All Articles Tagged "fad diets"
Any article on one of the many diet fads today will either swing greatly in favor or disfavor of said fad. But, like anything controversial, there is usually a true middle ground that can be found, if you just ask the experts. So we’ve gathered up all the basic information on 7 of the most popular diets today — and expert opinions — all in one convenient place.
It’s summertime – thus swimsuit, short shorts and bare arms season – and that means that most folks have shed the heavy gear (and body hair – if you are one of those) to reveal the extra pounds that they gain over the winter.
Now usually, folks looking to shed that winter hibernation weight will start hitting the gym while cutting back on the McDonald’s Quarter Pounders with cheese. However, far more people opt for quick fix solutions like diet pills and fad diets, which promise the loss of lots of weight without all the effort. One of those shortcut diets is the HCG Diet, which has been popularized recently by the likes of the Dr. Oz show and alternative medicine swindler Kevin Trudeau. Never heard of it?
The HCG diet was created by British endocrinologist Albert T. W. Simeons and is named after Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, which is a hormone that is produced by the human placenta during pregnancy. Simeons first became a proponent of the hormone for weight loss back in the 1950s after his own research revealed that low-doses of HCG, combined with an ultra-reduced caloric diet (5oo calories a day), caused the rapid loss of fat in shorter periods of time than standard diet and exercise. He wrote about it extensively in his book, Pounds and Inches. However, the mass consumption of the diet didn’t pick up until the early part of this century, when Kevin Trudeau, among others, used Simeons’ research as not only the cure all to obesity in America but also as a scientific proof that the HCG diet products, which claim to help you shed between ½ and three pounds per week, actually worked.
But according to popular online health magazine WebMD, clinical trials published in The Journal of the American Medical Association and American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have shown that HCG is ineffective as a weight loss aid. And late last year, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began advising consumers to steer clear of HCG weight-loss products, which usually are sold in oral drops, pellets and sprays. Said the FDA:
“HCG is approved by FDA as a prescription drug for the treatment of female infertility, and other medical conditions. It is not approved for weight loss. In fact, the prescription drug label notes there “is no substantial evidence that it increases weight loss beyond that resulting from caloric restriction, that it causes a more attractive or ‘normal’ distribution of fat, or that it decreases the hunger and discomfort associated with calorie-restricted diets.”
Furthermore, the FDA said that such restrictive diets are at increased risk for side effects that include gallstone formation, an imbalance of the electrolytes that keep the body’s muscles and nerves functioning properly, and an irregular heartbeat. As such, the products have been deemed illegal and were ordered pulled from both online and brick and mortar retailers. So why am I talking about them?
Well, just last week I have had two friends tell me about this diet. One friend told me about the HCG drops he was using while relaying an almost tragic but very humorous story about being stuck on a toilet, taking care of business, as a fire raged in his apartment complex. And another friend, who shared a link to where she was buying the drops online, praised the product for helping her to lose 10 pounds in a matter of two weeks. Likewise, a simple search of HCG on YouTube will produce a number of videos of mostly women giving testimonies about the diet and showing their before and after pictures. And a quick product search on Walmart and Target revealed that both stores still carry low-dose HCG diet supplements in both tab (pill) and drop forms. So despite the FDA’s best effort to inform the public about the possible dangers of HCG as a weight loss supplement, the stuff is still available for mass consumption.
Look, the only sure fire way to lose weight is a change in eating habits (not dieting) and exercise. That’s the secret. I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade but as someone who has been on more diets than I care to admit, I can tell you from experience that there are no quick fix solutions to weight loss. Sure you might lose some weight, but the problem with dieting is that eventually you have to go off of them – unless you have the willpower to resist for the rest of your life, which most people don’t. And once you go off of them, you tend to not only put back on the weight you lose but between 10 to 20 pounds more just from the over-indulgence. And I will always be skeptical of any diet promising the magic solutions in a pill (or droplet), especially a magic pill combined with a 500 calorie a day diet. Odds are if you are eating that little, you’re probably starving yourself.
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by Marissa Charles
“Gal, you better watch what you eating now you know. You cyan [can't] keep on eating like that.”
Those were the words of my Uncle Junior when I went to visit my folks in New Jersey in March 2008. I had just finished the Los Angeles marathon and was proudly showing off my medal. But, as he watched me inhale the Trinidadian food on hand that Easter Sunday, Uncle Junior reminded me that – as I was no longer running a total of 30 miles each week – I had better curb my eating.
Boy was he right. Soon after putting on 12lbs I panicked and, in the past three-and-a-half years, I have dieted myself fat. In my desperate bid to lose weight I have put it on at a breathtaking rate.
I have added 24lbs to my 5ft 8 frame. That’s in addition to the 12lbs that I wanted to lose, which was really about 15lbs heavier than what I considered to be my “fighting weight.” So – stick with me here – if you add all that up, I’ve put on a total of 50lbs.
I’ve counted points, calories and fat grams. I’ve detoxed and spent hours in the gym, but I’m still bursting out of my clothes. Every Monday I start another diet. It’s a familiar scenario: I start a new plan full of hope, lose a few pounds, get bored, binge, say “f** it” and go off the rails, regaining the weight I lost and more.
It’s a shame because I really thought I’d cracked this dieting thing. Five years ago I falsely believed that I had beaten my curves into submission. You see I’m a seasoned dieter. I started when I was a chubby nine-year-old, eating low-fat potato chips while the other kids were munching on candy.
That was 26 years ago. Ronald Reagan was in the White House and Rihanna wasn’t even born yet. THAT’S how long I’ve been dieting.
Through the years I became a devotee of every fad going – from the Dr Hay Plan to Slim Fast. Even then I wasn’t really fat until about seven years ago. For most of my 20s I swung from 154lbs to 175lbs. I am genuinely big-boned so at154lbs I looked too thin – collarbone jutting out, breasts non-existent, pancake-flat butt.