5 Simple Ways to Help the Homeless

Times have become tougher for most of our brethren. Whenever I take a stroll around my neighborhood or travel to work, I can see more and more people living in the streets each day.
Fighting homelessness may look like a very daunting task, but the truth is, it is not. Through my experiences in helping out in various charitable institutions, I have learned that charity can also come in simple yet very effective forms. As long as you have genuine intentions, you can reach out to those who are in need. This post will provide you with a list of great ways to help homeless people.

1. Volunteer in Soup Kitchens

Check your local pages and see if your town has nearby soup kitchens. You can do a lot of volunteer work in soup kitchens. You can be tasked to deliver food, prepare meals, scout for donations, or take inventory of the items. The volunteer shifts usually last for four to five hours so it would not really take up most of your time. Plus, soup kitchens have this sense of community that motivates you more to help others.

2. Provide them with grooming kit

Every once in a while, you can pack some basic hygiene essentials inside a re-sealable bag and give them to people on the streets. The bag should at least have:

  • Band-aids
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Lotion
  • Socks
  • Tissues
  • Aftershave / Grooming Items
  • Towels
  • Feminine Hygiene

These helpful items will be beneficial if they want to look good for a job interview.

3. Raise a Coat Drive

The winter winds are always harsh for people living in the streets. Without any good source of warmth or any protection from the cold, most of them can die from hypothermia.
One of the ways to prevent these tragedies from befalling on them is to make sure that they at least have ample protection from the cold. Through a coat drive, you can easily gather enough old and new coats that you can give to the homeless people. You can do start the coat drive with your family and friends.

4. Turn birthdays into charitable events

Kids should be taught the spirit of charity while they are still young. Instead of spending so much on a lavish birthday party, why not turn into a charity event instead? Birthday parties become extra special if you add more purpose to it.
Instead of asking guests to bring gifts, let them bring donations and start a fundraiser. Or, you can also visit an elderly home or an orphanage and give meals. Let the young celebrant take part in a charitable event by making him choose the institution you’ll visit or allowing him to pack donation items.

5. Create a “donation jar” at home

Invite your kids to share a portion of their allowance and put it in the “donation jar.” As the jar becomes filled, talk with your family members on how they should donate the money. Let your kids participate in the decision making process so they will be encouraged to donate.

Final Thoughts

Helping out the homeless is not as complicated and expensive as what most people think. Oftentimes, a simple but pure intent is enough to make the homeless happy. In addition, helping others can also give you a sense of peace and joy to your life. If you know other effective ways to aid the needy, feel free to share your ideas in the comments section.

Students Talk To Residents In A Small Town About Health And Fitness

With obesity and disease running rampant across the nation, teaching the young and old about proper nutrition and fitness is essential to maintaining health and wellness, both physically and mentally.

Over the weekend, several physical therapist assistant students met up with certified dietitians to help residents in the small community of Essexville learn about the true importance of nutrition and fitness.

Sticking to an Exercise Routine

The volunteers took the time to explain basic exercise guidelines that the residents could implement in their daily lives to strengthen heart muscles and improve overall artery health, decreasing the chances of cardiovascular disease and strokes. With the minimum amount of exercise time being 30 minutes a day, the physical therapist assistant students encouraged residents to take brisk walks or bike rides five times a week.

Holding a conversation should only be slightly strenuous, and residents who were unable to work out on a daily basis needed to avoid a sedentary lifestyle by walking to a corner store or taking the stairs.

Because of the upswing of anxiety disorders in America, the students and dieticians took the time to explain how consistent exercise could help improve the residents’ mental stability and cognitive function. The residents learned that exercise not only reduced negative mental conditions but also improved self-esteem, and exercising on a daily basis offered numerous health benefits, such as:

  • Increased alertness and performance levels
  • Increased fat-free mass gains
  • Reduced body fat
  • Improved cardiovascular health

Implementing a Healthier Diet Regime

In order to enhance the residents’ physical performance, the physical therapist assistant students and dieticians emphasized the importance of a healthy carb diet to ensure consistent energy levels as well as a lean protein diet to support muscle repair and development. They explained that the right diet and exercise routine was even more essential for students who were involved in athletic activities, such as soccer, volleyball, and basketball.

