Most reports of weight loss on the baby food diet are anecdotal, and there is no scientific evidence to support claims that it’s an effective diet for long-term weight loss. While it may help with short-term weight loss, virtually any diet that restricts calories can help you lose weight. So having a diet plan that incorporates balanced nutrition and exercising is probably better in the long run for losing weight and improving your overall health.
When starting a new diet plan, it is important to understand that what suits one person may not suit another. Your plan should be practical, sustainable, and tailored to your individual needs. If you have underlying medical conditions, consult a doctor or registered dietitian before embarking on a weight loss journey.
How does the baby food diet work?
The baby food diet has guidelines regarding the quantity and type of baby food, as well as the type of adult foods that are allowed for snacks or meals. Basic recommendations include:
- Eating 14 jars of baby food throughout the day
- Option to have an adult meal at dinner
- Alternative option is to replace 1-2 snacks or meals with baby food
While the sheer boredom of eating so much bland food may help cut down on your portion size initially, it may be difficult to tolerate the baby food diet for more than a few days or weeks.
Is the baby food diet healthy?
Baby food is generally healthy because most of it is made from pureed fruits, vegetables, grains, and meat. Many baby foods don’t contain unhealthy sugars or added preservatives, and they are typically low in sodium, low in unhealthy fats, and gluten-free. They are also readily available and thus don’t require any prep time.
Following the baby food diet for up to 3 days is fine. However, longer than that and you could be risking nutrient deficiencies, especially if your calorie intake is way below the recommended amount for adults. Baby food is low in fiber and not very filling. And it’s important to remember that restrictive diets can increase the risk of developing eating disorders over long periods of time.
What are alternative options for weight loss diet plans?
The following diet plans can help you lose weight and are easier to sustain on a long-term basis:
MyPlate diet plan
The USDA has developed a help guide for adults and children called “MyPlate” which replaces the now obsolete “food pyramid.” The MyPlate model makes it easier to understand the types of food and quantity to include in each meal and has few restrictions as to what makes a balanced diet. The plate is divided into unequal sections to represent the different food groups, as follows:
- Vegetables: 40% of the plate
- Protein: 20% of the plate
- Grains: 30% of the plate
- Fruit: 10% of the plate
- Dairy: A small cup of yogurt or a glass of fat-free milk
Fasting can help you lose weight because it reduces your calorie intake. There are three methods of intermittent fasting:
- Alternate-day fasting
- Periodic fasting
- Daily time-restricted feeding
The most effective method of intermittent fasting is one that can be easily maintained based on your daily routine. Many people follow the guideline of reserving an 8-hour window for eating, where you eat from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and fast from 6 p.m. to 10 a.m.
Diet and Weight Loss Resources
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Scripps Health. 4 Fad Diets: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. https://www.scripps.org/news_items/4314-4-fad-diets-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly