There are several different version of the "Watermelon Diet" floating around the web; so, which one is the right one? The answer is, that it doesn't really matter. Any diet which includes a lot of watermelon can technically be considered a "Watermelon Diet"; the general idea behind it being that if you replace part of what you would normally eat in a meal with watermelon - which is, of course, made mostly from water - that you can fill up on fewer calories.
For example, say you would normally eat a large bowl of rice and beans with vegetables for lunch; instead, you would cut that down to a smaller bowl (maybe two thirds or half as much) and replace what you took out with a large slice of watermelon, this way, you can fill up on less food.
As I said before, watermelon is, of course, mostly water, but that's not all: it is a good source of potassium, as well as Vitamin A and Vitamin C. And while it is very low in Saturated Fat, one thing to keep in mind is that, like nearly all fruit, watermelon contains a fair amount of sugar. Another boon for the watermelon are that it contains lycopene, the red pigment it shares with the tomato, and which is also an antioxidant known for preventing a number of different types of cancer.
For men considering some form of the watermelon dieting, there is even a rumor going around that watermelon can raise one's virility, something like a natural Viagra. The source of this rumored effect is an amino acid known as citrulline which dilates blood vessels, similar to the way the above mentioned man drug does.
In short, if you tend to overeat, it isn't a bad idea to get out of that habit by cutting down on starch and/or protein and replacing that with watermelon (or really, any other fruit) to keep full. On the other hand, there are more extreme versions of the watermelon diet that boast marvelously fast weight loss or body detoxification. Before you jump on board one of these extreme, quick fix diets, you should be aware of some of the negative side effects associated with this supposed detoxification or magic weight loss miracle.
If you begin eating only watermelon in order to lose weight fast, this will result in a huge calorie drop; one that your body might not be ready for. Furthermore, the 200-300 calories a day you can expect to get from eating even a mountain of watermelon at each meal, is not enough for your body to fight off disease in its ordinary capacity. On top of that, all of that extra water you are consuming can cause diarrhea and bloating (so even though you weigh less, you might not look it!).
Finally, in extreme cases, the watermelon diet - that is, the extreme version of it - can even cause hypovolemic shock: a condition which, because of extreme blood or fluid loss, makes the heart unable to pump enough blood to the body, and can even result in organ failure. Other, less extreme side effects of hypovolemic shock include: anxiety, clammy skin, confusion, inability to pee, overall weakness of the body, pale skin, quick breathing, sweating, and passing out.
Essentially, eating only watermelon is the same as not eating at all. So, obviously, that will make you lose weight quickly, but even more obviously, it is not good for you. And, like any form of extreme dieting, as soon as you go back to eating normally, you are going to put the weight, if not even more weight than you started with, right back on again.
As far as detoxification is concerned: watermelon is known as an excellent diuretic; because of this some diet people will tell you that it will cleanse your body of toxins, leave you feeling fresh, and that kind of thing.
- If you eat only watermelon, which as we said above, is basically the same thing as not eating at all, you are not going to feel good.
- Look at the nutritional information of anything you eat, no matter how heinously unhealthy it is, and tell me if you can find "toxins" anywhere.
- If you want to have healthy things in your body, just eat healthy ALL THE TIME. Holing up all winter, living off frozen pizzas and T.V. dinners, only to purge all that garbage out of yourself all at once come springtime, is MADNESS. If you don't want nasty stuff in your system, just eat healthy all the time, and then you won't have to rely on extreme detoxification diets like this that could jeopardize your health.
Healthy food and exercise, all year round, is the key to looking and feeling healthy. There are no two ways to cut it. Extreme "detoxification" or quick weight loss diets are simply not good for you in the long run. That being said, however, this doesn't mean that eating more fruits like watermelon in place of the excess starch or meat you are used to eating, is a bad idea. Here is an example of a healthy lunch involving watermelon:
Watermelon & Wrap Combo
1/2 large whole wheat pita
2-3 generous slices of tomato
1-2 kale or lettuce leaves
1/4 brick of tofu, sliced
A little Dijon mustard
1 generous slice of watermelon
Everything but the watermelon goes in the pita. This meal is delicious, healthy, filling, and fairly cheap too! You are better off eating meals like this, all the time, and being fit and healthy, all the time, than by going back and forth between periodic excesses of unhealthy eating and sudden, quick fix purging. Still, by all means, eat all the watermelon you like! It is delicious and good for you. But if you plan on using it as a kind of magic miracle weight loss cleansing diet, please be aware of the negative side effects this could have for your body.