For residents who worked full time or had families to take care of, the volunteers explained the benefits of implementing a healthier diet regime. They took the time to provide a basic guide that residents could follow, with the program being designed around each individual’s current health and lifestyle patterns. They also encouraged residents to set short-term goals that could be built into long-term goals, ensuring proper weight loss in small increments.

Residents were able to see how food consumption should come from proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Diets that are high in these nutrients successfully help support daily activities, and the calories offer sufficient amounts of energy to exercise and maintain a healthy metabolism.

With obesity becoming a main concern among families across the nation, the students and dieticians focused on effective weight management for residents. Residents were able to see firsthand how unhealthy diets could lead to health conditions, such as cancer, strokes, high blood pressure, and diabetes. To minimize the risk of heart disease, the volunteers emphasized the importance of placing your body in a calorie deficit to burn more calories than are consumed, implementing the following food groups that are high in nutritional value and low in calorie content:

  • Fresh fruit
  • Cruciferous vegetables
  • Fish and poultry

Visiting a Physical Therapy Facility

With their goal being to reduce the risk of disease and chronic pain, the students stressed the need for physical checkups to help minimize injuries during exercise routines. The physical therapist assistant students reported that improper diet and fitness routines could result in various physical conditions, such as:

  • Back pain
  • Orthopedic injuries
  • Vestibular conditions

Residents who ate unhealthy diets and did not exercise were more prone to getting injured by implementing too much at one time. The students reported that physical therapy could help relieve a variety of chronic pain associated with sports’ injuries, surgeries, and rehabilitation.

Encouraging the young and old to focus on a healthier lifestyle is essential to helping America overcome obesity and chronic pain, but change starts in small communities. For this reason, several physical therapist assistant students and dieticians volunteered their time to spend a weekend discussing the true importance of fitness and diet to the residents of Essexville.

The Gift Of Helping Others

In our modern society we are frequently conditioned by advertising and media to believe that the joy in life is getting, that the way to enrich our lives is through acquiring possessions, eating stimulating food being stimulated by entertainment. In reality though this kind of attitude towards life is like a bottomless bucket, we can never get enough, because the more we are stimulated, the more desensitized we become to that stimulation. The more possessions we have, to more we compare ourselves to others who have more possessions. The cycle is endless. Luckily, more and more people are slowly realizing that this kind of existence is not the most fulfilling and that it is giving back to others, helping, teaching and mentoring others that can be truly fulfilling over the long term. One of the best routes to this giving mentality can be through a profession, such as those who learn how to become a counselor or psychologist. Life coaching is also becoming a well-paid, respected and fulfilling career path.
Giving back to others is all about creating value and utilizing our talents and strengths to enrich the lives of others. People who give also have an abundance mindset, they realize that there is enough in this world to provide for everyone, so they don’t mind giving up some of their time and energy to do this. That is truly amazing
For those who are inspired to become a counselor today I would tell them to ask themselves if they think they have what it takes. This is not an easy profession, but it is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling. Seeing past clients overcome their own problems and flourish is amazing and motivating. It’s something that volunteering and getting involved in charitable organizations should consider if they are wondering about a career path. You must have strong empathy skills and a passion for working with people and understanding what makes people tick. A trait of a good counselor is someone who is not judgmental at all, and is strongly self-aware. Often people become Counselor because they are learning to overcome their own challenges and counseling others is a path to this.
Lots of people who are interested in charitable work and helping others are good counselors because they have the ability to strongly emphasize with others and they can understand where they are coming from. Sometimes clients go to counselor not to overcome their problems exactly but to seek acceptance from others about them. Feeding the hungry is helping others on a physical level, counseling is helping others on a psychological level, they both do a lot of good. Often times when you can help someone psychologically they can then go onto help themselves get fed which is a wonderful thing. Sometimes people are already very successful in life but are looking to go to the next level and overcome even more barriers but they need a mirror to reflect back where their sticking points are, you might be able to provide that for them.

