Fad Diets Reviewed: Eat More, Weigh Less By Dr. Dean Ornish, M.D.

Overview: Contrary to the wash of high-protein diets, this plan is very low in fat (10 percent of the total calories), high in carbohydrates and primarily vegetarian in nature. The basic premise is that calories from fat cause one to become fat; however, the author does concede that calories consumed above maintenance levels contribute to weight gain. The average amount of calories ranges between 1,200 and 1,350 calories a day.

Advantages: The benefit to this diet is that a small percentage of the population would feel good with very low fat and high carbohydrates.

Disadvantages: Studies by the National Weight Control Registry indicate that the majority of those who have lost weight and kept it off were successful with a diet comprised of 55 percent carbohydrate, 20 percent protein and 25 percent fat. This diet encourages minimal fat and protein intake. Again like most other diets, by cutting down on a particular substrate, is the easiest way to reduce intake when all other macronutrients are not changed.

Long-term Success: Dietary fat is important to success for a number of reasons including the transportation of vitamins, satiety (feelings of fullness) and the simple pleasure of consuming food with some fat content. The bottom line to any diet plan relates to the Law of Thermodynamics: When energy (calories) in exceeds energy (calories) out, weight gain results. When energy out exceeds energy in, weight loss is the result. Thousands of diet plans add up to a $40-billion-a-year weight-loss industry. The public wants to get thin and the entrepreneur wants to get fat with profits. Anyone can become a weight-loss guru with a hot marketing team, a few choice testimonials and a smooth presentation. However, while the weight-loss industry continues to grow, obesity has reached epidemic proportions. The fad diets are nothing more than low-calorie nutrition plans disguised by clever marketing gimmicks. Scientific-sounding "facts" and hocus-pocus "research" can dazzle and confuse the average consumer. Diet-plan marketers go to great lengths to explain how their diet can work for everyone, or claim that it is carbohydrate intake (or any other dieters "enemy-of-the-month) that is the culprit. However, the bottom line is that a caloric deficit (more calories burned than consumed) causes weight loss. The average American consumes 300 calories more today than he did 30 years ago. He also burns 260 less calories each day due to increased automation, technology and sedentary occupations. Increased caloric intake and decreased caloric expenditure means that the waistline of America is growing at an alarming rate. While fad diets may initially offer rapid weight loss, the result is too often temporary, leaving the dieter defeated, angry and often with a few extra pounds just for good measure. The problem with fad diets is that they are just that fads. The key to long-term weight loss is adopting a healthy lifestyle for life. The Apex Fitness Group is committed to educating the public about nutrition and fitness. Using only the most current scientific research and technology, we strive to stay on the cutting edge of the health industry. The Apex Training system is a program to be maintained for life. Offering you the choices and guidance you need, our program is based on science, not marketing hype.


This information and other information on this site is intended for general reference purposes only and is not intended to address specific medical conditions. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice or a medical exam. Prior to participating in any exercise program or activity, you should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional. No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition.