Hunger Games or Dieting Russian Style

Where I come from, people know almost nothing about dieting, fitness and healthy living. Watching my mom trying to lose weight, I developed the impression that dieting equates to torture. Each meal she would eat almost nothing, resulting in me believing that dieting and starvation were synonymous.

She would also be constantly trying new diet plans: each month it would be a new craze, new bright headlines promising fast and significant results.


Here is a great example of one of such diets: its name screams of major and fast success…

“Effective Diet”

The introduction to this diet is even more appealing than the name itself.

It states that, “This is a very effective diet that allows you to lose up to 400 gram of fat a day.”

And here is what you have to do:

  • Day 1 – 1 liter of milk
  • Day 2 – 200 grams of cottage cheese and 800 ml of sugar free juice (except grape and banana juice)
  • Day 3 – 1 liter of still mineral water;
  • Day 4 – 4 potatoes boiled in skin, and 800 ml of sugar free juice (except grape and banana juice)
  • Day 5 – 5 apples
  • Day 6 – 200 gram of boiled lean meat without salt, and 800 ml of sugar free juice (except grape and banana juice)
  • Day 7 – 1 liter of kefir or drinking yogurt.

Back then, I never really questioned the health hazards – or for that matter the effectiveness – of diets like this. I was always terrified of the thought that one day, especially after giving birth, I would have to starve myself in order to get back into shape.

About four years ago I met my husband and, thanks to him, I started learning more and more about healthy eating and exercise. And it was then when I understood that all these popular Russian diets that women tortured themselves with were a complete fraud. Yes, it does make you lose weight. Yes, you do lose it fast. But the list of cons is much bigger. And here they are:

  1. If you cheat a few days or just stop dieting, you will gain everything back in a matter of weeks (click here).
  2. If you don’t cheat or stop you will hit a so-called plateau after about 2 weeks, which means you will not be able to lose any more weight (click here).
  3. There are also great health repercussions to this diet connected with the absence of certain nutrients needed for a healthy body, especially the ones contained in vegetables.

This is all because, when choosing these kinds of diets, Russian men and women fail to understand that our bodies are not stupid. If you starve, your body will turn on a saving mode. It means that it will purposely slow down the metabolism and fat burning in order to keep you moving without wanting to eat all the time.

Let the Siege of Leningrad in 1941 be a good example for you of how your body works. When the source of food was blocked, the people of Leningrad did not just go on with their usual eating habits. Instead, in order to survive, they gathered all of the food they had and stored it, eating little by little once a day at the most. And amazingly, they did survive – because of how your body is going to behave when you deprive it of a normal amount of food. It is going to store the little food you do consume in the form of fat, and all your torturous attempts to lose weight will be in vain.

Many of you will say now -  especially those from my motherland (including my mom), “If not this then what?!” I do actually have the answer you. A more detailed version of it you can find by clicking here. But in brief I would say: cutting down your consumption of carbohydrates and calories could help you significantly lose weight. It does not involve starvation, so there is no threat to your overall health.

I hope people who decided to skip dinner today will read this and understand that having a healthy dinner would be much more beneficial and likely to result in weight loss, than if you had no dinner at all.

For more useful information on fitness and nutrition go to

Casey White

I am a fitness enthusiast. I advocate a healthy and active lifestyle. My blogs are mostly based on real scientific research from various universities because I am always looking for truthful information especially in such competitive field as fitness. You can follow my blog on

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