What Food Will Help Homeless People?

We can all be quick to judge a homeless person seen sitting in a corner somewhere with their life’s possessions around them. But many of these people have found themselves in a hopeless position and the choice to live on the streets seems to be the only one open to them.

Some may have lost their homes to repossession (either with homeownership or rentals) or have had businesses which have collapsed and left them in dire financial troubles. All of these cases are something that can happen to anyone.

One of the main problems in the homeless community is food. So if you want to donate food to the homeless shelters to give these people a little assistance, what is the best food to donate?

Malnutrition

Malnutrition is a major issue for homeless people and has a range of affects on people. These can range from impairment of the immune system leading to susceptibility to illness as well as delayed healing of wounds. Reduction in muscle strength, fatigue and a greater chance of respiratory problems are also common effects.

Studies have found that amongst homeless; only one quarter ate vegetables daily and two thirds of them rarely ever ate fruit. They live on diets which are high in sugar and saturated fats. But the same survey showed that 70% of those spoken to wanted to improve their diets. So what can be done?

Improving diet

When you consider donating food for a homeless charity or shelter, one of the best things to give is fresh fruit and vegetables, especially if they have some time left on the best before date. These provide a huge range of vitamins and minerals which are often completely missing from the diet of homeless people. We all aim for five a day, and this will help make an improvement in their chances of this dietary requirement.

Snacks which are high in carbohydrates are good for people who do not always remember to eat. Some homeless people have substance issues which mean they do not think to eat so by donating snacks of this type; this provides them with lots of calories in one go.

This eventually can increase the amount of body fat they have which in itself encourages them to eat. This may seem to conflict with a healthy diet but with people who don’t eat, something is better than nothing. Once they are on a more balanced eating habit, then a better diet can be examined.

Dieticians

If you don’t want to donate actual food, why not consider donating some money to a scheme which provides a community dietician. These are specialists who work with the homeless people to try and improve their diets depending on their individual situations and health issues. They can also, if necessary, make use of dietary supplements in odd occasions when this is vitally needed.

What this means


A little money can do a lot for homeless people, be it buying a few basic supplies or help towards the funding of specialists to help them improve their lives.

The next step is not just providing homeless people with the right nutrition but also providing them with the right shelter.

There are specialist support organisations that can help, charities, support workers and the council even provide advice on where to look.

Very often this leads to working with private landlords, investment companies or supported housing, as these are often the front line housing solutions.

Food, Shelter, support and even a friend to listen to are all crucial services. Even the smallest donation can help and food is one way we can all provide a much needed support network for this often mis-treated section of society.

“Pay it Forward” Coffee Program Gives Hope and Health

No one likes to see people go hungry or without the things they need. Certainly, for most of mankind showing you care for another person is intrinsically a part of human nature. But finding the time to make a difference in today’s busy world can seem overwhelming when it seems the daily tasks and needs of our immediate family or careers can seem endless. For many people in today’s ever busy society, finding time to show you care can be difficult. But there are some great ways people can show they care without needing to donate hours of their time.

“Pay It Forward”

We have started a great program that allows people to donate to their local homeless people with ease. Through our coffee “Pay it Forward” programs, customers can simply buy a cup of coffee from freshly roasted coffee beans for a homeless person when they purchase their own special daily cup of java. The task is simple and yet can let a homeless person know they are cared for in a hectic and difficult world.

