Fad Diets

Fad diets have received their "fad" reputation for multiple reasons.

They are considered fads because numerous people try them and they are popular for a brief time period and then they seem to become less popular and fall off the radar. People stop using these fad diets because they cannot be sustained for long periods of time.

Any diet that requires you to remove entire food groups is not something that can be sustained over long periods of time. Most fad diets do result in quick weight loss, like they promise, but when the diet is stopped, the weight returns. If these diets actually worked, everyone would use them and sustain weight loss. Avoid the latest weight loss diet that is on the market and incorporate a healthy lifestyle change instead. The key to losing weight in a healthy way is to consume fewer calories coupled with burning calories through physical activity.

If you are considering trying a diet plan and have questions regarding the health risks or effectiveness of the diet, please contact The Student Wellness Center. We are happy to discuss the diets that are offered to the public and want our students to be safe and healthy as they embark upon a healthier lifestyle. We offer free nutrition consultations to students and can help you find a nutrition and fitness program that will be successful for you.

Top Ten Most Popular Fad Diets

The Drinking Man's Diet

In 1964, a writer named Robert Cameron published a weight loss book that emphasized carb control, but also recommended that readers drink a lot of gin and vodka. The diet is based on an Englishman substituting food for alcohol to lose weight in 1087. Although the Englishman did lose weight and the book became a best seller, more than one glass of wine a day is considered unhealthy!

The Chewing Diet

In the early 1900's Horace Fletcher came up with a diet where you chew your food 32 times — once for every tooth you have — but you can't swallow it. Fletcher claimed that your mouth would absorb all the nutrients your body needed without actually ingesting any food.

The Tapeworm Diet

This diet claims that you can eat whatever you want and never gain a pound ... if you swallow a worm laced pill! The diet claims that the worm will eat any food that you ingest. With this diet method you run the risk of the worm laying eggs in other tissues, not to mention cause nausea, bloating and diarrhea. The pills are now outlawed in the US, but there are websites that teach people how to become infected with a tapeworm.

The Grapefruit Diet

The grapefruit diet allows you to eat only grapefruit at every meal for 12 days. That is only about 600 calories a day or less. You will lose weight while on the diet, but like most fad diets, you will gain back every pound once you start eating normally again.

The Microbiotic Diet

The diet emphasizes eating whole grains, vegetables, beans and modest amounts of fish. The diet also calls for individuals to make every meal have a balance between Yin and Yang ... whatever that means. While on this diet, individuals will experience a lack of calcium, Vitamin D, protein, iron and other essential vitamins.

Low-Fat Diet

Wait ... a low fat diet is supposed to be good for you, right? Most low-fat foods on the market do have lower amounts of fat, but they also typically increase the amount of sugar in the food to improve taste. When you are choosing low fat foods, be sure to check the nutrition facts to make sure that you are really consuming a lower fat item. Also, your diet should include some fat. Donot cut it out completely!

The Lemon-Aid Diet

The diet requires users to drink 12 glasses of lemonade laced with cayenne pepper and maple syrup. If you get hungry again you can have as many as you want. Beyonce used this diet to lose weight before Dream Girls. She dropped 18 pounds in 10 days, but gained every pound back when she began eating normally again.

Beer and Ice Cream Diet

Who wouldn't like to eat tubs of ice cream without worry of gaining weight? Diet developers theorized that you could lose weight by eating cold foods because your body had to work hard to warm up the food before it could be digested.

The Cabbage Soup Diet

Popular in the mid 1980's, the cabbage soup diet required people to eat as much cabbage as they wanted for 7 days. Recently, the diet has been re-vamped to account for a lack of protein, But still lacks a number of essential nutrients that your daily diet should include.

The F-Plan

The F-Plan calls for high-fiber, low-fat, calorie-controlled diet. The idea is to fill up as much as you can on high numbers of carbs with a high emphasis on potatoes, legumes and grains.