Spring is around the corner and so will be a new crop of fad diets eager to help you get into shape. Be on the lookout for a return of these repackaged crazy fad diets that are high on promises and low on long-term effectiveness.
The Prehistoric Diet
Claim to Fame: The crux of this eating plan is that our diet should mimic our hunter and gather Paleolithic ancestors. It is based on eating what you can hunt (meat, seafood) and gather (fruit, veggies). Dairy, grains, legumes, starchy veggies such as potatoes, sweets, and juices are off limits.
The Real Deal: This unbalanced low carb, high protein diet ends up cutting calories because you are cutting out large categories of foods. Keep in mind our Paleolithic ancestors had a life expectancy of about age 30. A well-balanced diet is a better bet for longevity.
The Cleansing or Detox Diet
Claim to Fame: The theory behind this diet is that you need to routinely “cleanse” or “detox” your body to get it into shape. The diet usually involves some combination of fasting, eating small amounts of foods, and/or drinking a concoction of lemon juice with maple syrup and cayenne pepper or whatever is the fad ingredient of the moment.
The Real Deal: Your liver is your body’s ultimate cleansing and detox machine. By going on a juice cleansing or fast you reduce calories to a very low level, and thus will not be consuming enough of the essential nutrients that your body needs. If you are not consuming enough protein and calories to meet your daily needs, your body will begin to break down your lean muscle mass for the protein that it needs. By doing this, you will lower your metabolic rate, which is not a good thing in the long run if you are trying to lose weight.
The Grapefruit Diet
Claim to Fame: This baby has been around since the 1930s. It is based on the premise that grapefruits have a fat-burning enzyme so should be eaten daily and often to get lean.
The Real Deal: In reality, this is just another very low calorie (and unhealthy), low carb diet that advocates whole grapefruits and juice at each meal. The only advantage to this diet is that you don’t have to worry about meeting your daily need for vitamin C. Unfortunately, its restrictiveness will likely cause you to fall short on other nutrients.
The Blood Type Diet
Claim to Fame: The focus of this diet is to follow a restrictive diet that dictates what you should and should not eat based your blood type (Type A, B, AB or O). For example, individuals with type O blood should avoid grains and bread, and if you are Type B, you need to shy away from wheat.
The Real Deal: There is absolutely no research to back up that your blood type should determine what should be on your plate for good health. If you want to know what a healthy plate should look like, visit MyPlate.gov.
The Food-Combining Diet
Claim to Fame: This weight loss diet is geared around the wild assumption that how you combine the foods you eat is key to how they affect your body weight. According to the theory, protein (meat, fish, poultry, nuts) and carbohydrates (grains, fruits, and veggies) should never be eaten together, water should not be consumed with meals, fruit should only be eaten by itself, and dairy products are a no-no.
The Real Deal: There is no scientific basis for this food-combination theory for weight loss. Your body is a finely tuned machine that can digest and absorb the nutrients from the food that you eat, any time you eat them. This diet is a high maintenance approach to eating that can end up being a very unbalanced and unhealthy way to reduce your daily calorie intake.
By Joan Salge Blake, Nutrition & You Blogger http://salge-blake.blogspot.com