Research shows that many homeless people used to have regular lives. However, often due to extenuating financial circumstances, or because of mental, physical or emotional trauma homeless people can find themselves without a home, job or even a commercial coffee machine. You can help make a difference! Just a simple cup of donated coffee for a homeless person can help them feel cared about and can begin to help inspire some change in their lives. Certainly most people know that a cup of hot coffee is great to help keep them warm on a cool or cold morning. But the benefits of coffee go well beyond that.

Health Benefits of Coffee
In addition to coffee’s ability to provide caffeine alertness for the homeless, coffee has some great health benefits. Coffee is great for people with asthma and can stave off an asthma attack. Coffee is also rich in antioxidants which can help with keeping the body healthy. Studies show that caffeine can help reduce the risk of type 2 Diabetes by as much as 12%, it can protect against liver disease and a variety of types of cancer.

Additionally, people who drink 3 cups of coffee a day can significantly reduce their risks for Dementia and Cardiovascular Disease, two of the main health risks for the elderly and homeless. Another great health benefit of consuming coffee on a daily basis is that studies have shown that consuming coffee can increase the body’s metabolism rate which aids in weight loss a leading cause of many diseases and early death.

So when you go to get your next morning cup of coffee, think about “paying it forward” and letting a homeless person know that you care about them. This warm gesture will warm their hearts and their body’s. While a seemingly small gift, you are giving a gesture of hope and health. The gift of coffee give can truly help a person to feel cared about all while helping them to better care for their body’s long and short term needs.

Please also consider donating to The Lighthouse Foundation as they do some incredible work.

Giving a Helping Hand in Feeding the Hungry

There are a lot of people who are experiencing starvation nowadays. The fortunate ones however, are striving to fend for those who are hungry. Starvation is very common in third world countries where poverty is predominant. Due to the increasing rates of poverty, children and adults are suffering tremendously, because they have very limited resources to effectively support them. They are mostly dependent on their immediate families and siblings who also have barely enough to eat.

Food is the most basic necessity for humans, but affording this important survival need is a problem to many poor families. This has led to a large part of the world population to suffer from malnutrition and starvation. According to recent statistics, more than 500 million people in Africa, Latin America and Asia suffer from starvation year in year out due to absolute poverty. This causes them to beg for food aid every year.

In addition, approximately 15 million children die of hunger miserably. The world health organization gave shocking statistics indicating that it is just a third of the world population that is well fed, while the one third is starving and the remaining third is under-fed. It is also estimated that one out of twelve people in the world are malnourished, and among them 160 million are children below the age of five.

In developed countries, all the sale signs you see on houses written “bank owned” or “foreclosure” means another poor family has lost their home. Many of them are now living in shelters, cars or have luckily been taken in by other families. These people have no room to live, no kitchen and most definitely have nothing to cook for their families. The hungry people in developed countries and many others in developing countries are solely responsible for the rise in the number of people who are starved and malnourished as suggested by the statistics. However, it is children who suffer most.

Different communities have devised various ways to help the hungry population. Some of the most common feeding the hungry programs are: food banks, meal sites, food share, second harvest, and Samaritan centers.

Using food banks, organizations donate non-perishable and perishable foods to the people in need. People in need come in and receive this basic necessity and take them to their hungry families. These food banks receive their products from donations and grocery shops that give out slightly damaged foods. You can also help by buying some boxes of foods and dropping them in the food banks near you, instead of for example buying the best kids scooter for your children, or buying the best weight bench for your workout needs. By doing just that, you would have saved a soul with just that small donation.

Food sharing is a situation where you harvest just enough from your garden and then call the hungry to come and harvest the rest or just inform organizations that are responsible to come and do the harvesting and take to the needy.

Meal sites are normally in churches. The church members come with meals which they share with the less privileged in the society. Here you will also find some amenities to keep the hungry children busy as the church congregation continue worshipping and serving them.

Samaritan center is a multi-functional centre set in towns; it provides lunch and breakfast to the homeless. It can also provide laundry, showers and toilet services plus advocating for the homeless rights.

