Fad diets are everywhere. They come and they go. some simply run their course then disappear forever, while some pop up, go away for a while, then sort of show up again a year or two later and continue to repeat this cycle. the fact is, there are a lot of good, sound ways to lose weight and keep it off for good, but finding these ways to a more fit and trim body means you'll need to be able to spot the "fads" out there that simply do not work long term and can be dangerous to your health in the long run. Here are some tell tale things to look for to help you see your way past the fake and phony gimmicks that are out there and remember, if it sounds too good to be true......

1) A MAGICAL PILL, DRINK, POWDER OR FOOD IS USED: The weight loss industry is a $30 billion dollar per Year Empire. These companies are making massive amounts of money marketing new "breakthrough" potions that make lots of false claims. They know how desperate many overweight people are to lose weight and so they know how easy it is to target this market. the FDA has very little jurisdiction over these kinds of products since the weight loss companies claim that their products are "natural" or "herbal", and only when these products cause health problems or even deaths like in the recent case of ephedrine, the FDA will step in.

2) DIFFERENT FOOD COMBINATIONS SUPPOSIDLY MAKE YOU LOSE WEIGHT: There is no scientific evidence to support any claims that certain food combinations will induce weight loss. Simply consuming fewer calories than you burn each day with a good balance of nutrients will lead to healthy weight loss.

3) THE PLAN WORKS "WITHOUT EXERCISE": While most people would like to be able to take the easy way out, a little exercise goes a long way in any weight loss effort. Sure you can lose weight without exercise, but if you want to lose mostly fat and not muscle and water, and look healthy and good once you've achieved your weight loss goal, you need at least 30 minutes per day, 4-5 days per week of light to moderate exercise like walking, swimming and even a little weight training.

4) IT PROMISES MORE THAN ONE OR TWO POUNDS OF WEIGHT LOSS PER WEEK: In order for any well balanced weight loss plan to be both affective and healthy, you should not strive to lose more than 1-2 pounds per week. A plan that proposes that you will lose 30 pounds in 30 days is not a good, sound, healthy plan. One pound of fat equals about 2500 calories. This means that if a person were to burn up 400-500 more calories per day with, say, a small reduction in food and a little exercise, they would lose around one to one and a half pounds of fat per week. This is a healthy and ideal way to lose weight.

5) YOU SEE THE WORDS "FAT BURNER", "FAT TRAPPER" OR ANYTHING ALONG THOSE LINES: Run like the wind from these types of products. Most of these products have side effects that would make the most desperate of dieters cringe. All I can say here is, if your really considering any of these types of products, do your homework and read everything you can about them first, or take my advice and avoid them like the plague.

6) IT SAYS IT WILL "BOOST YOUR METABOLISM": Most of these products are little more than caffeine products. A pill, powder or drink cannot speed up your metabolism. There is no logic behind this at all! These products are usually diuretics that serve only to speed up you heart rates in turn making your organs work faster thus flushing water out of your body. The temporary feeling of being thinner will be short lived, and you will only end up fatter in the long run.

7) ONE TYPE OF FOOD IS CONSUMED TO EXCESS: Most of you have heard of the cabbage soup diet. Remember the grapefruit diet? How many people do you know who have tried one of these diets, lost weight, and kept it off? Probably none! I personally know people who have tried these diets, swore by them with complete assurance they would work (against my advice, mind you) and failed badly. Only a few even lost any weight at all, sung the praises of the plan, only to end up fatter in 6 months than when they began the diet. These types of weight loss programs are meant to be discontinued after a certain time meaning that when you go back to your normal routine, you can expect to get a high rate of "return" back for your investment.

8) IT'S A LOW CARBOHYDRATE DIET: The long and short of it here is that you need carbohydrates in your diet, particularly if you are trying to lose weight. Removing most of the carbs from your diet means that more fat (at 9 calories per gram) will replace those carbs (at 4 calories per gram) not to mention the wide variety of health issues associated with a high fat intake. Also, excess protein will not help because your body can only use so much protein within a certain period of time. All of the extra protein will just store as fat. Carbs are also your body's main source of energy, and you need that energy to get you through your exercise routines that you should be doing anyway.

9) DRINKING WATER IS NOT MENTIONED: Water is absolutely essential for proper weight loss. If you're not being told to drink at least 8 glasses or two liters of water per day, you are not getting good advice. Water helps your body to mobilize and get rid of excess fat. It also helps your liver convert fat into energy, which in turn will help you to burn more calories.

10) THERE IS NO WARNING FOR PEOPLE WITH MEDICAL CONDITIONS: If a weight loss product or plan yields no warning for people with problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disorders and such, the product or plan should be looked at very suspect. The high fat content of a low carbohydrate diet can be very dangerous to a person with high cholesterol or high blood pressure and someone with diabetes should never tamper with their diets without consulting with their doctor. Any good, sound weight loss program will always be concerned first and foremost with the safety and well being of the people using them. If there are no warnings, then you can rest assured that your health and well being are not an issue that is important to the company that is selling their products to you.

While it can be very difficult to see past all the hype and advertising that gets in the way of the truth behind all of the "fad" diets on the market today with new ones coming all the time, at least now you have some basics to help guide you through the maze of falsehoods out there and lead you on your way to being able to find a weight loss program that truly will give you the long term weight loss results you have been searching for.

Jim O'Neill gives you tons of valuable information on the subjects of weight loss, fitness, and nutrition to make it easy for you to live a healthy lifestyle. Sign up now for his free 7 part mini e-course at: http://www.mrgymfitness.com/minicourse.php
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