Fad Diets & Weight Loss Programs
Fad diets promise quick, painless weight loss with no effort required. Why, gosh,
that sounds almost too good to be true! And of course, it is. Fad diets often
work in the short term (anything that flushes excess water out of your system
will drop your weight, at least temporarily, by up to ten pounds). In the long
term theyre a major cause of yo-yo dieting: repetitive weight
loss and weight gain. This is also called weight cycling. I swear Ive lost
the same twenty pounds at least five times now . . . (I can use the math to prove
that Ive actually lost 100 pounds, but the mirrors cannier than I
The number of fad diets is too high to list, but here are three of the more recent
ones. If youre ever in doubt about the validity of a diet, talk to your
doctor about it. Some fad diets arent just ineffective, a few of them border
on the dangerous.
The Atkins Diet
At first sight, the Atkins diet is a meat-lovers dream: almost no carbohydrates
and lots of protein. Atkins believes that carbohydrates cause weight gain (although
you might have a hard time selling this to the Japanese and Chinese, who traditionally
eat high carb diets and have a far lower incidence of obesity compared to Americans).
The Atkins diet does cause people to lose weight, but does so by severely restricting
certain food groups (dairy products, breads, fruits, starchy vegetables). Start
eating those food groups again, and you gain the weight back. Any diet that concentrates
on eating saturated fat products is taking you straight towards a heart attack.
And I shudder to think what the lack of fiber does to your bowels . . . .
Liposuction is the ultimate quick fix for reducing body fat. Basically, its
a plastic surgery technique where body fat is vacuumed out of specific areas.
Sounds lovely, doesnt it? Liposuction is very popular, perhaps because it
offers a quick solution to weight gain. The drawbacks? Liposuction is expensive,
fat does eventually develop again, and, well, its a fairly invasive surgery.
The Hollywood Diet
Ah, the Hollywood diet! Expensive fruit juice by any other name . . . . Basically,
the Hollywood diet is a two-day fast, during which you drink only fruit juice
(but specially formulated, specially pricey fruit juice). You probably will drop
ten pounds of excess water, and maybe a few pounds of fat, but the results are
temporary. And you certainly cant live off fruit juice permanently.
The Cabbage Soup Diet
All the cabbage soup and water you can eat! (Yum!) That, in a nutshell, is the
cabbage soup diet. Youre not allowed to eat much else either, so your body
isnt getting the nutrition it needs. Even if the cabbage soup diet were
more nutritious, think about this in the long term. Just how much cabbage soup
is one person willing to eat? Like any other fad diet that concentrates on one
main ingredient, the cabbage soup diet offers quick, and temporary, weight loss.
Stop the diet and the weight comes back. Continue the diet, and youre cheating
your body of nutrients. And putting your health at risk.