Fad diets, as we all know, have been around for centuries. However, it seems they become more and more popular each year, especially at the beginning of the year when New Year’s resolutions to loose weight are still on everyone’s mind. The following, are among the most popular fad diets.
The Atkins Diet
The Atkins diet is a plan that limits carbohydrates and focuses on protein and fat. Dieters on this plan begin with only 20 grams of carbohydrates a day and then slowly increase the amount each week. On the Atkins diet you do not have to worry about portion control. Many believe that this helps people stick with the diet longer. However, the Atkins program does not allow for a well balanced diet and leaves many individuals dehydrated due to the lack of carbohydrates.
Nutrisystem is a weight loss program that requires individuals to buy pre-made meals. The meals are individualized based on weight, sex, and age. The main focus of this program is portion control. The meals are already prepared by the time you get them. Individuals are not tempted to eat more, simply because they do not have more. The typical cycle for Nutrisystem is 28 days, meaning one cannot eat on the system forever. Although Nutrisystem can help people understand portion control, this program is costly and cannot be used for long term weight loss.
Gluten free diets seem to be the new craze within the dieting world. These diets are important for individuals dealing with Celiacs disease or a gluten intolerance, but this only affects about 1% of the population. Now, people are using this diet as a way to loose weight. Gluten is a protein source found in wheat, barley, and rye and is important to have as a part of a well balanced diet. Gluten is not bad for you, and removing it from your diet will not lead to healthy, long term weight loss.
It is important to take into account that no diet that makes its dieters give up specific food groups is going to last. Although they may result in short term weight loss, only healthy lifestyle changes will result in long term success. In my next post, I will introduce some of these lifestyle changes.