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The Skinny on Diets

Fad diets, do they really work?

With the New Year approaching, there are dozens of new “fad” diets on the market. Quick fix solutions to an age-old problem: how to effectively lose weight, and keep it off for the long-term?

There are basically 2 types of “fad” diets; caloric restrictions and/or a complete overhaul of food intake. They rely on the dieter to change their daily routines, follow stringent food guidelines and sometimes pay an exorbitant amount of money to follow to the diet. Oddly enough, many of them do not require more exercise from the dieter. Their sales pitches are simple: follow the diet and watch the pounds fall off.

Here are a few of the more well-known diets on the market today:

3-Hour diet: Eat small portions throughout the day, every 3 hours. The theory, the metabolism will continually run at a high rate, burning fat. There are no prohibited types of food—only portion restrictions.

Atkins diet: Eat lean protein and low-starch vegetables, and avoid simple carbohydrates, like flour and sugar. The theory, the reduced carbohydrate content keeps blood sugar in a healthy range, i.e., fewer carbs means greater fat burning.

Paleo Diet: The diet focuses on eating foods from the Paleolithic era. Foods humans ate before farming and animal domestication. The theory, the diet will help achieve your ideal body weight, and sharpen your senses.

Well publicized diets (Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem):

Jenny Craig diet: A personalized approach to weight loss. The main selling points, portion controlled prepackaged meals and personal consultations to help the dieter through the program.

The Nutrisystem Diet: Home delivered prepaid meals, 28 days worth of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and desserts. Daily caloric allowances are restricted, 1,200 for women and 1,500 for men. The program also offers support from registered dietitians.

Weight Watchers: Geared toward long-term weight management. Promoting better eating habits. No food is off limits, instead dieters adhere to a point system. Stay within the determined point range, lose weight.

Grapefruit diet: A highly restricted meal plan, with a daily caloric intake of less than 1,000 calories. With the main focus of having grapefruit or grapefruit juice with every meal.

Master Cleanse: A weight loss technique. The dieter can only consume a liquid concoction of water, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup, for 10 days. The theory, the diet will remove toxins from the body and also remove excess fat.

Dukan diet: The dieter must restrict their carbohydrate intake, and they’ll drop 10 pounds in one week. The dieter can any eat food, as long as they’re on the approved foods list. A 20-minute daily walk is mandatory.

Gluten Free diet: Lose weight by simply eliminating gluten from the diet.

For the most part, these diets offer quick solutions. The dieter loses weight quickly, but gains it back just as fast once the diet is over. These diets normally are not manageable for long-term, usually causing vitamin and mineral deficiencies, due to their restrictive nature.

Read full reviews of each diet mentioned above and others:

http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/diet-reviews#1

http://www.eatright.org/Media/content.aspx?id=6442464088&terms=dukan#.UrSjmOAz3z0

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/gluten-free-lead-weight-loss/story?id=19476263

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