Second harvest feeding the hungry program works in restaurants ,where the remaining food is packed and taken to food banks or straight to hungry children who are normally assembled at comfortable homes.

Healing the Homeless

Homelessness is a problem that reaches far beyond the worry of not having a roof over your head. Imagine if you had no consistent bathroom to use, no steady assurance of water to even wash your hands before you eat.

Doctors have recently made the connections between seemingly unrelated issues such as oral hygiene and inflammatory diseases through out the whole body. Gum disease is an indicator that person might have insulin or cardiovascular issues for instance.

With that understanding in mind, it is no wonder that people who are not able to steadily care for their personal hygiene redevelop larger health issuers. Add to that the stress of not knowing where to go nightly, not knowing how to pick up your life again to have some consistency from week to week, and mix in the fear of being sustained off of kind contributions for sustenance and you might have an idea of the trouble of being homeless.

A Simple Solution for You

People without homes most likely do not use preventive health care in its various forms. A low quality diet, little if any health checkups and poor hygiene are the results of not having a solid housing situation. As an educator who has worked with homeless children and families, I have seen first hand the problems associated with families that live in shelters, streets, or if they are lucky, a cramped hotel room. I wholeheartedly believe that sharing information is the best way to combat the problems associated with homelessness.

If helping the homeless is truly a concern laid on your heart, create a kit to take around with you everywhere. I did this when I lived in Savannah, Georgia. I had a toothbrush, a pack of cereal bars, and a bottle of water. Looking back, I should have included a list of places for them to go for help (but, hey, I was only 19). The popular television minister, Joyce Meyer, advices that everyone should keep a collection of gift cards with them so that instead of giving cash, you know you are providing a person with a specific item such as groceries or gas that is important to you to share.

Be Charitable By Educating Yourself

A quick search on the internet will guide you through several options for helping out the homeless to certain resources in your area. As I begin each school year, I compile a list of resources for families that includes places to get free checkups (don’t leave out your public school nurse), scheduled food drives, private charities, temporary employment options, safe houses, educational classes, rehabilitation centers, or recreational centers for public use.

Although it feels nice to hand a homeless person a $20, you might do them a much better world of good by handing them a gift card to a restaurant or grocery store and a brochure about local resources. Sometimes the most overlooked things increase a person’s health.

For example, one of my students was living in a hotel/car at the time. His mother tried to run their day as normally as she could. In their case, they were lucky that they had the means to have a cramped hotel room. As far as food and health care goes,

I’m not sure what they did to keep healthy. I do know that the local recreational center was available to them, and that the son could play ball with his classmates, and that the mother could relax in the rec pool. I’m sure that she lived for those moments of just floating not sorting out life so much. Thankfully they are now living in their own home now and even have their own above ground pool .There is something healing about a recharge in a pool that promotes clarity – not to mention the physical benefits of swimming around.

A Problem With Many Faces

When thinking of the homeless, understand that the problem has many different faces. They may look like they just rolled out of a trashcan, but under the skin could be a heart that is breaking and needs a little help and healing. Do some research in your area about what resources are out there for families. You might even find a place to visit a nice pool!

Using the skills of a personal trainer courses salesman to help feed the homeless

As a young aspiring professional at the age of 21, my life’s goals were practically set out for me:

1. Finish my University Degree
2. Find a challenging job in Marketing
3. Make a name for myself and learn my chosen field
4. Start my own Marketing Agency

These were always in the back of my mind, from starting my first job as an intern at Discovery Learning (one of the UK’s leading providers of personal trainer courses) I was constantly looking to meet new contacts, networking and staying in touch with high ranking professionals because as I was once told, it’s not so much what you know, it’s who you know!

During my time at Discovery, I moved around a lot as the company has offices all over the country. I spent a lot of time selling personal trainer courses at the Discovery academy in Nottingham and the Discovery venue in Leeds.

