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The Pros and Cons of Fad Dieting

It is very tempting to try that fad diet that you have found in the latest magazine, it promises the world with fantastic fat losses without doing a thing, just takea couple of fat burning pills follow the diet and then bang! a brand new you in a couple of weeks.

The sad fact is they don't work, they just provide more suffering in your efforts to lose weight, the only thing you lose is your hard earned money.

Firstly we will look at the latest fad diets on the scene at the moment, their pros and cons and then you will be shown how to save your time, money and unnecessary suffering bypointing you in the right direction for permanent weightloss.

The latest studies show that 90 per cent of fad dietersregained everything they had lost and even gained more within eighteen months.

The Atkins Diet.

The body burns carbohydrates and then fat for energy.This diet recommends limiting the intake of starchy,high carb foods so that the fat is burned first. So byeating meat, cheese and eggs and keeping bread and potatoesto a minimum, fat is lost.

Pros: Steak with cheese topping, Chocolate mocha ice creamand pork scratchings.

Cons: Studies show high protein diets lead to increased riskof heart disease, colon cancer, bad breath (halitosis) and constipation. Consuming more carbohydrate that canbe used by the body will store this excess in fat cells.

The Zone Diet.

This diet claims to decrease hunger and boost energy bykeeping your bodies eating habits in the zone or at its peak. This is done by keeping all your meals and snacks in the ratio of 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, 30% fats.

Pros: Being a low calorie diet, you can't help but lose weight.

Cons: Very difficult to adhere to the strict regime the dietrequires. Will experience metabolism slow down because of lowcalories and will lead to starvation response which will eat away at the muscle tissue while retaining the fat.

The Blood Group Diet.

By having a blood test and determining your blood group, thisthen tells you how you can absorb nutrients, thus you can planyour diet accordingly. Different blood groups can eat differentfood groups.

Pros: Another calorie restricting diet so weight will be lost.

Cons: There appears to be little clinical and scientific evidence behind this diet and by the elimination of whole food groups importantnutritional deficiencies are likely with long term health problemsencountered.

The Ashram Diet.

This diet is basically a very low calorie diet (near starvation)which is coupled with a very high intensity exercise regime.A sample of this diet would include: One boiled egg for breakfast, a green salad for lunch and a baked potato withsalsa for dinner.

Pros: A very quick weight loss, 10 - 15 lbs in a week (Mostly muscle tissue and water).

Cons: Fast weight loss leads to many unpleasant side effects such as bad breath, bone loss, constipation, deprivation of nutrients(vitamins and minerals), muscle loss, metabolism slow down, headaches and poor sleep. Who would want all these problems for the sake of quick weight loss which would be all put back on and more in a couple of months.

The Hay Diet.

The main rule to follow for this diet is to not eat protein andcarbohydrate together. Combination of these two foods togetherappears to prevent protein from being digested in the gut andcan lead to an accumulation of toxins. Vegetables and fruitform the bulk of the diet with very small portions of proteinand carbs.

Pros: Plenty of fruit and veggies in the diet means plenty ofvitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Cons: There doesn't appear to be too much scientific evidenceabout food combinations and by limiting yourself to certain foodgroups you will miss out on important nutrients.

All these diets work because of a drastic cut in calories, whenthis happens our metabolic rate can be brought down in a matter of 36hours by as much as 50% which means your body is now burningonly half of your calories. To compound matters further, hungerkicks in after a period of inadequate eating setting you up for over eating and binging.

Everyone is an individual so have to be careful of diets that requireyou to set out what types of foods and quantities you have to eatat every meal. Just because a movie star lost weight on a fad dietdoesn't mean that you will. Before starting a weight loss programtake into account your age, fitness levels, activity levels and medical history.

A real weight loss program includes all the food groups, strength training, low level aerobics, a slight decrease in your daily calorie levels and a program that can be followed for life.

Gary Matthews is a fitness trainer from "down under" who has been coaching clients from athletes to bodybuilders for two decades. You may contact Gary directly at and visit his website at


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