Do you think fad diets are effective in helping to lose weight?

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Definition of "Fad:"

an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, esp. one that is short-lived and without basis in the object's qualities; a craze.

Isn't the question rather loaded?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Such diets, which are usually extreme, and don't involve any other lifestyle changes (ie exercise, a change in mealtimes etc), are as effective as food-poisoning and grief in helping to lose weight - that is to say, very, in the short-term - but do nothing to help you keep the weight off while remaining healthy.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Good on Maria. Fad diets only work lose weight, not keep it off. They tend to target people looking for short cuts to weight control.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Ummmm duh. No. Loosing weight is science fact. More calories burned than calories consumed. Some fad isn't going to change science fact. It's a lifestyle. If you can stick to your fad for a lifestyle then fine it works. Other wise it's just a gimmick. It's sad people fall these things and don't realize unless you make it a lifestyle you gain the weight back.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Wow, so nice to see so many people right on the money. I hate to beat a dead horse, but it's absolutely true: if you want to be healthy, you have to be healthy ALL the time. Sure, McDonald's every so often isn't going to kill you, but you can't "diet" one month of the year and look like a bodybuilder or bikini model. It just doesn't work. Too bad health education these days amounts to "fat shaming," and people are more concerned with acceptance than controlling themselves and making positive changes for their health.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you need a permanent change in lifestyle and eating habits and for some this takes a lot of willpower. Many of these diets proclaim weight loss without serious effort and they tend to be scams. The more people liken them to junk mails telling us how we can make cash by sitting on our backsides the better.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Find out what your TDEE is, start counting calories, go for a 3500 calorie deficit per week and repeat as needed. When you are where you want to be, just go back to maintenance and when you want to build more mass, start eating more. Keep lifting stuff up from the floor, and move around once in a while and you'll be fine.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The secret to a good diet is to not get fat in the first place! It's not do difficult to stay away from junk food and do a little exercise, is it?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

In general fad diets may result in quick weight loss at first, but most of the weight lost is fluid. These types of diets are sustainable because they are so limited in food choices. The chances are that you will gain back more weight than you had originally lost. The healthiest way to lose weight is to make lifestyle changes, make healthy food choices you can enjoy and pay attention to the serving sizes so you eat enough food, but not too much.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There is NO silver bullet for weight loss. It takes a proper diet and a daily exercise. Be specific and set a reachable goal every week. I run 30 min on treadmill, 30 min for swimming, then to sauna and shower. I repeat this 7 days a week. Before dinner, I go to my back yard and hike to a lake about 1 hr before dinner time. I have already lost 11 lbs since 1/1. I feel great. The weight loss is all about science.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Fad diets are effective for a short time but not over the life of the participant. If the goal is to lose X kg by a certain time but NOT keep it off, then any fad diet will probably be effective.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Half the time these fad 'diets' are lies anyways, set out solely to increase sales. How many times have we seen NHK apologize for what were not facts but lies? I believe the cucumber diet and natto diet were among them. They didn't seem to lie too much about the banana and tomato diets, but Maria who posted above is absolutely correct: going on an extreme diet suddenly and without changing anything else will hurt you more than it helps.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

How many times have we seen NHK apologize for what were not facts but lies?

Never. It wasn't NHK. It was あるある大事典 on Fuji TV that fudged the figures for the natto diet. As for the grated cucumber diet, that was a different program but there was never any news about the figures being forged and therefore no apology. It's basically an enzyme diet and reviews are generally quite favorable.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It seems to me that even science is not very effective in helping people lose weight. People seem to get fatter and fatter.

More calories burned than calories consumed.

Its not that simple. Nor can one count calories consumed and burned very accurately. Also, there is a vast difference between simple sugars (like in cola) and complex sugars (carbos found in pasta for example). The calories might be the same, but you can burn off the simple sugars fast.. The carbos will turn to fat if you don't work extra to burn them off.

The nutritional content of the food eaten is very important, because nutritional content affects how the materials eaten are digested, used and absorbed. Also important is when you eat.

But nutritional science is very complex. Anyone claiming some simple method of losing weight is selling snake oil. To loose weight its going to take a comprehensive look at your eating and exercise habits and appropriate changes from there. But the hell of it is, precious few people can tell you what is appropriate. People in my home town for example think the wilted lettuce, cheap old veggies, phoney olive oil etc at the all-you-can-eat bar are the ingredients to a healthful salad. Not remotely. Neither are the over-boiled veggies out of the frozen dinners they eat containing any nutrition. But I come from one of the fattest places in the first world. None of them could help the other learn what is appropriate.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Eat 5 smaller meals that have a calorie count expected to be needed for the next 3 hours activity. Replace snacks with fruits, replace soda with non sugar drinks.

Increase your activity level by using stairs, etc.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

BertieWooster is spot on. Allow the definition of the word to speak for itself.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

More calories burned than calories consumed.

Its not that simple.

You are absolutely correct. That's why I said it is all about SCIENCE. If someone is really interested in permanent weight loss to improve an overall life quality. I recommend everyone to get a MD specializing in this field who will be monitoring your life style change.

Here is a NYT best seller book on Amazon. He was a MD for Steve Jobs. He is using a new approach to future medicine. Good investment.



