Diet fads come and go. The “baby food diet” is one that has been making the rounds. Supposedly, Hollywood stars like Reese Witherspoon and Marcia Cross eat jars of baby food instead of real food, helping to curb their appetites and keep their figures trim. You may be tempted to follow the same type of diet. After all, opening a jar of baby food is significantly easier than cooking a healthy meal. Unfortunately, this diet may not be all that it’s cracked up to be.
The basics of the baby food diet are fairly simple. You simply replace your meals with jars of baby food. The details however, vary according to the source. Some people might replace all the food that they eat with baby food, while others make sure to eat at least one adult meal per day. Others still simply use baby food as a between-meal snack. The idea is that the jars of baby food are extremely low in calories and can keep you full.
Calorie content varies based on the baby food that you choose. “Meals” are higher in calories than fruits or vegetables, and Stage 2 or Stage 3 jars are larger than Stage 1 jars. You’ll generally find that a jar of baby food has fewer than 100 calories. Baby food is pure food, without added salt and, often, without added preservatives. This means that you’re getting the same nutrition in baby food carrots as you would eating regular carrots, for example.
It’s doubtful that you’ll be able to feel satisfied eating one jar of baby food. You will probably need more than one jar at each meal. Additionally, you may miss the chewing action of eating real food. This lack of satiety can lead you to binge on other foods later on, defeating the purpose of the diet.
Extreme vs. Moderate
Your success will depend on how you follow the diet. If you’re eating nothing but baby food, you are probably not eating enough calories, which can lower your metabolism. According to “Marie Claire” magazine though, Los Angeles-based nutritionist Dr. Marty Edwards says that substituting baby food for junk foods that you might eat between meals does make sense. However, unless you happen to enjoy the taste of baby food, you may find that you’re better off replacing those junk foods with a real banana instead of baby food bananas.
The American Heart Association strongly urges you to avoid fad diets. These types of diets often decrease your metabolism, which leads to regaining the weight once you begin to eat normal foods once again.