Many fad diets have come and gone over the years. Most are forgotten by all but those who might have lost weight, gained weight or been damaged by them.
Some of these fad diets were so unhealthy that medical America issued warnings about just how dangerous they actually were.
Weight loss is a national obsession. If you ever watch television, listen to the radio, surf the internet, shop, or do just about anything then you already know this. The obsession with weight loss is characterized by the number of claims that, "this is the only diet you'll ever need!". In fact, as early as the seventies, there were diets claiming just that by recommending eliminating ALL carbohydrates from your diet and consuming only meat and proteins - or the reverse, eliminating all proteins entirely.
Today, the most popular fad diets include: the Atkins Diet, the South Beach diet, and the Zone diet. And, just like in the past, all three "fad diets" have come under fire for their contention that one can eat a healthy diet and lose weight without restricting the intake of protein and fat-rich foods like meats and cheese. This flies in the face of conventional medical advice to restrict fatty foods in the diet.
So do these "fad diets" really work? Can these "fad diets" be harmful to your health? Are they just short-term diets that will simply lead to putting the weight back on? Or, can these "fad diets" actually become the basis for lifelong weight loss plan?
The answers to these questions may surprise you....On the surface, each of the diets makes the claim that carbohydrates are bad, proteins are good, and you can eat all the protein you want and still lose weight.
How does that compare with USDA recommendations that contend a healthy diet is low in proteins and saturated fats, derives 50-60% of its calories from carbohydrates, and emphasizes whole grains and fresh vegetables as the main source of nutrition?
Let's take a closer look at a typical menu recommended on each of the above diets and see.
Typical Meal Using USDA Recommendations: 3 oz lean fish (brushed with olive oil and garlic and broiled) 2 cups of spinach salad with grapefruit 1 tablespoon olive oil vinaigrette dressing 1 oz slice whole grain/whole wheat bread Contains: approx 350 calories 20 g. carbs 15 g. protein 14 g. fat
Atkins Diet Menu: Spring Salad Green Goddess Dressing Maple-Mustard Glazed Baked Ham Baked Artichoke-Parsley Cheese Squares Roasted Asparagus Atkins Coconut Layer Cake Contains approx: 400 calories 18 g. protein 17 g. carbs 8 g. fat
South Beach Diet Menu: Poached salmon with Greek salad. Sugar-free jelly with low-fat topping Contains: approx: 300 calories 17 g. protein 3 g. carbs 14 g. fat (olive oil in Greek dressing)
The Zone Diet Menu: Baked salmon with Fruit salsa (kiwi, blackberries, apple) Contains approx: 435 calories 17 g. protein 10 g. carbs 5 g. fat
Did you notice anything similar about all of these diets?
No matter how the ingredients are counted, the bottom line is the same. A healthy diet, and weight loss plan, includes a balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats with an emphasis on complex carbohydrates and lean meats.
So pick the diet that seems to make the most sense to you - and make it part of your overall weight loss plan.