What is a mono-diet and is it healthy?

Mono-diet, short for monotropic diet or single-food diet, is a diet form that involves eating only one food item or one type of food. But, how beneficial is it?

Although the name itself is self-explanatory, mono-diet (short for monotropic diet) or single-food diet, is a diet form that involves eating only one food item or one type of food. These foods or types include potatoes, apples, chicken, vegetables or fruits.

This diet is particularly preferred when a person is seeking to lose weight, as this diet is generally based on completely one food item or food type. It cuts off most of the calories our body gets when eating a regular or balanced diet.

While this results in quick weight loss, is it a healthy way?

A person might have numerous reasons to lose weight, but if the weight loss journey leads to you developing ailments, then it is perhaps not the most practical way to achieve fitness goals. Clinically, this diet simply has no records or data to back it up. Even though many famous personalities such as Matt Damon, George Sitwell, and Howard Hughes, have followed this trend for rapid weight loss, doctors and professionals don’t suggest this diet, as it can do more bad than good.

weight loss diet
The mono-diet may help with weight loss but we need to evaluate its overall effects on our health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Here’s why mono-diet is not encouraged by professionals

Loss of muscle mass: A diet that offers less than the required amount of protein, could cause the body to break down muscle mass into amino acids, as it is not getting the required nutrients. Muscle mass has higher resting metabolism compared to fat mass. This makes it burn more calories, hence promoting weight loss. Losing muscle mass curtails your weight loss goal.

Nutrient deficiency: Single type of food or food item cannot provide all nutrients. Each type of food has different nutritional values. Your body needs a variety of nutrients, and compromising on them might result in severe health issues.

Promotes unhealthy eating habits: Balanced diet is important for good health, and a single item or type of food is not a healthy way to approach weight loss. This could result in the development of certain eating disorders.

You must be wondering if this diet has so many negative aspects, then why would anyone prefer it? To put it simply, it’s a diet for lazy people. This diet simply has two qualities, it causes rapid weight loss, and it is simple and cheap to follow. You don’t have to purchase a long list of foods and groceries or brainstorm about your diet plan. Other than that, you can follow this diet for as long as you want.

mono diet
There are multiple reasons why you must choose a well-balanced diet over the mono-diet. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Nearly any kind of foods could be consumed in a mono-diet, but here are some prominent examples:

Chicken diet: This diet became popular when Matt Damon was preparing for a film role. During which, he ate only chicken breasts, to lose about 60 pounds (27.2 kg). This diet only includes eating Chicken. You can cook chicken in several forms. This may include grilling, baking, roasting, boiled, or even fried.

Potato mono-diet: Famous magician Penn Jillette, magically lost 100 pounds. The magical ingredient was potatoes. Potatoes have high nutritional value and fibres, and are known to aid weight loss.

Banana diet: You have to survive on only bananas for 12 days. Good thing, you can eat as many bananas as you want. Bad thing, it’s not a very healthy option.

Chocolate diet: Dark chocolate tends to help in weight loss. It is a tastier way to reach your goal, but if you overdo it, then it can have a serious health impact.

So, whether it’s chocolate or bananas, mono-diet is not something one should follow if they want a healthy body. If you want to lose weight, then you may adopt several healthy and sustainable ways. Sure, it could take longer to achieve your goals, but at least it will not harm your body.

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