by J. A. Bennett

Why Health Fad Diets Don’t Work

Atkins, South Beach, Apple, Cabbage, Baby Food, Cleanse, all of these (and more) are different kinds of diets that are considered fads. I’ve tried my share of them in the never-ending battle to lose weight, and I’ve learned a thing or two along the way. As the title suggests, they don’t work. And here are a few reasons why.

You Lose weight at first, but then what?

The reason why all of these diets spread like wildfire is because they make you lose weight. Yes, you read that right, they do make you lose weight. If they didn’t, no one would even try them.

Picture yourself at the grocery store. You’re walking down the breakfast isle and you keep getting bombarded with images of Special K and promises of the loss of seven pounds in two weeks. That New Year’s party is just around the corner and you could stand to lose a few pounds so you pick up a box.

If you’re good, and you follow the diet you will probably lose the weight. But what happens afterwards? You’ve just been eating cereal for breakfast and lunch for two weeks. You’re ready for eggs and Bacon and toast. And for lunch? Something hot sounds good. The next thing you know, you’re back to the same eating routine that put the weight on in the first place. Not exactly ideal if you want to be as skinny as [insert famous actress here].

Long Term health issues

When I first heard about the Atkins diet I was working as volunteer for The Foundation for Children and Youth with Diabetes. Working there gave me many opportunities to learn about diet and how sugar and proteins affect the way you feel.

I understood immediately how the Atkins would help you lose weight. Without any sugars in your system, your body has nothing to burn but fat. Sounds great, right? Sign me up! Except… your body needs sugar.

Before you get out your pitchforks let me explain. Refined sugars such a chocolate and white bread aren’t good for you. They never will be. But sugars found in things like fruits and whole grain products are very good for you. What kind of diet tells you that fruit isn’t good? You can’t have an apple, really?

See, your body needs these kind of sugars to get you through the day. Many people who try the Atkins Diet experience shaking and faintness for the first few days. Days! That can’t be good for you. Not to mention the increase in fats you are getting from meat. If you live your life eating only protein you are multiplying your chances of a heart attack. Is a few pounds worth that?

If fad diets don’t work, what does?

Everything you mother always told you. Eat right, exercise, and live healthy! There’s no magic formula, it’s all about counting calories and staying active. Losing weight should be a lifestyle change, not a quick fix.

As you set out into the unknown waters of 2012, remember that fad diets don’t work!

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