Weight loss drugs, gastric bypass surgery and fad diets are always making the news. Even though the FDA has not approved the weight loss drug QNEXA, manufactured by Vivus, stock shares rose by almost 10 percent today. Why? The stock market knows we love quick-fix pill popping solutions. Everyone is looking for that magic bullet when it comes to losing weight and looking your absolute best. While some products and supplements may work wonders for your midsection, there are plenty out there that will leave you high and dry. The following fads may be harmful to not only our health, but your wallet.
1. Ab-belt: You’re up late at night and you start to seriously contemplate ordering one of those ab-sculpting electric gizmos? These portable padded devices fit around your waist, a switch is thrown and an electrical current supposedly zaps the fat right away within minutes. They simply don’t work, the electrical stimulation are not enough to help you lose weight.
2. HCG is also used as a drug to treat infertility. But what does all this have to do with weight loss? That’s the problem — not much. Studies have shown the hormone has no benefit for weight loss and such a restrictive diet may lead to nutritional deficiencies.
3. The Cabbage Soup Diet starts with a strict regimen of just cabbage, fruit and non-starchy vegetables, and as the week progresses you get to add some beef and skim milk to the mix. Of course when you cut out three of the five food groups from your diet, you will lose weight. Unless you have a magic metabolism that can survive without adequate levels of protein, essential fatty acids, carbohydrates, B-vitamins and minerals for an extended period of time, staying on this diet for more than a week could be downright harmful to your health.
4.The Alkaline Diet Proponents of the alkaline diet believe that eating primarily “alkaline-producing” foods, such as vegetables and fruit, promotes fat loss, whereas eating a diet heavy in “acid-producing” foods such as meat, eggs, dairy and grains, promotes weight gain. While it’s hard to argue with a diet rich in low-calorie fruits and vegetables and lower in higher-calorie animal products as a healthy way to promote weight loss, at present, there is no credible scientific research to substantiate any claims around the “alkalinity” or “acidity” of these foods as being the contributing factors. Our diet cannot by definition have a significant impact on the pH level of our blood and cells because of the presence of these important regulatory mechanisms, making the exclusion of grains, dairy and egg unnecessary.
5. Diet Sweeteners You may think you are saving calories by switching to a low-calorie diet drink, however, research suggests artificial sweeteners can trick our brains into wanting more sweets and make us hungrier with their empty sugarless calories. As nutritionist Tamara Duker Freuman explains,”because this sweet taste is not accompanied by the calories (energy) our brain expects it to be, the complex systems our bodies have to regulate energy balance may be thrown off kilter. The result is that a diet high in artificial sweeteners may possibly, over time, cause people to seek out more calories from other sources in order to satisfy the cravings that sweet — but calorically empty — foods create.”
We know you may want to fit into those skinny jeans or get that bikini body fast, but these fad diets are not the answer. Proper diet and exercise are the best ways.