Do Fad Diets Work?



It seems like so many celebrities today market their own diet, exercise, or weight loss programs, celebrities like Suzanne Somers or Kathy Ireland. The appeal of these programs is obvious, because celebrities are always so trim and healthy-looking. And since celebrities are often amiable and trustworthy, it’s easy to trust that their products will work for you.

Most celebrities, however, do not have any professional training in the fields of exercise, health, or nutrition. Often, they are merely offering a good sales offer to the public.

Experts on health and nutrition Annette B. Natow and Jo-Ann Heslin, who wrote the book Get Skinny the Smart Way, say that consumers should be apprehensive of celebrity-inspired diet and exercise plans. They point out these kinds of books are usually based on nutritional fiction and that, while the diets outlined in these books may result in short-term weight loss, they are not always very healthy for the long term. It might be wise to instead consider a plan written by health and nutrition experts.

Celebrities aren’t the only pitchers of fad diets. There have been many ridiculous fad diets through the years, and many people have tried them, including the grapefruit diet, which suggests eating a grapefruit before each meal. Then there is the cabbage soup diet, which involves eating all the cabbage soup you can. There have been fads that require eating nothing but eggs, eating only raw foods, even fasting every other day. These diets not healthy.

No major health group ever supported the cabbage soup diet. The American Heart Association condemns it, noting that it can cause you long-term harm. Advocates of the diet say that you can lose as much as 15 pounds a week on it. However, this is just water, and when you begin eating other foods again, you will gain back all of the weight immediately. There are a few possible side effects of doing the cabbage soup diet, which include weakness, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.

Another dubious diet plan is known as food combining. Proponents of this type of dieting preach that you are overweight because you eat the wrong types of foods together. The requirements of this diet seem pretty random. For example, the diet might state that you can eat a banana only at breakfast. This makes no sense, as your stomach can digest different foods at any time of day. The goal of this plan is to consume fewer calories, but there are more efficient and healthy ways of doing this.

There are even claims that you can lose weight while you sleep. By using their product before you go to bed at night, you will lose weight in your dreams. This is an impossibility. There are even diet plans that state that you can lose weight by eating their special milkshakes or candy bars. These products are nothing more than milk and candy with added vitamins and minerals. You rarely feel sated or full after using these products, which can lead you to binge eat, and eat more calories than you would have otherwise. In addition, plans such as this make it very difficult to maintain any weight loss in the long term.

There is a lot of money to be made in the diet industry. Marketing companies will continue to feed off the ill health and insecurities of overweight people. When looking for an effective diet plan, it is your job to know the fad diets from the legitimate ones. In the long run, there are no true short cuts to weight loss. A successful weight loss program takes time and determination, along with exercise, healthful eating, and portion control.


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