Calories, Carbs and Sugar, Oh My! Do Fad Diets Really work?

DCJArticles by Judy

We are finally seeing glimpses of spring – Woohoo!! After one of the longest and most brutal winters on record, we are getting ready to shed all those layers of clothing and change our closets for summer. Will those waistlines be a little tight? The winter blues may have caused some extra pounds to sneak up on us. Are you looking for the “magic pill” that will get you into your skinny jeans?

If you are looking to lose a few pounds this spring….beware of fad diets. There will always be the latest and greatest quick fix that many will try. It seems like every year there is a new group of miracle products that are going to make losing weight easy and permanent. How we wish it were true. If any of these “quick fixes” really worked, we would not have the obesity problems that exist today.

Sorry to say, but if something seems “too good to be true”, it probably is. Let’s talk about some of the crazy things people have tried over the years……


  • Cutting back dramatically on your calories – this is the core of the HCG diet where you inject yourself with hormones to prevent hunger and are restricted to 500 calories per day. The odds of sustaining a program with so few calories, long term, is not very likely.
  • Taking diet pills – there are people out there that are still dreaming about ‘Fen-phen’, a drug that was taken off the market because it could cause heart valve problems and potentially fatal results. Other diet pills can give you the jitters and other negative side effects. So far, the “magic pill” does not exist.
  • Cotton balls – are you kidding me? But stranger things have happened. Rumor has it that models will eat cotton balls to trick their system into thinking they are full without adding calories. This is not only outrageous but it is also very dangerous for your system with all those fibers floating around – not a good plan.
  • Cabbage Soup Diet – there are many variations to programs like this one. The problem is that when you eat the same thing three times a day, it is a hard regimen to maintain. You may lose weight but it will most likely be temporary.
  • The Lemonade Diet – also known as the “Master Cleanse” which has been used by many Hollywood folks to lose weight quickly. Not the best plan. You mostly lose water weight and lean muscle mass by doing it. Plus when you cleanse, you not only clean out the toxins, but the good bacteria go away too.
  • Tapeworm Diet – are you crazy? Eating a tapeworm is not safe and pretty scary to say the least. Not the way to go.
  • The Baby Food Diet – this one is easy to follow but not meant for the adult body. Babies require different nutrients than adults plus it is so bland it would be hard to continue this program for very long.


This list goes on and on and there will always be new extreme methods for losing weight. What we do know, is that magic bullets or magic pills do not exist. Most of these programs work in the short term because they are very low in calories.


Going on a “diet” means there is a “beginning” and an “end”. During the course of your “diet” you adhere to the rules and lose weight. When it is over, you go back to your old behaviors and gain back the weight you lost and often times, even more! This is a vicious cycle that you don’t want to start.


Your best bet is to eat healthy. Eat lean foods, lots of fruits and veggies and limit your high fat foods. By cutting back on your food intake, drinking lots of water, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep, you will have optimal results.


Losing 1-2 pounds per week is healthy and sustainable. Think about it. If you lost one pound per week you would be down 52 pounds in a year. Now that is a great result! Plus by implementing positive eating behaviors along the way, you will not only lose your weight but you will keep it off long term. Be kind to your body and lose your weight once and for all, instead of having your weight go up and down.


Make a commitment to yourself to start eating mindfully and make sure half your plate is always vegetables!