Downsides of the cucumber diet

Downsides of the cucumber diet

While you may lose weight temporarily, the downsides of the diet outweigh any of its potential benefits.

It’s very restrictive
The cucumber diet restricts most food groups and encourages eating almost only cucumbers for up to two weeks.

This diet is not only nutritionally inadequate but also promotes negative eating behaviors, such as extreme dieting, that may lead to an unhealthy relationship with food.

Research shows that restrictive dieting is a form of disordered eating that can negatively affect your ability to control your food intake (9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source).

Despite patterns of food restriction, this form of disordered eating is highly associated with the development of obesity (9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source).

Low in fat and protein
Cucumbers can be a good source of nutrition when coupled with a balanced diet.

However, cucumbers are naturally low in calories, as well as protein and fat, which are two essential macronutrients. A single 10-ounce (300-gram) cucumber only provides 2 grams of protein and 0.3 grams of fat (7Trusted Source).

Protein is important for many functions in your body, such as the production of enzymes and hormones, maintenance of skin structure, and muscle growth (3Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source).

Meanwhile, fat provides a concentrated source of calories, with 9 calories per gram. Furthermore, fats are important for nerve function, brain health, and the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K (14, 15Trusted Source).

The diet suggests pairing cucumbers with protein-rich food sources, such as chicken or eggs, which will provide some protein and fat.

However, research shows that protein should be consumed at every meal to aid muscle maintenance and growth (12Trusted Source).

It’s not sustainable
The cucumber diet is not designed to be followed for longer than 7–14 days.

It cannot be sustained long-term, as it’s very low in calories and will not provide a complete source of nutrition.

For example, a typical day on the cucumber diet would provide approximately 800 calories. This would include around 6 cucumbers, a serving of chicken or fish, 2 eggs, 1 cup of cottage cheese, and a few other vegetables (7Trusted Source).

Keep in mind that some versions of the diet are even more restrictive.

Extreme calorie restriction can lead to a slower metabolism over time, as this is your body’s response to real or perceived starvation (8Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source).

As a result, you’re more likely to regain any lost weight — even if you continue to eat fewer calories than you did before you started the diet (16Trusted Source).

Finally, restricting food variety is not enjoyable or nutritious. While it’s important to keep desserts and other treats to a minimum, humans also enjoy food for its taste, memories, and celebrations.

There is absolutely no reason to limit whole and healthy foods, such as fish, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits (17Trusted Source).

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