How does weight loss work

Zero diet - this is how it works

Von, science journalist

As the name suggests: At the Zero diet As with fasting cures, you completely dispense with food intake. Only calorie-free drinks such as water and unsweetened tea are allowed in order to lose weight as quickly as possible. Read here about the advantages and disadvantages of the zero diet.

What is a zero diet?

Originally, the zero diet was a therapy method for obesity (adiposity) and was usually carried out in an inpatient setting. In the meantime, however, it is regarded as obsolete in this area and is being replaced by modified fasting (limited instead of completely interrupted calorie intake).

The number of calories per day is actually zero in this weight-loss variant. In this concept, diet means self-mortification - you are not allowed to eat anything that contains calories.

This is how the zero diet works

With the zero diet, neither solid food nor beverages containing calories are consumed. Only three liters of mineral water and unsweetened herbal tea are drunk. After three days, the metabolism changes and forms certain substances (ketone bodies) from your own fat reserves, which suppress the feeling of hunger.

There are zero diet concepts in which you fast for up to 100 days under medical supervision (sometimes a vitamin supplement is added). The original inpatient zero diet lasted for up to eight weeks; the duration of modern concepts is between seven and 14 days.

That brings the zero diet

The zero diet initially results in considerable weight loss. A study with 500 subjects found an average reduction of 463 grams per day.

The concept is simple, there is no additional expenditure of time or money (on the contrary).

For some people, not eating solid foods is a spiritual experience; the feeling for food and drink is also sharpened.

Risks of the zero diet

This form of diet is extremely tough. Especially in the first few days, the feeling of hunger is gnawing and great. Vitamins and minerals are completely absent. Deficiency symptoms such as concentration disorders, cardiovascular problems or fatigue and weakness appear very quickly. There is a risk of gout attacks from ketone bodies, which the body produces to suppress the feeling of hunger (see above).

The complete food stop leads to the fact that the body lowers the basal metabolic rate, the yo-yo effect is pre-programmed. Also because those who want to lose weight do not change their diet in a long-term and meaningful way with the zero diet. There is no learning effect in terms of healthy eating.

In this form of weight loss, in which (among other things) no protein is absorbed, the body first reduces muscle mass before it goes to the fat deposits.

Zero diet: conclusion

With this concept you lose weight quickly, but you also quickly get into a nutrient deficiency that damages the body in the long term.

From a scientific point of view, there is no point in doing this starvation diet. This form of diet has no weight-reducing effect that could not be achieved with sensible forms of diet (reduced diet).

Overall: The Zero diet has serious and health-endangering disadvantages and is therefore not recommended from a nutritional point of view.

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