From starving themselves twice a week to taking handfuls of traditional Brazillian herbs, it seems like people around the world are willing to do anything to shed weight fast. Here are today’s top 5 fad diets, from Hollywood to the United Kingdom…
Alternate Day Fasting from the United Kingdom
Currently trending across the United Kingdom is a diet that allows you to eat whatever you want, most of the time. The trick is this: by fasting two non-consecutive days each week, you achieve consistent weight loss of 1 to 3 pounds per week. On fast days, you restrict your caloric intake by 75% (eating approximately 500 calories for women and 600 for men). There is ‘some’ truth to this madness. By restricting your calories only intermittently, your body activates its survival mechanisms by turning up the genes that burn fat and switching off the ones responsible for fat storage. Additional fasting would create too much of a stress response and stop the weight loss. However, there are concerns that ADF triggers a binge-purge mentality in people struggling with disordered eating. Some doctors also express concern that this diet actually causes the body to lose muscles mass, not fat. So, proceed with caution.
The Dukan Diet from France
The Dukan Diet was developed in France by Dr. Pierre Dukan over 30 years ago, but has quickly increased in popularity throughout the rest of the world since the release of his 2011 book. At first glance, the protocol appears quite similar to the Atkins Diet as it promotes eating lots of protein and few carbs. However, there are a few key differences. Dukan does not require counting carbs and it cuts out the high fat foods that are prevalent in Atkins, replacing them with low fat alternatives. But, like Atkins, it can be difficult to avoid nutritional deficiencies when cutting out entire food groups and you might develop nasty side effects, like bad breath, from forgoing carbs. Following a high-protein diet over the long-term also poses potential health risks as your body has to work overtime to break it all down.
The K-E Diet from Italy
Short for Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition, this crash diet has become increasingly popular with North American brides as they try to lose weight quickly before their big day. Developed by Italian doctors, participants have a feeding tube inserted up their nose for ten days. They are fed a slow, constant drip of fat and protein mixed with water, which contains no carbohydrates and only 800 calories. The results? Proponents claim you’ll lose 15 to 20 pounds. However, most doctors will warn you that losing this much weight so quickly can have dire consequences and like any crash diet, the results won’t last.
The Body Reset Diet from L.A.
The latest weight loss craze to hit Hollywood, The Body Reset Diet, has a loyal following among the celebrity elite, such as Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry, Halle Berry, and Jennifer Hudson. Developed by fitness trainer Harley Pasternak, who claims to reprogram your body’s metabolic system so that weight loss starts on day one. The program advocates eating 5 times a day, mostly smoothies, and taking a laidback approach to exercise by replacing high-intensity cardio with walking. The program yields dramatic results within 15 days, but it’s going to take willpower to stick to this regimen.
The Brazilian Coffee Diet
Made from a cocktail of herbs mixed with coffee that Brazilian bodybuilders allegedly use to stay trim, Brazilian Slimming Coffee has made its way to North America amidst much controversy. Its primary ingredient, garcina cambogia, is a small, pumpkin-shaped fruit known for its appetite-blocking properties. However, the FDA has released warnings that many of these products contain controlled substances with harmful side effects, so, buyer beware.