So upon completing my challenging internship as a Marketing Intern, one in which I was given plenty of freedom and many job tasks that are not usually asked of an intern, I returned to university somewhat disheartened.

I was that little bit closing to making my way through my life’s goals, I was constantly networking and had gained invaluable experience that would make me attractive to future employers, but it hadn’t been how I expected. There was no sense of satisfaction – I thought I would go back to University ‘hungry’, but I was starting to question whether this was right for me.

What was it? Was it the fact that I have realized I had picked the wrong subject? No, I was good at it and found it enjoyable but I had found that there was no weekday drive; I didn’t get the same feeling from working as I had from sitting my degree when I still had that passion, and it seemed that my ambition was fading…

I finished my degree with a high 2:1, happily left university and began thinking about my next move – I hadn’t applied to any graduate roles as my placement had left me unsure of what I wanted to do. I decided that I should probably go travelling and try and find myself before I jumped straight into the first day of the rest of my life. The only problem with that is that I had no money; so that’s when I started temping, jumping from job to job, 2 months at a time on average and it was towards the end of my year long temping period (right before I was set to start backpacking) that I truly re discovered my drive.

The answer lied not in monetary satisfaction, accomplishing career goals, these were all noise and would come naturally as I progressed with my life. I had started a temp job at a charity company, using my marketing background to help attract donations for the homeless in London – I suddenly had a reason to rush out of bed in the morning, I was no longer a “weekend warrior” who dreaded Monday’s and prayed for Fridays, I suddenly had meaning back in my life and that is when I started to make the drastic decision to scrap my previous life goals, and not cancel my trip around the world.

As much as I was looking forward to see the world, I decided that I could do that later in life, when I had started to make a difference, I used the money I had saved to fund my own non-profit organisation to help feed the homeless and invested in a website, designer and a load of office equipment to get started.

For the first 3 months I was working nonstop, around the clock, using everything I had learnt in my degree and in my internship selling personal trainer courses at Discovery Learning to try and keep the donations coming in. I was recruiting volunteers, organizing events and taking donations all by myself and until this really kicked off it is what I had to do! I managed to develop myself a strategy, I had a number of food banks set up, and was raising enough money to open a kitchen for the homeless – it was exciting, but truly exhausting.

One year later here I am, two soup kitchens have been opened in London – plans are in motion to expand our operations across the UK, we are feeding thousands of homeless in London each day and are taking enough donations to make a real difference. The number of employees has grown; we are really starting to take in a steady level of donations and will be looking to keep performing into the foreseeable future.

Some would say that I am pursuing a completely selfless career path, and people tell me what a nice person I am, but in all honesty this is not the case. I started this because of the most selfish reasons, I found a self satisfaction in charity that you cannot apprehend and no matter what the reason, I am just glad that less people in the UK will be going hungry each night.

Jazz Fest: A Weekend of Jazz to Help the Hungry

We are very excited to be organizing our first annual Jazz Fest for Feeding the Hungry. In this article, we will tell you more about why we are so excited about this event, the good it could do in our community, and how you could personally help out. This jazz fest promises to feature some of the best jazz musicians, and all for a great cause that we know everyone can get behind.

We See Hunger Everyday

We see the effects of hunger on our community every day. From hungry children to hungry elders, hunger can truly effect anyone and everyone. In our current economic times, hunger has become an even larger issue, with high rates of unemployment and underemployment. Often times, these families do not know where to turn in order to seek help. For some of them, we are their very last option to help keep their households fed. So many families need help, though, that we often do not have enough food (or enough hours in the day) to help everyone who needs it.

Together, We Can Do Good

We exist only because of the kindness of the community. When you join us at the Jazz Fest, you can not only have fun, but you can also help those in the community that need it the most! We want our Jazz Fest to help us raise money to expand how many families we can serve, the amount of fresh produce we can have on hand, as well as how much storage space we have on the premises. Buy a ticket to our Jazz Fest and reinvest in your community!

