple + 1 glass of skim milk (or vegetable milk)
- Lunch: 1 apple + vegetable salad
- Dinner: 2 apples
Third, fourth and fifth day:
- Breakfast: 1 apple + 1 slice of brown bread + tahini or scrambled eggs or scrambled eggs
- Lunch: 1 apple + lettuce of your choice and 1 serving of vegetables (for example 2 carrots)
- Afternoon snack: 1 serving of fruit (fresh or dried) or a glass of unsweetened plain yogurt.
- Dinner: 1 apple + 1 lean meat (grilled chicken or fish, for example) or scrambled tofu + vegetables
Recalling that this menu is just an example of how the diet with apples is presented, which from a nutritional point of view does not bring any benefit and does not promote effective weight loss, while endangering health, as pointed out by nutritionist Luna Azevedo.
– Although apples are a source of important nutrients for maintaining good health, no food helps to lose weight. The process depends on the balance in your body regarding a balanced diet, physical activity and emotional health, which can be put at risk when we carry out restrictive diets, which can even lead to eating disorders – says the nutritionist.
As much as apples are a source of several nutrients and fiber, an excess can also be detrimental to health – Photo: Istock Getty Images
Apple nutrients generally provide energy to cells to perform their functions properly, playing a fundamental role in repairing injuries, in hormonal regulation, in maintaining the immune system, in regulating body temperature, in the proper functioning of organs, among other functions.
In order for the supply of these nutrients to be sufficient, it is essential that the diet be varied, composed of different food groups and in sufficient quantity for each individual. As much as an apple is a source of several nutrients and fiber, an excess can also be detrimental to health, such as constipation or diarrhea, even with variations depending on the way it is consumed, with or without the peel.
– Restrictive diet, although it represents weight loss, is unsustainable, and this is shown in the short duration of five days of dieting. There are several studies that show even greater weight gain in people who go through this dietary model. For this reason, it is ideal to maintain food control with the aim of re-education of food, where it is possible to improve our relationship with the body and food, with above all maintaining health, which is most important – says Luna Azevedo.
To make matters worse, a diet like apples, by promoting long periods of energy restrictions, with irregular food intake and insufficient nutrient consumption, makes physical practice almost impossible, keeping a person even more from constant medium to medium weight loss in the long run. Unlike low levels of nutrients, psychological stress tends to increase, and consequently affect our body.
– All these factors negatively affect our metabolism and lead to nutritional deficiency and metabolic stress, bringing serious consequences to our health, such as extreme weakness, hair loss, muscle loss, reduced skin elasticity, menstrual irregularities, low immunity and heart rate, respiratory and hepatic failure in severe cases. In other words, this type of food is incompatible with physical activity and a healthy life – warns the nutritionist.
The apple diet can therefore, if carried out for more than five days, create the following problems:
- Metabolic imbalance, and may gain weight instead of losing weight;
- Nutritional deficiency, because it promotes an unbalanced diet, which does not provide the body with all the necessary nutrients;
- Eating Disorders;
- Gastrointestinal imbalance, with constipation or diarrhea;
- Hair loss;
- Loss of muscle mass;
- Reduced skin elasticity;
- Menstrual irregularities;
- Low immunity;
- In severe cases, heart, respiratory and liver failure.
Although a diet with apples is not the best alternative, fruit remains essential for anyone considering weight loss, because in addition to vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, it also has fiber that acts to control blood sugar and cholesterol levels, which in turn encourages increased satiety.
Also, there is no shortage of ways to adopt it on your menu, as it is a great option to include in breakfast, afternoon snacks and various other preparations in the context of a varied and balanced diet.
Therefore, its nutritional aspects, associated with a healthy lifestyle (food and exercise), bring several benefits to the body in general, boost immunity, regulate metabolism and can lead to consequent weight loss if incorporated into a well-planned diet.
– A healthy weight loss process involves the individual adjustment of nutrients and calories to the needs of each person. In addition, different food groups (cereals, fruits, vegetables, etc.) must be present in the daily diet, in order to establish a rich and varied diet, which can be included in an individual’s lifestyle and effectively maintained, avoiding fluctuations in weight and metabolic stresses – concludes the nutritionist.
That is, include an apple in your diet. But nothing extra is good. Not so nutritious fruit.