The sad truth is that Americans are fat. The CDC reports that over 39% of American adults are obese.
That’s a disturbing thought when you think about all the health-related problems that come along with obesity.
However, Americans are also fed up with being fat. This is evidenced by the fact that the weight loss market in the US is worth $66 billion dollars! Americans are desperately looking for the way to be thin.
As a result, new popular fad diets are popping up all the time. Enterprising entrepreneurs see a way to make money and they take advantage.
The trouble is that these diets don’t really work. Let’s take a look at some of them and talk about why they don’t work.
Popular Fad Diets
Diets can be dangerous. Many popular fad diets could even cause serious health problems. But people are so desperate to lose weight that they’ll try anything.
The good news is that the most dangerous diets tend to also be the most restrictive. Thus, most people don’t stick to them very long and don’t suffer the ill effects.
But they also don’t get the positive weight loss effects they were looking for in the first place. Let’s find out why.
1. Atkins Diet
You’ve no doubt heard of the Atkins diet. It has been hugely popular for a number of years. In fact, Dr. Robert Atkins introduced the diet back in the 1970’s.
The diet takes a low-carb, high-protein approach. The idea is to limit the number of carbohydrates so that your body will start burning fat for energy instead. You’re allowed to eat plenty of protein-rich foods like meat, eggs, cheese and even things like butter.
A diet that allows you to eat liberal amounts of butter and bacon? Lots of people are happy to jump on that bandwagon!
The problem is that when you suddenly stop eating carbs, your body retains less sodium, thus retaining less water. The sudden weight loss that most people experience when beginning the diet is actually water weight, not fat. Thus, the results don’t last.
Be wary of any diet that is promising that you’ll drop 15 pounds in 2 weeks. Healthy weight loss doesn’t work like that. And, as is the case with the Adkins diet, is more often the result of losing water and not fat.
2. Detox Diets
New detox diets are popping up all the time. Juice cleanses, colon cleanses, liver flushes and even hormone injections all tout detoxifying the body to help with weight loss.
The authors of these diets have figured out a way to make them sound amazing. Toxins are invading your body and inhibiting its proper function they say, or something to that effect.
However, their claims are rarely, if ever, backed by science. Your kidneys and liver do an excellent job of filtering your system. Frequent or unhealthy cleanses can actually result in damaging your system.
Yes, fasting is a great idea! If you don’t eat, you’ll lose weight, right?
Aside from the obvious self-control issues, fasting for weight loss is a terrible idea.
Keep in mind that we’re not talking about short religious or cultural fasts here, that’s a different topic. We’re talking about extended fasting for the sole purpose of losing weight.
It doesn’t work because when you don’t eat anything your body goes into starvation prevention mode. That means it starts storing whatever it can and slows your metabolism way down. Whatever you do eat, your body will hoard to keep you alive until your next meal.
4. HCG Diet
There is a hormone that pregnant women have that speeds up the metabolism. It is called human chorionic gonadotropin or HCG.
Somebody had the idea to suggest combining a low-calorie diet with injections of this hormone. The hormone is harvested from the urine of pregnant women and either injected into the body or taken as a pill.
This is another one of those diets that fall into the potentially dangerous category. The diet advocates for eating too little food, plus the hormone is not FDA approved for weight loss purposes.
And, seriously, who wants to inject themselves with pregnant women’s urine? Amazingly enough, people do.
5. One Food or Food Group Focus
There are tons of diets that focus on consuming only one food or food group. Grapefruit helps with weight loss? Why not eat only (or mostly) grapefruit for a few weeks?
Super strict vegan diets don’t let you eat anything that is traditionally considered fattening. That’s a good idea, right?
The trouble is that no one food or even food group has all the nutrients that your body needs. Thus, restricting your diet to a small number of foods is a bad idea. Over time, the unhealthy effects on your body can be devastating.
Not to mention, it’s boring and unappetizing.
What Really Works
Instead of following the trends and trying all the popular fad diets, you should aim for real weight loss solutions.
Lasting weight loss only happens when you make lifestyle changes. You need to eat healthily but stick to a reasonable diet that doesn’t leave you starving or deprive your body of certain nutrients. You also need to incorporate physical activity into your lifestyle. Find something you’ll enjoy so you’ll stick with it.
Do you need help figuring out how to make those changes? Try checking out our weight loss solution today! You’ll work with a doctor who will recommend the right dietary changes for your body. They’ll also give you the tools you need to make the lifestyle and behavioral changes necessary for lasting weight loss.
Through our whole body approach to weight loss, you can expect realistic, lasting results. Don’t believe us? Check out the successes of our clients here!