Whether it’s sixteenth century monarchs trying to shed a few trouble pounds with leeches or social media influencers hawking some green-tinted nutrition shake, for time immemorial, our culture has been inundated with fad diets. It should surprise no one, then, that a one point or another someone would try to make a baby food diet a “thing.”
This person may or may not have been creator of the uber-popular millennial sitcom Girls, Lena Dunham. Dunham once posted on Instagram that she uses baby food as a quick meal and also an integral part of her diet. Maybe now you’re thinking, “great! Maybe I should also start pilfering my pantry and sneak a couple jars of baby food during my lunch break!” We are here to say: please don’t.
Is it harmful? Probably not. Baby food is usually just solid food turned to a goop (the pinkish “ham and ham gravy” is probably particularly delicious) so it doesn’t have anything inherently bad for you. But it doesn’t have anything inherently good either. Babies have sensitive stomachs so any flavor—salts, sugars; the things that make food taste good—is stripped away. Likewise, baby food lacks enough nutrients to keep a healthy adult going. We need protein, carbohydrates and sodium to keep from becoming “hangry” or suffer other effects of low blood sugar—dizziness, forgetfulness and even fainting.
Will it work? Maybe. Baby food jars are typically under ninety calories so a couple of jars instead of a full lunch will probably put you at a caloric deficit for the week, which means, yeah, you’ll probably drop a pound of two. The problem is, you won’t lose significant calories just switching your diet alone and the minute you go back to eating your usual meals, you’ll gain it all back.
In summation, it’s not worth your time, energy or palate to go on a baby food diet. If you’re an adult, just say ‘no.’