Get a free weekly newsletter with recipe!

Do Fad Diets Really Work?

Fad diets are plentiful today, as the quest to find the quickest path to losing pounds has become big business for those who promise fast, easy solutions. However, fad diets are rarely the path to safe, healthy, and long-term weight loss. “Get thin quick” regimens like the HCG diet plan guarantee big results — but if they sound too good to be true, they probably are.

Fad diets: Do they deliver on their promises?

Some of the most hyped fad diets around today include:

The Atkins Diet

The Atkins diet touts the benefits of a low-carb menu in three weight loss phases. The diet is extremely restrictive, focus almost exclusively on proteins, which is why some dieters don’t last long enough to realize their weight loss goals.

The Zone Diet

Created by Dr. Barry Sears, the Zone Diet boasts that it is the best diet for weight loss because it follows an “easy” 40:30:30 menu plan. That means 40 percent of each meal should consist of carbs and 30 percent each of protein and fats. Some dieters have found it difficult to combine their busy daily schedules with such careful food preparation.

Cabbage Soup Diet

This seven-day weight loss plan consists of eating homemade cabbage soup every day, along with a small assortment of additional foods. Fast weight loss on this program is a result of the very low calorie count. However, sustainability on this program is unlikely, and dieters typically put weight right back on as soon as they go back to normal eating habits.

3-Day Diet

This short-term diet demands very low calorie intake during the three-day period, which supposedly will help dieters shed pounds at a record rate. The diet is extremely restrictive, and the addition of coffee or tea at every meal can cause unpleasant side effects in those sensitive to caffeine. Sustainable weight loss is rarely achieved with this short-term diet plan.

Acai Berry Diet

This exotic fruit native to South America has been highly touted in recent years for a plethora of health benefits, including its ability to aid in the weight loss process. While this fruit has been acknowledged by the medical community as one that is rich in antioxidants and other nutrients, it ability to help dieters lose weight has been highly disputed. Read more about the acai berry cleanse.

HCG Diet Plan

The HCG diet program combines an extremely low (500 calories) daily diet with supplements of the female hormone HCG, which can be administered by injections, drops, or pills. Injections must be obtained through a physician’s prescription. The diet is not sustainable, due to its low calorie count, and many physicians have issued warnings about the risks of taking HCG for weight loss purposes. The FDA has labelled HCG diet dangers as “hazardous.”

Other Diet Plans

Best Diet for Weight Loss

Rather than running to fad diets that promise big results but deliver little, many dieters are now turning to safer, healthier options for losing weight.

According to some studies, people who lose weight successfully are those that follow a physician-guided plan, which includes a combination of a low-calorie diet, daily exercise, and personalized counseling. The Center for Medical Weight Loss is a good example of a program that uses all of these elements to help clients meet their weight loss goals quickly and safely.

Research published in the American Journal of Medicine demonstrates that the average patient on the program loses 11.1 percent of their body weight in just 12 weeks. For patients who start out weighing 250 pounds, that amounts to a three-month loss of 28 pounds. What’s more, nearly 100% of those patients successfully maintain weight loss for a year.

The Center for Medical Weight Loss operates 450 locations nationwide to help dieters meet their weight loss goals. To find out if there is a center in your area, simply enter your zip code in the box to the right. Special offers are available to first-time visitors at select locations.

Learn about diets that work.