Putting On A Show

Organizing a Jazz Fest is a lot of work! We are very fortunate to have a lot of local musicians who have graciously agreed to donate their time for such a worthy cause but are also hoping to land a few big names like Bobby McFerrin or the legendary trumpet player Wynton Marsalis. How cool would that be!

We’ve also received great support from local business willing to donate all sorts of essentials like staging, exhibition tents, tables, chairs, portable toilets and even door prizes. We even had a purveyor of musical instruments donate a pocket trumpet to be raffled off! The outpouring of support has been tremendous and re-affirms our believe that people are genuinely good at heart and willing to help their fellow man if giving the chance.

How You Can Help

Want to know other ways that you can help? We are currently accepting donations of both money and nonperishable items (and will be at the Jazz Fest). Or, you can sign-up to volunteer with us by either helping with the festival (free admission!) or just stopping by to see how you can help us during regular business hours. No matter what you skills, or how much or little time you have, we always appreciate the help. You can also stop-by to purchase your very own Jazz Fest tickets when you stop-by the today.

Be Careful With Extreme Diets

When trying to feed the hungry, we don’t accept unhealthy food. It has to be healthy and nutritious food that contain all important nutrients that we humans need. Feeding them junk food would not do them a favor at all. And that goes for all of you, not just the poor.

You probably know the basics already. Vitamins, minerals, fiber, proteins, carbohydrates and a small amount of fat are all necessary for maintaining good health. But even though most people know this, they are still attracted by the promises of quick fixes and lousy fitness products.

That is why we would like to take this opportunity to warn you about more or less every extreme diet out there. Quick fixes NEVER work! The only proven thing for sustainable weight loss is eating from a balanced menu of healthy foods, and adopting a more active lifestyle. Exercise can really do wonders!

These are some popular but extreme diets that you should be careful about:

  • LCHF. Low Carbohydrate High Fat (LCHF) is a ketogenic diet that limits the intake of foods rich in carbs – like pasta, potato and rice. It also encourages you to eat a lot of fat. Fatty sauces and meat are very common on the LCHF menu. When you hear the stories of people who have lost a great deal of weight on this diet, it’s easy to think that this is the answer to your hopes of losing weight. Wrong. There is no scientific evidence that it actually works, and doctors are saying that cholesterol can reach dangerous levels, potentially causing heart diseases.
  • 5:2. The 5:2 diet has become very popular in the last few years. It’s a form of intermittent fasting with two days of lower calorie intake (only 500-600 calories) and five days of normal eating. The two fasting days should not be consecutive. Advocates claim that the 5:2 diet is great for losing weight and lowering the risk for cancer. But this is yet another case where there’s no scientific evidence to back up the claims. Experts say that nutrient deficiencies, bad breath, dizziness and less energy are fairly common side effects.
  • Vegan Diet. Veganism requires you to avoid all animal products. This means that you can’t eat fish, meat, egg or drink regular milk. As opposed to LCHF and 5:2, following a vegan diet has measurable positive health effects (e.g. lower risk for heart disease). But we still believe that for most people it’s better to not follow it. Mainly because not eating any animal products can cause nutrient deficiencies – especially for vitamin D and B12, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • 13 Day Diet. This is perhaps the least known of the four diets, but it has become quite popular lately. It’s very strict and extremely low in calories (around 500/day), and only allows you to eat what’s stated on the highly specified menu. You are supposed to follow it for thirteen consecutive days, after which your metabolism should have changed so that it burns fat much more efficiently. Or so it’s claimed. As is usually the case with the latest fads, there is no evidence showing that it works. Risks include fatigue, mood swings and bad breath.
  • If you would like to learn about more extreme diets, you can do so at The Diet Expert. Apart from diets, it also covers other unconventional methods for weight loss (vitamin injections, laxatives, diet patches).

    It’s worth repeating one more time. The only thing that is proven to work is following a balanced diet and to exercise regularly. Extreme solutions almost never solve any problems.