Tips to recognise fad diets or bogus diets

fad_dietsYou may come across a lot of advertisements wherever you go, where claims are done to prove that you can lose weight in ten days or lose weight with no exercise(weight loss is always on your mind, is it not?).

With weight loss centers mushrooming everywhere, weight loss clinics have become like an epidemic disease and is a billion dollar industry. But there are a lot of quacks who will make you lose weight and kill you too in the process. Many take the field of nutrition lightly, they think that anyone can become a weight loss coach. Those who are not qualified can make you lose weight and also your blood count, bones, skin lustre and hair too.

Many are reluctant to meet a dietitian as we will help you lose weight the healthy way and that takes time. You have a wedding to attend or want to look good for any occasion in a shorter time, dietitians cannot help you, especially if the weight loss is more than 5 kilos. Then such weight loss clinics are the solutions.

So let me make you smarter and train you to recognize such as scams before you put a dent in your pocket with such fakes and quacks on the loose.

A few examples are mentioned below. Read them and identify them when they come your way. Some of these are one liners on advertisements.

  1. “Eat all you want and lose weight”- Complete sham! How can you eat junk and lose weight? You need to eat healthy to lose weight.
  2. “Only diet, No need for any exercise”- People just love this one! You can seal your mouth and not move an inch and lose weight. This is not good. Why because only diet will not help you to burn more calories. You will need to build more lean muscle to stay in the calorie burning mode.
  3. “Permanent weight loss guaranteed”- No more diet needed- To keep the extra kilos off, you need to modify your life style and you should consistently maintain the same. There is no permanent solution at all.
  4. “Pills to reduce fat”- These pills are very famous. They need to be taken every day before a meal and you can eat all the fat you want in a meal. These pills can lead to heavy loss of fat soluble vitamins called as Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E etc. So this can affect your hair, skin, eyes and bones leading to severe consequences. You need fat in your body for insulation of various organs otherwise you can get injuries very easily. Plus it will be yucky to find your stool all oily and pasty.
  5. “Lose 10 kilos in ten days”- Unhealthy but possible. You see initially water loss. Hence they should be called water loss clinics,not weight loss clinics. These diets are very rigid with no oil, boiled food(yuck) or only fruits and salads. You will lose weight and gain back double the weight. So this kind of weight loss is pointless.
  6. “Lose weight with creams and gels”- You must have seen advertisements saying-”Apply and watch your fat melt away”. What is melting away is only your money.
  7. “A miracle formula for all”- People develop their own weight loss formulas. But you should know each person is unique and has a different body composition. Every person has a unique genetic makeup and different health concerns.  Do all fit into the same pair of shoes?
  8. “Scientifically tested”- Yes, on lab animals, not humans. There is no solid proof. They may be trying to make you guinea pigs.
  9. “Doctors approved”- Many questions arise in this matter. Doctors do not know anything about nutrition. They are not qualified dietitians. Never take diet advice from doctors or buy any weight loss pills from doctors. They are out to make some quick money at the cost of their medical degrees.
  10. “Guarantees such as money back schemes or replacement of products”- This is to make you jump into a safety net without a harness. Where are you going to go hunting for the company if it does not work? You will end up talking to a call center person who will give you a mugged up lecture on what is the procedure. You are only left with an empty pocket.
  11. “Strap up a belt and burn the fat”- People associate weight loss with sweat. But how can you burn calories when your heart rate is not elevated and are not in the cardio mode. There are belts which you can strap them on your waist and get wash board flat abs. These belts can only remove water from the abs if you have any water retention, not fat. So you feel you have lost inches.
  12. “Testimonials are so convincing”- Compare the before and after picture in testimonials. The before picture is dull, the person’s skin looks darker, he is slouchy and haggard. The after picture is brighter, the person look fairer, he is standing smart and straight and is smiling. Photographs can be misguiding and they can be highly altered with colour effects and touch ups. So do not believe them.

Please do not give a chance for some one to ruin your health and your bank balance. Look for qualified professionals with sound knowledge and education. Get smarter and miracles are not real, atleast not in weight loss.

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Sanjana Shenoy

About Sanjana Shenoy

A dietitian from Mangalore, India. A post graduate diploma holder in “Dietetics” and a university topper from Welcomgroup School of Hotel Administration from the prestigious Manipal University. At present working as a Dietitian for the Manipal Group of Hospitals namely KMC hospital Mangalore, India. Consultant for corporates like Infosys and others, conducting talks and presentations for various associations and local television shows.

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