It's easy to get caught up in a fad diet, especially when it gurantees and sometimes delivers instant results. You've seen the infomercials for pills and miracle products showing before and after pictures of "success stories." Sure, taking a pill and not eating will take some inches off your waistline but at what cost to your health and for how long?

Most times, these results are temporary. Not eating is a sure-fire way to lose pounds, but once you start eating again, you'll purge, putting every pound (and then some) right back into your body. Downing diet pills can be a serious threat to your well-being. According to the FDA, most diet pills and products contain Sibutramine:

Sibutramine can cause high blood pressure, seizures, tachycardia, palpitations, heart attack or stroke. This drug can also interact with other medications that patients may be taking and increase their risk of adverse reactions. The safety of sibutramine has also not been established in pregnant women, or in children younger than 16 years of age.

 

Fad Diets are along the same lines. They promise a quick-fix to your weight problem and guarantee results. All you have to do is give up every food and drink you like and eat nothing but hotdogs, bananas, and eggs for three days. Here is a list of fad diet just in case you were uncertain if you found yourself in one or not:

- Recommendations that promise a quick fix
- Dire warnings of dangers from a single product or regimen
- Claims that sound too good to be true
- Simplistic conclusions drawn from a complex study
- Recommendations based on a single study
- Dramatic statements that are refuted by reputable scientific organizations
- Lists of "good" and "bad" foods
- Recommendations made to help sell a product
- Recommendations based on studies published without review by other researchers
- Recommendations from studies that ignore differences among individuals or groups
- Eliminated one or more of the five food groups

And a short list as well as its popularity of Fad Diets:

Acai Berry Diet
The acai berry has gained extreme popularity since being promoted on the Oprah Show.

Atkins
Although written in the 1970s, Atkins Diet Revolution became a huge phenomenon only in the last few years.

Cabbage Soup Diet
This diet is not sustainable but continues to fall in and out favor.

Negative Calorie Diet
Based on a concept with little science to back it up.

Low Fat diet
Very popular during the 1980s and 1990s.

Low Carb diet
Experienced a huge surge in popularity during 2003-2004 - but interest began to decline towards the end of 2004.

3 Day diet
There are many incarnations of 3 day diet floating around. These kind of diet are popular due to the promise of instant gratification. There is never any long term success with such a diet.

Zone Diet
Many consider the Zone diet to be a fad diet - however this diet continues to remain popular with many.

South Beach Diet
The South Beach continues to be one of the biggest selling diet books of all time. Enthusiasm for the diet has not yet faded, and it maybe unfair to call this a fad.

Before undertaking any sort of diet, you should consult your doctor or physician to get all your vitals checked. Based on their evaluation, you will be able to determine what meal-plan is the best for you.

Here are a few examples of what does work:

#1 Weight-loss clinics
Why this can work
Meeting with a trained professional, preferably a dietitian or nutritionist, will provide you with a specific program, tailored to your individual needs. This is much better than a one-size-fits-all program.

You will also receive ongoing support and advice as necessary, which should include targeting underlaying problems, associated with the initial weight gain.

#2 Low GI diet

What is it?
The GI plan was originally created to help diabetics manage their blood sugars better, however it can also be useful for weight loss in those without diabetes.

Why it can work
Low GI plans focus on foods that are high fibre (low GI), which help to maintain blood sugar levels, and make you feel fuller for longer.

One difficulty with the GI system is that it is based on individual foods, and therefore it’s difficult to work out the GI content of a meal.

Check out my previous article, Glycemic Index Food List.

#3 The DASH Diet
What is it?
The DASH diet is a low-salt, high-carb, high-fibre plan, originally designed to help lower blood pressure, but can also be used to aid weight loss.

Why it can work
The DASH diet focuses on basic healthy eating guidelines, emphasising regular exercise, and is therefore a well balanced approach to losing weight.

#4 Weight Watchers
What is it?
The weight watchers program is based on healthy eating and calorie control, however it does use a points system, so may not be suitable for some.

Why it can work
The program provides support, education, and advice. Exercise is also promoted.

Personally I feel that it’s impossible to count calories for the rest of your life, and therefore it’s important that you also learn good eating habits, aside from the points system.

Thanks to Dietriffic