Fad Diets: Learn to Read the Small Print

Save your money and see an R.D. instead.

Save your money and see an R.D. instead.

“If it seems to good to be true, it probably is.”

If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ve probably been tempted by the attractive claims of  trendy diet programs.  The flashy books, DVDs, pills and powders come in all shapes and sizes, but they often make similar claims of quick and easy weight loss. Most will offer “scientific evidence” that their plan is effective.  But do any of them really work?

Different Packages, Same Product

Some fad diets work, but not in the way you think they do.  If you read the small print of most weight loss programs you’ll see that almost every one relies on the same fundamental principle of weight loss – eating less food.  So while the flashy package may advertise that you can eat whatever you want and lose weight quickly, the small print will reveal that you need to restrict calories.  The small print will also reveal that you can expect weight loss at a reasonable rate of 1-2 pounds per week.

The Overnight Diet is a perfect example.  The new book recently hit the book shelves and the weight loss program is getting significant media attention.  According to the diet’s advertising claims, you can lose up to 2 pounds overnight and up to 9 pounds in a week – simply by getting enough sleep.  Sound too good to be true?  It is.  If you read the small print, you’ll see that the diet requires you to fast one day each week and eat a reduced calorie diet that is based on lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables during the other six days.  Doesn’t sound so simple anymore, does it?

Protect Yourself from Diet Scams

So how do you prevent yourself from falling victim to one of these diet scams?  Rather than investing in a quick fix approach to weight loss, invest the time and money in a meeting with a registered dietitian.  If you are interested in a particular type of eating plan, the nutritional expert can give you more information about why the plan may or may not work.  Then, the R.D. can develop a personalized eating plan that fits into your lifestyle and helps you reach your own personal goals.

Talk to your doctor about meeting with a registered dietitian.  In many cases, the appointment will be covered by your insurance plan.  By taking the time to invest in a healthy approach to weight loss, you increase the chances of reaching your goal weight and keeping the pounds off for good.

Have you joined the Healthy Weight Loss Facebook community? Do it now to get more tips and advice about diet trends, healthy eating and exercise.

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