Mostly yes with a few exceptions. A lot of these fad diets you hear about every day are very detrimental to your body. Sure you lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time but this an unhealthy way to go about it. Even if you lose all that weight its mostly temporary and as soon as you get back into old habits, the weight soon comes back. Fad diets usually involve water loss which leads to dehydration and causes unhealthy electrolyte imbalances and salt imbalances which can lead to cramps, dizziness and muscle loss.
Fad diets in the Media
You often hear about fad diets in the media all the time and how celebrities have lost loads of weight with these amazing diets. In recent media Oprah Winfrey was on an Acai berry diet and lost a lot of weight (again), its an unhealthy way to lose weight relying on a berry. Sure its full of antioxidants but don't depend on it, if acai is taken in its original juice form, (not reconstituted with water or in pill form), it is a great natural energy drink rich with anti-oxidants. Beyonce Knowles has recently been on a master cleanse "I lived on water, cayenne pepper and maple syrup for 14 days it was tough, every one around me was eating and I was dying". Sounds fantastic!
Its fairly easy to spot a Fad diet with false promises. Most of them promise unrealistic weight loss and often there are companies pushing certain foods and supplements to trick you into signing up to a monthly subscription. An example of this is the Acai berry diet, there's a lot of scam websites out there pushing Acai pills.
Tape worm diet
Even at the turn of the century people had started trying to market weight loss pills and diets. A disturbing example of this is the Tape Worm diet. Which consists of taking capsules with tape worm eggs in them. Yum! Introducing intestinal parasites can lead to weight loss but tape worms deplete a lot of nutrients, minerals and calories.
When people think of the Atkins diet they think of endlessly eating greasy burgers and cheese. This is rubbish. Diets low in carbohydrates and high in fat and protein are very beneficial for weight loss and over all health.
Atkins believes that the main cause of western obesity is due to eating refined carbohydrates, sugar, flours and high fructose syrups. Refined carbohydrates and sugar are crap and should avoided. They spike insulin and provide very little nutritional value.
The main idea is to switch the body's metabolism from burning glucose as fuel to burning stored fat as fuel. This process is called Ketosis.
Ketosis can be achieved by eating very little carbohydrates (below 20 – 30 grams) for several weeks, this leads to a state of ketosis. If there is very little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source. You don't want to be eating cheese and burgers constantly.
Protein: Eat stuff like chicken, tuna fish, fresh fish, beef, whey protein, eggs, turkey pork. I'm sure you get the idea. Healthy organic meats if possible.
Carbohydrates: You want to limit carbohydrate intake, you'll need to eat foods with the best bang for your buck so to speak. Leafy green vegetables full of fiber, nutrients and vitamins. Eat stuff like spinach, kale, broccoli, onions, cucumbers. Natural organic vegetables are the key.
Fats: Believe it or not fats are good for you! Try to balance your diet so saturates, polyunsaturates, monounsaturates all comprise 1/3 of each of your total fat intake. Most foods have some of each type but many foods are higher in one fat than others. Good sources of saturates are from things like coconut oils and animal fats. Sources of polyunsaturates are flaxseed oil and pine nuts. Good sources of monounsaturates are virgin olive oils, cashews, pecans and almonds.
Stay away from trans fats, trans fats are basically damaged fats. Stay away from things like margarine, cooking sprays, snack foods and hydrogenated oils.
Remember variation is the key. Don't just eat chicken and spinach every day! Try different combinations of food.
Hunter Gatherer Diets
Its been argued that hunter societies lived on ketogenic diets. Surviving mostly on meat, fish, fowl and the leaves, roots and fruits of many plants. Even in modern times there are a few hunter gatherer tribes living on ketogenic diets. Inuit consume a diet of foods that are fished, hunted, and gathered locally. This may include walrus, ringed seal, bearded seal, beluga whale, polar bear, berries, and fireweed.
There are many objections and worries about how healthy such a diet would be. So how healthy is the Inuit diet? Statistically they are some of the healthiest people in the world with low occurrences of disease such as arthritis and cancer.
From 1906 until 1918, Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson ate almost exclusively fish and seal meat, often raw or fermented, and almost no vegetables – living as an Eskimo among Eskimos. He concluded that he had never been in better health in his life.
Generally most fad diets are shit. When you hear things like, cabbage diet, lazy zone diet, hollywood diet and slim fast, its best to stay clear. Many people think of ketosis as a bad thing but this isn't always the case, its an effective way to achieve a healthier body. Don't rely on diet alone to do it all for you. Do work for weight loss, go for a run, go roller blading, climbing, anything that gets you moving. If you're serious about weight loss stop drinking pop. Drink water, water is a catabolic substance meaning it takes energy for your body to digest it and let it go through your system. There's a lot of ways to lose weight but to simplify it as much as possible, for a better functioning and looking physique you have to work hard and eat right.