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6 Weeks to OMG: Just the Latest Fad Diet?

Ryan | July 20th, 2012

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A new diet book that caused a stir in the U.K. has made its way across the pond to the U.S. ‘6 Weeks to OMG: Get Skinnier Than All Your Friends’ was written by Venice A. Fulton, the pen name of British actor and personal trainer Paul Khanna. The book promotes a series of unconventional diet tips — including skipping breakfast and blowing up balloons — and promises that adherents to the regimen will lose up to 20 pounds in six weeks.

Critics have questioned the diet book’s marketing tactics, saying that it is targeted to teenage girls, whose vulnerability in regard to their weight and appearance may make them overly susceptible to following extreme or unhealthy diets.

6 Weeks to OMG: based on bad science?

Diet experts and nutritionists are also skeptical about the scientific basis of many of the recommendations in 6 Weeks to OMG. Diet tactics that Khanna promotes include …

  • Blowing up balloons to trigger muscle activity
  • Taking cold baths to speed up the metabolism
  • Drinking black coffee for breakfast
  • Working out multiple times a day
  • Avoiding fruit
  • Strictly limiting intake of carbohydrates

Though many of the ideas in Six Weeks to OMG are unorthodox, the fundamental principles are similar to those in diet plans that are endorsed by the medical community, such as moderating carbs, increasing proteins, and exercising regularly. Though some may consider Khanna’s weight loss program to be just another fad diet, it doesn’t pose the kind of serious health dangers that have been associated with risky weight loss plans like the HCG diet.

HCG diet products are illegal

HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is a pregnancy hormone that has only been approved by the FDA as a prescription-only infertility treatment for men and women, but not as a weight loss agent. Though HCG has been promoted since the 1950’s as a “miracle” fat burner, medical specialists say that it is really no more than a placebo, and that any weight loss experienced on an HCG diet is due not to the effects of the hormone, but to extreme, starvation-level calorie reduction.

The FDA warns consumers that any over-the-counter product promoting HCG for weight loss is being sold illegally.

“You cannot sell products claiming to contain HCG as an OTC drug product. It’s illegal,” says Brad Pace, team leader and regulatory counsel at FDA’s Health Fraud and Consumer Outreach Branch. “If these companies don’t heed our warnings, they could face enforcement actions, legal penalties or criminal prosecution.”

Fast weight loss can be safe, healthy, and sustainable

The FDA warns that extreme calorie reduction can be dangerous, and potentially fatal. Additionally, fasting-style diets cause the body to go into “emergency” mode and slow down its metabolism to conserve fuel. Because the body starts burning fat more slowly, when dieters finish the month-long HCG diet stint and return to their normal eating habits, their slow-motion metabolism causes them to gain all the weight back.

For many overweight people who have struggled to maintain long-term weight loss through fad diets and detox programs, the best weight loss program might be one that is uniquely tailored to each individual’s needs by a supervising physician.

With 450 outposts across the U.S., The Center for Medical Weight Loss is one of the largest groups of weight loss doctors in the country.

“Don’t look to an HCG weight loss program to lose weight. Not only are they expensive and unproven – they’re dangerous,” advises Dr. Michael Kaplan, founder and chief medical officer of The Center for Medical Weight Loss. “Unlike HCG diet programs, the medical weight loss approach at CMWL has been scientifically proven to help people lose excess weight and keep it off.”

Use the zip code search box above to see if there is a center near you. Special introductory offers for first time visitors available at many locations, so call for details.