Lose weight quickly and gain it all back—plus some!—and you’ve got the latest fad diet, and there have been plenty of them over the years.
Even though deep down we know diets don’t work in the long run, we tend to repeatedly fall for quick-fix schemes. We hear the hype about a magical food combination or some other notion and hope this diet is the one we’ve been searching for—at last, a miracle weight-loss solution.
Americans have been buying into fad diets since the early 1800s. We’re even silly enough even repeat some of these outlandish schemes. Which leads me to…
The Tapeworm Diet: In ads that date back to the late 1800s, a woman promotes easy-to-swallow, sanitized tapeworms for losing weight without diet or exercise. The dieter ingests the tapeworm, which grows inside the digestive tract, absorbing calories; the result is weight loss of one to two pounds a week. Once the target weight is lost, an oral antibiotic kills the tapeworm. Can you guess what happens next? The weight comes back—if the diet doesn’t kill you first. Believe it or not, this diet has re-surfaced in recent years.
And then there are modern day diets like:
The Atkins Diet: This popular low-carb approach leaves much to be desired as a healthy diet that most people can stay on. Although a protein-dominant regimen does result in short-term weight loss, most of us can stomach chicken breasts for only so long until we cluck, “Give me a grain of corn!” This diet rates a zero on most measures, including long-term weight loss, nutrition, and heart health. Plus it gives you bad breath and leaves you constipated.
The Bottom Line: Fads are okay when it comes to fashion, but not so great when it comes to selecting a healthy eating plan. And one size does not fit all. When you choose an eating plan, the most important consideration is to match your eating with your lifestyle and preferences.
The right diet for you is pleasurable and sustainable; it contains the foods you prefer in their freshest and most authentic form, and you eat moderate portions that satisfy you. Weight loss is slow and steady, and meanwhile you enjoy a variety of healthy food options and even the occasional indulgence. Dieting is out and delicious, real foods are in. Now that’s a trend worth following!