Weight loss - avoid the fads

Weight loss fads have been around for centuries, but lately they seem to be on the increase. A fad is an idea, practice or habit that crops up suddenly and is gone in a short space of time. It is not based on scientific fact, and makes unrealistic promises, such as those we see in magazines and on the television everyday: “Use this product and lose up to five kilos in one week”. This is not only unrealistic, but unhealthy. The sad thing is that many people fall for these ads, purchase the products and may suffer consequences. This article will look at some of these fads and help you make educated choices toward your weight loss goals.

The grapefruit diet

This one has been around since the 1930s and began as a Hollywood diet. Half a grapefruit is eaten before every meal and caloric intake is restricted to 800 calories a day. With such small portions, a person is bound to lose weight, however this is not sustainable over the long haul as the person feels hungry most of the time.

The Atkins diet

This diet, which calls for severe restriction in carbohydrate consumption, while allowing for large amounts of fat and protein, was very popular a few years ago. The theory behind this diet is that protein and fat provide a steady supply of energy and thus are less likely to lead to weight gain. However, these low-carb diets are usually high in fat content and deprive the body of nutrients (carbs) which are necessary for supplying energy.

The liquid diet

There are various liquid diets which features prominently among weight loss products. They are easy and convenient to use, tasty for the most part and many women take a can with them to work for lunch. Substituting one meal with a drink may not do much harm, but using it for all three meals can lead to serious nutritional deficiency. Liquid diets are not nutritionally balanced and may not lead to sustained weight loss. Such liquid diets may be better used as a food supplement to other foods.

The secret to losing weight and keeping it off is to make lifestyle changes that one can live with by decreasing your caloric intake while increasing your energy output. In other words, simply eat less and exercise more. Consult your doctor or nutritionist who will design a healthy lifestyle plan -not only a diet- that will help you lose weight and keep it off.

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