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Cucumber Diet Review: Is It Worth It?

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Kasparas Aleknavičius, MD November 3, 2022

Certain diets claim to promote rapid weight loss and promise you astonishing results. One of such diets, the cucumber diet might sound truly tempting, but we suggest you learn more about it before you make a decision.

The cucumber diet only focuses on one type of food. Many claim you can lose weight in just seven days, but that might not be true for everyone.

Eating cucumbers seems a bit extreme at first glance. Since this food has minimal calories, your body relies on burning fat for that energy source. How does this diet work for weight loss exactly, and is it safe to follow when looking to lose those extra pounds?

In this article, we explain what the cucumber diet is.

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What Is the Cucumber Diet?

The cucumber diet restricts most foods and encourages you to eat cucumbers for at least one week. According to all nutritional guidelines and lack of research, this diet is very restrictive, unsustainable, and may even be dangerous if followed long term.

Some people follow this diet to lose 15 pounds in 7 days. This may only happen when replacing most food groups with cucumbers and small amounts of protein. You could have eggs or nuts, but most of your meals should revolve around cucumbers.

Although this diet promises fast weight loss, no studies support these claims. Eating only cucumbers for seven days may do more harm than good. The human body needs lots of nutrition to function properly and burn fat efficiently.

How Does the Cucumber Diet Work?

A cucumber diet is very restrictive when it comes to making meals. The main focus is eating lots of cucumbers, even when you need a quick snack. Just remember that this diet is unsustainable and won’t boost weight loss results in a healthy way.

Below, you’ll find a list of the top rules for dieters:

  • Cucumbers have to be in every meal
  • Eat a cucumber when you feel hungry
  • Drink at least 50fl oz of water a day
  • You can eat minimal protein-rich foods
  • Have at least two cucumbers a day
  • You’re allowed to add small amounts of carbs

Cucumbers have many benefits that can help you lose some weight. Since they are mainly made up of water, they won’t contribute to fat cell production. The lack of calories, carbs, fats, and sugars means your body targets stubborn fat for energy.

Be aware that you still need to have three meals a day. For example, you might have two eggs with a side of cucumber for breakfast. A lunch could comprise a cucumber salad, and dinner mainly focuses on roasted chicken with cucumbers to snack on.

You should not follow this diet for more than 14 days due to its unsustainability. Some people recommend only following it for one week. Going too long on a severe calorie restriction may lead to episodes of binge eating, which can disrupt your results.

Will the Cucumber Diet Help You Lose Weight?

A weight loss diet that only focuses on strict calorie intake can help you lose weight in the short term, but you’ll most likely regain that fat. The human body tends to hold onto extra fat when you’re not feeding it enough, leading to more obstacles in your journey.

People can expect to lose around 7-14 pounds on the cucumber diet. This depends on their meals, exercise routine, and current weight. Losing this much in a short amount of time is unhealthy and may cause side effects like reduced metabolism, lowered immunity, and even reduced fertility in women.

The safe weight loss pace is 1-2 pounds a week. You can achieve this by eating lots of nutritious foods containing protein, carbs, and healthy fats. A normal diet shouldn’t be so restrictive, especially if you’re looking to build muscle while losing weight.

Just remember there’s no way to lose weight fast without damaging your health. The cucumber diet might sound ideal, but this may only work for 2-3 days before it becomes dangerous. Always consume the essential nutrients when following a new diet plan.

Are There any Health Benefits?

One sure benefit of the cucumber diet is weight loss.

If you only eat cucumbers and small amounts of protein, the body begins to burn fat for energy sources. This puts you in a calorie deficit that is very low in calories. All the lost weight might be temporary if you go back to normal eating after the diet.

Some other benefits can only be associated with the general benefits of weight loss. You might notice a flatter stomach, but this is only due to reducing bloating. It takes a while to see differences in your body, so don’t be so strict on your physical changes.

Here are some related benefits of weight loss:

  • Small improvements in blood pressure
  • You might have better moods
  • A clean-feeling gut
  • Lower levels of triglycerides
  • Could develop more self-confidence

You can experience other long-term benefits without following a strict weight loss program. Eating healthy foods containing lots of nutrients can actually decrease the risk of heart disease. If you look after your body, it will reward you with good health.

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Allowed Foods on the Cucumber Diet

There are certain foods you can have on this strict diet. You should mostly eat cucumbers with every meal, but there are still protein-rich foods that can spice up recipes. Just remember that this diet requires your meals to be low in calories.

Let’s take a look at what foods you can eat:

  • Vegetables: Cucumbers, spinach, kale, celery, lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, and other low-calorie vegetables.
  • Protein: Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, chicken, lean beef, eggs, and fish.
  • Carbohydrates: Potatoes, brown rice, whole-wheat bread, and other whole grains.
  • Fats: Olive oil and seed butters.

