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Fad Diet Popularity


A common question among weight loss professionals...

If fad diets don't work,
why are they so popular?

People are often willing to try anything that promises to help them lose weight because they want to look or feel better. Regardless of what professionals would like to think, dieters want one thing...to fit in the clothes they wore two years ago. It rarely has anything to do with improving health. Fad diets exploit this fact and drive a multi-million dollar industry.

Quick and easy weight loss appeals to all dieters. The quick fix of a fad diet draws the attention of dieters almost effortlessly, while professionals struggle to spread the word about weight loss through long-term changes in eating habits and regular exercise. What can we do?

We continue to educate the public on the real science of weight loss and dieting. The diet basics of healthy weight loss must continue to be supported and taught by physicians, nurses, nutritionists, and other health care providers.

The Diet Basics of Healthy Weight Loss

  • Lose weight by losing fat (which excludes all quick weight loss plans)

  • Gain Muscle (keep the resting metabolic rate from dropping)

  • Practice good eating habits (that can keep you thin)
  • Fad diets also become popular because many of them do work for a short time. In many cases, this is because when you stop eating certain types of food or eat "special" combinations of foods, you are getting fewer calories than you normally would. You are also paying more attention to what you are eating.

    However, it's likely that much of the weight you lose is from water and lean muscle, not body fat. Also, most people are not able to keep up with the demands of a diet that strictly limits their food choices or requires them to eat the same foods over and over again. People who use fad diets usually end up gaining back any weight that they lost.

    Here are some simple guidelines for recognizing a fad diet:

    • Diets that claim to help you lose weight very quickly (more than 1 or 2 pounds per week). Remember, it took time for you to gain unwanted weight and it will take time to lose it.
    • Promise that you can lose weight and keep it off without giving up "fatty" foods or exercising on a regular basis. If a diet plan or product sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
    • Base claims on "before and after" photos, instead of solid evidence from clinical trials.
    • Offer testimonials from clients or "experts" in weight loss, science or nutrition. Remember that these people are probably being paid to advertise the diet plan or product.

      If you want real testimonials, ask to read the reference page used when writing the diet.

    • Draw simple conclusions from complex medical research.
    • Limit your food choices and don't encourage you to get balanced nutrition by eating a variety of foods.
    • Require you to spend a lot of money on things like seminars, pills or prepackaged meals in order for the plan to work.
    Let's keep fighting for the truth...the diet basics of healthy weight loss. At some point, the truth will be heard...I hope it's not too late for some.

    Healthy Living!
    Michael A. Smith, M.D.
    The Weight Loss Professional

    Additional Information is available at Dr. Smith's Healthy Weight Loss page.

    Dr. Smith is the primary physician and consultant for the Weight Loss Professional Website. His interests include preventative medicine, the genetic etiology of obesity, and several others too numerous to list. Please visit his Website at http://www.weight-loss-professional.com and let him know what you think.


    MORE RESOURCES:

    Fox News

    Low-carb diets may beat low-fat options for weight loss, heart health
    Fox News
    A low-carbohydrate diet is better for losing weight and may also be better for lowering the risk of heart disease than a low-fat diet, according to a new study. While low-carb diets have outperformed other diets when it comes to weight loss, some ...
    Low-Carb Beats Low-Fat for Weight Loss, Study SaysWebMD
    Cutting Back On Carbs, Not Fat, May Lead To More Weight LossNPR (blog)

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    Study turns tables on value of breakfast, weight loss
    WWL
    "Our simple question was (when it comes to weight loss), does it help to eat breakfast? And the answer seems to be probably not," says David Allison, director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Nutrition Obesity Research Center and senior ...
    Is Breakfast the Most Important Meal for Weight Loss?Health Hub from Cleveland Clinic
    Is Breakfast Really Your Most Important Meal?WebMD

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    CNN

    Losing 268 pounds, and what they DON'T tell you about weight loss
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    (CNN) — At 27 years old, I weighed 486 pounds and decided to have gastric bypass surgery. I know what you might be thinking: “Oh, you took the easy way out.” Let me tell you, having weight loss surgery is far from easy. It involves a total commitment ...
    Weight loss surgery could boost brain powerBoston Globe

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    Low Carb Beats Low Fat for Weight Loss, CV Risk
    MedPage Today
    For weight loss and for reducing cardiovascular risk, cutting down on carbs was a more effective strategy than limiting fat intake in a randomized trial, researchers found. At 12 months, individuals on a low-carbohydrate diet had lost 5.3 kg (11.7 lb ...



    Would you wear a FitBit so your boss could track your weight loss?
    Chicago Daily Herald
    Fitbit Flex wearable electronic fitness devices. FitBit Inc. has a sales force dedicated to pitching employers and insurance companies, and touts software to make it easier to log the activity of workers, down to specific individuals if a company wants ...



    What Are You Weighting For? | Collection Development: Diet Facts & Fads
    Library Journal
    Plans that promise rapid weight loss (more than one to two pounds per week) are suspect, as are those that have entire franchises built around them (remember Atkins?). Another red flag is severe restriction of a macronutrient—usually fats or ...

    and more »


    Rod Durham fought for spot on "Extreme Weight Loss"
    Tallahassee Democrat (blog)
    When Tallahassee's Rod Durham headed to his second audition for ABC's "Extreme Weight Loss," he didn't know he was on the brink of transforming his life forever. The 49-year-old Leon High School teacher had completed the first round of interviews the ...
    Scoop: EXTREME WEIGHT LOSS on ABC - Today, September 2, 2014Broadway World

    all 2 news articles »


    Weight-loss education seminar to take place in Fargo
    Jamestown Sun
    A weight-loss surgeon and Weight Management Center staff will explain surgical and other innovative options that are available and answer questions about anyone's weight-loss goals. A free body composition screening will also be available. Attendees ...



    For Weight Loss, Low-Carb Diet Beats Low-Fat
    TIME
    A new study published today in Annals of Internal Medicine found that when people followed either a low-fat or low-carb diet for a year, those who cut carbs lost significantly more weight and fat, while reducing their heart disease risk factors more ...



    Times of India

    Weight-loss program rewires brain to crave healthy food, scans show
    Today.com
    Tufts researchers wanted to determine whether anecdotal reports that participants in a weight-loss program developed by Roberts no longer craved junk food. Were there were actual neurobiological changes in brain? To determine this, The Tufts scientists ...
    Researchers see benefit from behavioral weight loss program designed to curb ...News-Medical.net
    Weight Loss Program Trains Your Brain to Prefer Healthy FoodsJewish Business News
    People can learn to like healthy foods, brain scans suggestMedical News Today
    Tech Times
    all 96 news articles »

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