-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Unfortunately most people are misled by fad diet half-truths because they don't understand the science related to weight loss and few programs offer scientific support for their claims in the form of credible, published research studies. Instead claims are based on anecdotal findings, and testimonies of results. Therefore many of these fad diets may also have potentially serious consequences for one's health.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So many researches have proven it doesn't work. The weight lost is temporarily and people quickly go back to what their brain consider a "normal" weight. My wife gained 10kg after giving birth. I told her, don't ever diet, don't buy expensive bs supplements, just keep eating proper meals at proper time, minimum snacking, don't eat when your stomach isn't telling you that you're hungry, and ride bicycle wherever you go. She went back to her normal BMI of 20+ within 2 years and keep it so without effort for 2 years now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

kiboushaJan. 15, 2014 - 10:10AM JST

Congratulations to your wife. She did very well. Your advice is very interesting concept and it is an eye opener to me. I suppose your wife did this before she was 40 years old. Unfortunately, it all changes when we all age as our metabolism changes..

Hope you read a book of End of Illness. This is a totally new concept in medicine. Obesity is an underline medical problem triggering Type 2 Diabetics, Apnea death, Cancer, Strokes, and Cardiovascular diseases.

The biggest leading cause of death is an INACTIVITY that was concluded by American Journal of Medicine recently.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Many of these diets are very dangerous. Plus, any diet that requires the person to eat only one food, such as bananas, natto, konnyaku are unhealthy.

I still remember Mina Monta telling women about the banana diet. The next day there wasn't a single banana in any local supermarket.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Most fad diets work in the short run. Most people are not willing to do the work to keep the weight off. In Japan since most people use the trains, you are forced to move unlike the US where to only move from your house to your car to your office and back again. I guess you can make the case that cars are making people fat.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Two members of my family are intercontinental champion bodybuilders (natural, not 'on the gear'). I was a serious weightlifter myself, but never professional.

Two thirds diet, one third exercise. Trust me. EVERYTHING else is a load of BS.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There are many ways of diet, which means there is no really effective diet.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

tamedcatJan. 16, 2014 - 04:10AM JST

There are many ways of diet, which means there is no really effective diet.

There are many available. It depends how you utilize it. Like I sad, sitting in front of your computer 8 hrs a day is not going to let you lose weight. You need to get up and move around 5 minutes every hour is most effective as well as doing 30 minutes run on treadmill. I still teach skiing to kids. I still run 30 minutes on treadmill. I still hike 1 hr before dinner time. MOVE, MOVE, MOVE. INACTIVITY is a killer. , Are you a worrier or a lazy Mr. Big Ass?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The term "fad" says it all. The effects are fleeting and don't last.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@globalwatcher It seems I made you misunderstand because of my poor English skill. So sorry. I think moving is a really effective diet like you said.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

tamedcatJan. 16, 2014 - 02:24PM JST

Understood. Thanks for clarification. As both agree "inactivity" is bad as well as a smoking one pack of cigarette.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There's only one solution to really losing weight: exercise and eat everything in moderation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm fairly active and couldn't shake my excess weight until I started to take note of what I was eating, and made some modifications to my diet which became completely normal and unnoticeable to me: switching white bread for wholewheat bread (debates over wheat aside, you're doing yourself a huge favour with a change to wholewheat); cooking up brown rice; reducing salt and sugar (especially sugar in my case as I was unaware how much a couple of teaspoons in each coffee were really stacking up over a day; and getting plenty of sleep. Studies are only just starting to show that gut bacterium respond and in different ways to the foods you eat, and can have a huge influence on weight loss or gain- so ideally just moving enough during the day and ditching bad habits will go a LONG way in getting to your goal. As a bonus, you'll be surprised how much more you enjoy the occasional treat- whereas you'll notice more and more how people nowadays are overindulging and turning what used to be standard meals into something resembling Christmas/Easter/Thanksgiving feasts. At the risk of rambling on, in Australia as a kid, fast food meals were a rare treat and dinner was fairly low key...Fast forward to now and it's amazing how binge eating has become a past time, and people don't seem to notice how much food they're stuffing themselves with (not to mention boozing!).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

caffeinebuzzJan. 18, 2014 - 07:25AM JST

You seem to know what you are doing. Congratulations.

I would like to share my weight loss success.

1) I avoided all "White" food including rice, bread, potato, pasta and sugar.

2) I tried to consume at least 30 mg of "fiber" a day. Fiber does a miracle for weight loss.

3) a 50% food intake was good healthy "PROTEIN" to keep me away from hunger.

4) I tried to consume fruits and veggies for snacks and main meals instead of juicing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In the US, 80% of girls have been on a diet by the time they're 10 years old. In this honest, raw talk, neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt uses her personal story to frame an important lesson about how our brains manage our bodies, as she explores the science behind why dieting not only doesn't work, but is likely to do more harm than good. She suggests ideas for how to live a less diet-obsessed life, intuitively. Sandra Aamodt explores the neuroscience of everyday life, examining new research and its impact on our understanding of ourselves


Fad diets do not work. Lifestyle changes do work.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The ONLY way to lose weight is to exercise. Oh, and liposuction/surgery.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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