As you can see, there isn’t much choice for your meals. However, you can make regular weight loss smoothies using different ingredients. Some people recommend drinking green tea or lemon juice to gain nutrients that aren’t in those cucumber meals.

Foods To Avoid on the Cucumber Diet

Since the cucumber diet is very restrictive, you can’t enjoy most food groups. You should always read nutrition labels to make sure the product is low in calories. The diet recommends pairing cucumbers with protein instead of fruits or sugary foods.

Below, you’ll find foods to avoid on the cucumber diet:

  • Fruits: You can only have very small amounts of fruit in a cucumber smoothie.
  • High-sugar foods: Candy, soda, desserts, cookies, cakes, etc.

If you want to lose some weight, you should avoid foods with a high sugar content anyway. Junk food may cause health problems that lead to heart diseases. Just make sure to also monitor your cooking techniques and don’t add high-calorie oils.

Possible Risks and Disadvantages

The downsides of this diet outweigh any benefits. Eating low-calorie foods may trigger disordered eating that sets back your weight loss. If you want to have a healthy relationship with food, you shouldn’t fully restrict all delicious food options.

Here are 3 possible risks and disadvantages of the cucumber diet:

Extremely restrictive

By now, you know the cucumber diet is not healthy. The diet advises that you should eat cucumbers with most meals. Even though cucumbers have many important nutrients, consuming them alone won’t boost your weight loss progress.

Super restrictive diets usually encourage people to eat small portions of food. This can damage your overall health in the long term. Losing stubborn weight is all about ingesting nutritional calories that stop the body from storing extra fat.

Instead, aim to eat protein-rich foods that support weight loss and muscle growth. You don’t have to go 7 days eating less than 1000 calories. It’s much better to extend the weight loss journey to at least one month to see big changes in your weight.

Can cause nutritional deficiencies

The human body needs important nutrients to stay healthy. A strict diet may cause nutritional deficiencies that set back your progress. For example, only eating cucumbers means you’re missing out on protein, fiber, vitamin E, iron, calcium, and healthy fat.

Following this diet for too long might trigger symptoms like severe hair loss, bone pain, headaches, constipation, and muscle weakness. These side effects can make you feel extremely weak, which might prevent you from working out and losing weight.

Weight loss is not sustainable

Losing stubborn fat requires a long-term, sustainable effort. A cucumber-based diet won’t benefit your progress, as it might slow down your metabolism. This means you’ll burn fewer calories since the metabolism can’t burn through fat efficiently.

To achieve fat loss, you need to eat plenty of food while exercising. Feeling weak can stop you from performing high-intensity workouts. Meals containing vitamin C, lean meat, and plant-based protein may reduce continuous fat cell production.

People regain fat once they’ve finished this strict diet. Once this happens, you might feel defeated and give up altogether. Just remember that eating fresh cucumbers alone isn’t the way to achieve your goals, so find another diet that has sustainable methods.

Choose Intermittent Fasting Instead For Faster Weight Loss

Intermittent fasting is an excellent way to lose stubborn fat and improve your general health. You can still limit your calories without cutting out essential nutrients. Beginners are advised to try the 12/12 fast first and then adjust the fasting window as you see fit.

This fat loss method has more benefits than the cucumber diet. Since you aren’t removing certain food groups, your system is still being fueled with vitamins and minerals. Exercising while fasting can also boost your physical performance.

Here are some other benefits of intermittent fasting:

  • Can help you lose visceral fat
  • Reduces insulin resistance in those with diabetes
  • Helps soothe inflammation
  • Strengthens your heart functions
  • Helps to repair immune and nerve cells
  • Could boost your memory
  • Balances out hormone levels

If you need guidance when fasting, the DoFasting app contains the most popular intermittent fasting methods. You can choose from over 5000 recipes and manage your own dietary preferences. The in-app features also allow you to customize everything.

Taking the next step on your weight loss journey can be challenging. Finding the right diet is all about eating lots of nutrients. DoFasting can offer the best daily tips by providing articles written by professionals in the fitness industry.

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Conclusion

So, is this cucumber-based diet worth it?

Eating only cucumber and small amounts of protein throughout the diet is unhealthy. You can have products like cottage cheese, chicken, and lean meats, but this won’t be enough to fill you up. It’s better to find another diet that promotes sustainable fat-loss meals.

Author

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Kasparas Aleknavičius, MD
  • Head of Medical Affairs at Kilo Health
  • Medical Doctor at Vilnius University, Lithuania
  • Partnering with the EU-funded Young50 and EUPAP projects

Kasparas Aleknavicius is a medical doctor that graduated from Vilnius University, working as head of medical affairs at Kilo Health. After nearly 5 years in the industry, Kasparas focuses on digital health and is looking for innovative ways to help people lead healthy lifestyles through digital health and wellness platforms.

You can find Kasparas on LinkedIn and follow his latest research on Medium.

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