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Guaranteed... NOT to Work! Diet Quacks and Frauds

Quacks, frauds and charlatans! Many weight loss and maintenance programs are riddled with ideas as scientifically credible as early beliefs the moon was made of green cheese. Diet authors put a pretty picture on their book cover, come up with a snappy "hook," and they're off to the bestseller list. It doesn't matter what they know; it's all about what they can sell. Here are some dieting concepts that should never have been committed to paper.

Liquid Diets

You may lose weight, but without exercise you won't lose fat. Those tight and toned models they show on the bottles did a lot more than just drink a couple of shakes every day. The liquid diet companies typically don't give you instructions on how to change your other behaviors, like binge eating or filling up on sodas and candy bars. When you stop drinking the shakes and start eating real food, the weight usually goes right back on.

Celebrity Diet

Well, Big Celebrity, I'm glad you've got a diet plan, but when did you take the time to get a degree in medicine or nutrition? If I'm getting surgery, I'm going to go to a doctor. If I want to get my car fixed, I'll go to a mechanic. And if I want a diet program, I'll get one from a trained doctor or nutritionist. Besides, what works for you, because of your amazing genetics, a $1,000 an hour personal trainer and gourmet chef, probably won't work for me. I live in the real world and have a real budget.

Single Solution Diet

Boy, doesn't THAT sound appetizing? Single solution diets are based on the false notion that simply changing one thing will make your life, and your body, perfect. It just ain't so. High protein diets may be so high in saturated fats that your arteries will suffer. Stick with a low carb diet, and you may have difficulty building muscle. And the cabbage diet? Sure, you may lose some weight, but you'll also experience vitamin and mineral deficiencies that could be potentially life-threatening. The same is true for any other single food diets.

Pre-packaged Diet

Great. Now to stay fit, I'm stuck buying your brand of packaged food for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, that doesn't help me when I want to try something different, or go on vacation, or want to dine out, or... well you get the point. You may lose weight with these pre-packaged solutions, at least until you stop eating them. Then what are you going to do?

Magic Pill Diet

Do you think America would be going through an epidemic of obesity if it were that easy to take the weight off? Products that do block the absorption of fat, such as Orlistat or Xenical, tend to have minor weight loss potential. Amphetamines are highly addictive and have been known to damage the heart and central nervous system. Some pills have been proven so dangerous they were removed from the market. Ephedra is the latest example of that. I've got a tip for you. Quit eating cheeseburgers and fries, and you won't have to worry about blocking all the fat.

When people are overweight and having difficulty losing it, they tend to grab onto even outrageous ideas in the hope this time; it will finally be easy. Unfortunately, no weight loss program is pain-free. You have to work at it, and be willing to dedicate yourself for more than a few days.

Now that you know what scams to avoid, it's up to you to take the next step. No excuses. Are you willing to make the effort?

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CAUTION: Check with your doctor before
beginning any diet or exercise program.

Updated 7/18/2007