It’s summer time and as the temperatures soar, you find yourselves craving for watermelons. But what if you could stick to a diet where you just eat watermelons for a few days? We are talking about the Watermelon Diet which involves a short period of 4-5 days during which people eat nothing but watermelons and then, post the cleanse and after losing some kilos, they can return to their original diet.
Could such a diet actually substitute for your meals, especially during the worst of summer when your appetite hits an all-time low? After all, watermelons are low in calories, can help fight dehydration (thanks to its 90% water content), is rich in fibre, and can detoxify your body. They are rich in Vitamin A, lycopene, iron and calcium and thus good for your skin and hair, can lower risk of heart disease, boost digestion and prevent inflammation. A previous study had also suggested that watermelon can boost your sex drive.
Nutritionist Raheela Hasan says that such a diet can have short-term benefits but the weight lost will bounce back pretty fast. “Eating watermelons has its benefits but just going on a watermelon diet for 4-5 days is not recommended. It is, at best, a temporary diet. Detoxification of the body is a long-term process. After such a drastic diet, returning to a normal diet will have a yo-yo effect on your body,” she says.
Luke Coutinho, holistic nutritionist and founder, Purenutrition.me, seconds that. “I am not a big fan of the one-ingredient diet,” he says, adding, “Our bodies also need fats, proteins and plenty of other vitamins and minerals. How will the body get those in the entire cycle of 4 to 5 days? One cycle of such a diet may reset your eating habits, but repeatedly doing it might lead to deficiencies.”
Over a period of time, such a diet could lead to loss of nutrients , and reduced dietary source of protein , says Hasan. Instead, she recommends that people stick to having it as a mid-meal fruit (around 15 cubes daily) for optimal benefit
Watermelon is just one of many fruit diets; in the past there have been diets where people survived on just a slice of orange or drank juice through the day. “Avoid doing just fruits diets. Eating too much of orange or just fruits leads to excess fibre which can also cause digestion problems, abdominal cramps, and diarrhoea,” says Hasan.
“In my opinion, the body can be detoxified even while having a balanced nutritious meal. I do not recommend getting into the habit of relying on such diets,” says Coutinho.