fad-diets-avoid-1Whether your goal is to lose weight or you are embarking on a healthier lifestyle, your diet is a key component to the task at hand. Without question, there are many benefits that come from proper dieting. Not only will you lose weight, but you will properly address many health related issues such as high blood pressure and cholesterol as well. Unfortunately, there is a dark side to dieting as well. This is especially evident with the many fad diets that are literally popping up on a seemingly daily basis. These diets promise quick results, with very little effort on your part.

The truth of the matter, however, is that while these diets appeal to our sense of wanting to accomplish our health goals quickly; they are not actually very effective at producing the lifestyle results you are really after. In fact, if you are not careful, many of these fad diets can cause more harm than good. This is why it’s smart to consult with a personal trainer before beginning any type of fitness program. Not only can a personal trainer help design a program that works, but one can also help steer you away from the things that do not. Of course, seeing is believing, so let’s take a look as a few of the more trendy fad diets and see what they are really about.


Herbalife is a multi-billion dollar company that provides a wide range of marketed nutritional and weight loss products. Quite naturally, the company has dieting plans that take advantage of these items. Essentially, the Herbalife diet is all about meal replacement/reduction and the consumption of their shakes and pills as nutritional supplements. The guidelines, such as they are, are simple enough. You only eat one meal a day, which is dinner. For the other two meals, you drink a Herbalife protein shake and take multivitamins.Easy enough to be sure, but there are a few problems with this approach to dieting. For the sake of brevity, I will just mention two significant issues. The first concern is that this type of diet will alter the function of your metabolism. This happens because of the lack on calorie consumption. As a result, once you start eating again, your metabolism is not prepared to adequately deal with the increase in calories and you will begin putting the weight you loss back on, plus a few pounds extra. This leads to the second problem and that is one of weight loss over the long term. Simply, unless you plan on remaining on the Herbalife diet for your entire life, then the moment you come off of it, you will begin to gain your weight back even with a reasonable diet.


Juicing is another meal replacement diet. This particular plan uses concentrated fruits and vegetables as the supplement of choice. Basically, instead of eating a meal or two, you will instead consume a drink that is composed of fruits and vegetables that you liquefy in a juicer. On the surface, the intake of natural ingredients like oranges and carrots seems ideal. The problem is when you utilize this method as a meal replacement diet.One of the most significant problems with this particular diet is the high probability you will not get all of the necessary nutrients that you need to sustain healthy bodily functions. This is especially true if you do not have the expertise to properly prepare your foods or know exactly what combinations you require. Equally, the lack of protein and fat can cause fluctuations in your blood sugar levels that can be very problematic. There is also the issue of a lack of fiber, which is important for proper digestion.

Crash Dieting

Crash dieting is one of those methods for losing weight that appeals to people who have an immediate need for weight loss results. It also happens to be a very dangerous way to go about this task. The basic premise of this diet is to basically starve the body for a period of time, generally for a few weeks at the most. Very little calorie intake is involved, usually much lower than what is recommended for prolonged survival. The diet is, in some instances, combined with intense exercise regimens, which only exacerbates the problems that this type of dieting can cause. Essentially, this form of dieting is akin to starving yourself.Virtually no health or personal fitness professional will recommend a crash diet. The risks are quite serious in that these diets can weaken the body’s immune system, expose you to the risks of dehydration and cause stress on your heart. In fact, health professionals warn that repeated use of crash diets can severely weaken the heart, including the loss of heart muscle tissue and possibly heart attacks.

Cambridge Diet

The Cambridge Diet is another meal replacement and supplement plan. The company’s supplement drink/shake is stated to have all of the required nutrients that your body requires; including protein, fat and carbohydrates. The basic plan has dieters consuming the provided supplement shake prior to a low calorie meal(s). The regular plan can have you opting to eat either 3 meals in a day or just a single meal. In either case, the total daily intake from a meal(s) should be in the 400 to 800 calories range. Their fast track program, on the other hand, has you consuming their signature shake 3 to 4 times a day with no food at all.The plan has many of the inherent issues that you will find in both the Herbalife and Crash diets. Consider this one additional point – a healthy caloric intake is about 1200 calories. The Cambridge plan recommends calorie consumption as low 400. This is essentially starvation level and can result in metabolic imbalance ketosis. This is where your body burns not only fat, but also lean muscle tissue which is something you do not want to do.

The Solution

The bottom line with meal replacement diets like the ones we have discussed is that in the long run, they are not overly effective. They tend to be popular because they are simple, usually do not require an exercise regimen, and you will achieve fairly quick weight loss results. Unfortunately, however, as we have shown there is serious health risks associated with these practices. Plus, you will find that you are likely to regain any weight that you managed to lose, negating the whole point of the endeavor.

The solution is to take a common sense, time proven approach to your dieting and healthy lifestyle choices like what is offered through my online training and personal trainer services. This is where a personal or online trainer can greatly assist you. Really, dieting is a misnomer that connotes temporary results. A much better way of looking at what you want to accomplish is to establish health promoting eating habits. This entails a personal trainer helping you design a meal plan (yes, eating is a good thing!) that emphasizes reasonable caloric intake.

There are certain foods you want to avoid, such as processed foods, dairy products and products with added sugars. Conversely, you want to consume nutrient rich foods such as meat from grass fed animals, seafood and green leafy vegetables. All of this can be combined into a nutritious meal plan that is actually fulfilling and will not have you starving yourself in order to get the results you want. Indeed, a paleo centric diet has worked for mankind for thousands of years and is a centerpiece of our program offerings at BrodiePT.com. Equally, when combined with a moderate exercise regime designed especially for your needs, you will have a total lifestyle package that is healthy, sustainable and obtains the healthy results you desire.

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