Eating nothing, just drinking - that's the concept of zero diet. Read here which advantages and disadvantages the zero diet offers.


As the name suggests: In the Nulldiät one waives, similar to fasting, completely on the food intake. Only calorie-free drinks such as water and tea are allowed to lose weight as quickly as possible. Read here which advantages and disadvantages the zero diet offers.

What is a zero diet?

Originally, the zero diet was a procedure in the course of obesity therapy and was usually performed in-patient. However, it is now considered obsolete in this area and has been replaced by modified fasting (limited rather than completely interrupted caloric intake).

The calorie amount per day is actually zero for this weight loss variant. Diet means self-mortification in this concept. Some also see a renunciation of food as a kind of spiritual experience.

This is how the zero diet works

The zero diet does not include solid foods or calorie drinks. Only three liters of mineral water and herbal tea are drunk. After three days, the metabolism changes and forms from its own fat reserves substances that suppress the feeling of hunger.

There are zero-diet concepts that are fasted under medical supervision for up to 100 days (but sometimes a vitamin supplement is used). The original stationary zero diet ran for up to eight weeks, with modern concepts ranging between seven and 14 days.

That brings the zero diet

First of all, a considerable weight loss. A study of 500 subjects found an average reduction of 463 grams per day.

The concept is simple, there is no additional time or money spent, on the contrary. For some, giving up solid foods is a spiritual experience, and the sense of eating and drinking is sharpened.

Risks of the zero diet

This diet is extremely tough. Especially in the first days the feeling of hunger is nagging and big. Vitamins and minerals are completely missing. Deficiency symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, cardiovascular problems or tiredness and weakness occur very quickly. Gout attacks are threatened by the substances that the body produces to suppress the feeling of hunger (see above).

The complete food stop causes the body to lower the basal metabolic rate, the yo-yo effect is inevitable. Also, because those willing to lose weight do not make long-term and sensible changes to their nutrition through the zero diet. A learning effect in terms of healthy diet does not occur.

In this form of removal, in which (among other things) no protein is taken, the body first reduces muscle mass before it goes to the fat deposits.

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    That's how risky vegans live

    Do without animal food - and stay healthy - that's not so easy. If you live vegan, you have to eat very well. Otherwise threaten various, sometimes dangerous, deficiency symptoms. The most important at a glance.

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    nerve damage

    For humans usable vitamin B12 is contained exclusively in animal products. It is necessary for the formation of blood, but also protects the nerves. A B12 deficiency makes at first only pale, limp and energetic. Later, the nerves are irreversibly damaged. Consequences include paralysis, pain and memory weakness. Vegans must therefore take supplements or appropriately fortified foods.

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    thyroid problems

    Iodine is found mainly in fish and other marine animals. A deficiency can cause thyroid problems, with fatigue, weight gain and goiter. Underserved unborn and infants are at risk of brain damage and mental retardation. Algae often contain a lot of iodine, but the content varies considerably and is therefore difficult to dose. An alternative for vegans is iodized table salt.

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    Iron is needed for blood formation. If iron deficiency exists in the body, fatigue and dizziness occur. Further consequences are headache, nervousness and loss of performance. Iron is also found in plant products such as spinach, lentils, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and soy. It can be taken from these but only bad. Much better works in combination with vitamin C.

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    Weak immune system

    People with zinc deficiency quickly catch an infection. In addition, they can concentrate badly, are tired and tired. Also skin and hair suffer as well as fertility and sexuality. Zinc is mainly found in animal foods. Good herbal suppliers are whole grains, legumes, soy and peanuts. However, the human body can use zinc from plant foods less well.

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    Fragile bones

    Calcium and vitamin D are important for the bones. Those who do not take enough of it risk osteoporosis.Since vegans do not use dairy products, they should increasingly consume plant sources: dark green vegetables such as broccoli and kale, almonds and hazelnuts, and calcium-rich mineral water. Although vitamin D only occurs in animal products, the body can produce it with the help of sunlight. In winter, appropriate preparations help.

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    Bad semen

    Men who eat vegetarian or vegan produce fewer - and less active - sperm than meat eaters, US researchers say. This could be due to malnutrition, but also to high consumption of soy products containing estrogen-like phytohormones.

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    Control is required!

    Zinc, calcium, iron, iodine - as a vegan you have to make sure that you get enough of it. This works only if you are well informed and eat well. In case of nonspecific symptoms such as tiredness, frequent infections or loss of performance you should always have a possible malnutrition in mind. Especially important: Have your B12 status determined regularly.

Zero Diet: Conclusion

Although you lose weight quickly with this concept, you quickly develop a nutrient deficiency that harms your body in the long term.

From a scientific point of view, it makes no sense to do this starvation cure. This form of diet has no weight-reducing effect that could not be achieved with reasonable diets (reducing diet). The Nulldiät has serious and health-endangering disadvantages, it is not recommended from a nutritional point of view.

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