Celebrity Fads, Diet Pills Top List of Most Searched Diet Trends of 2012
In the pursuit of beauty, we often look to celebrities in hopes that modeling their efforts will bring us health and happiness. Search engine giants Google and Yahoo have collected a listing of the most popular diet search terms of 2012 and found that celebrity diet fads and quick-fix diet pills are still the most searched for weight loss efforts, despite so much effort to educate the public that these are not long-lasting fixes and can sometimes be quite dangerous to health.
The Michael Phelps Diet
Interestingly, Michael Phelps does not follow a weight loss diet, but consumes more calories than most (12,000 per day) to fuel his tremendous training schedule (six-days-a-week, five-hours-a-day during the height of his Olympic training). Obviously, Michael is a very fit individual despite consuming large amounts of food, so perhaps the general public thought that by eating in this manner they too could improve their athletic abilities.
Unfortunately, without intensive exercise (Michael would burn an estimated 1,000 calories per hour during training), we in the general public would simply pack on the pounds with this type of diet plan. Even Michael, now that he is not training as intensely, has decreased his food intake accordingly.
Another example of fueling for athletic performance is the professional football player. During their practices and training efforts, they also consume large amounts of food to gain weight and/or build muscle mass. However, after retirement, some players find that it is difficult to change eating habits and without the calorie burn of exercise, they gain significant amounts of weight. Along with the weight gain comes complications such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Bottom Line Advice: Unless you are consistently training for a sport or endurance event, adjust your calorie intake to consume as much as you burn in a typical day for weight maintenance. Remember that for most adults, a 30 minute jog is only burning off about 200 to 300 calories. For weight loss, either consume less or exercise more (or perform a combination of the two).
The Beyond Diet
The Beyond Diet is an online weight loss plan created by Isabel De Los Rios. The best part about her “diet” is that she promotes it as a long-term lifestyle instead of a short-term fix. She also promotes a healthy eating pattern with three meals per day and appropriate snacks in-between to prevent hunger that ultimately leads to binge eating.
The gluten-free Beyond Diet also shuns prepackaged and processed foods, a move that is supported by nutrition experts and has many healthful benefits beyond simple weight loss. Some of the foods recommended by Ms. De Los Rios are leafy greens (such as spinach), fruits (strawberries, apples, mango), lean meats (grass-fed beef, free-range chicken), and unsaturated fats, (extra-virgin olive oil).
For a one-time payment of $47, you also receive online community support. Ongoing support is essential to long-term success.
Probably the diet’s main downfall is that it can be an expensive endeavor. Gluten-free flours and specialty gluten-free products are often cost more and are harder to find than wheat-based foods. Organic produce and grass-fed beef are also a little more pricy than the original foods.
The Raspberry Ketone Diet
Dr. Oz has promoted Raspberry Ketones as a “Belly Busting” dietary supplement and the “number one miracle in a bottle for burning fat.” Studies from Japan indicate that mice on a high fat diet that were given the raspberry ketone supplement were protected from obesity due to a boosted level of hormone that “melts away fat.” But unfortunately, there have been no clinical studies on humans, just testimonials from users.
Most supplements that have promoted fat burning have not panned out. Even when they do, the effect of the product itself is usually minimal. Ultimately, in the end, nothing replaces a healthful diet and regular exercise for long term weight maintenance and health.
PINK Method Diet
PINK stands for Power, Intensity, Nutrition, and “K”ardio. Promoted by Dr. Phil and created by Cynthia Pasquella, it is a “comprehensive fitness and nutrition plan” designed specifically for women. PINK features four stages. The “Reset” stage is a detoxifying short-term diet designed to jump-start metabolism. PINK Primary is the fat-fighting portion of the diet that reintroduces high-energy foods to fuel physical activity. The third portion is a Seven-Day Shred which incorporates a special soup that “blasts away the last few stubborn pounds.” And finally PINK Preservation is the long-term program to maintain the weight lost.
On the positive side of the PINK plan – the diet promotes unprocessed foods including lean protein and fruits and vegetables. It also encourages water drinking and discourages caffeine and excess alcohol. And, unlike many diets, physical activity is heavily promoted as an essential part of the plan (workout DVD’s are included in the PINK Method package).
A sample menu plan on the PINK website features healthful foods such as berries, oatmeal, Greek Yogurt, salad, and veggie burgers. Each program participant receives a Nutrition Guide and Workbook that features more than 30 original recipes.
But don’t fall for the other buzzwords such as needing “Sexy Supplements.” “Shred Soup” is also reminiscent of the old Cabbage Soup diet, which is simply feeding the body a low calorie food and not really a “fat burning food.”
Adriana Lima Diet
Adriana Lima is a 31-year-old Brazilian model with Victoria’s Secret. Who wouldn’t want to look like her, especially when she is featured in slinky lingerie just six weeks after giving birth? But remember that models and actresses often resort to very strict plans just before an event. Ms. Lima, for example, has said that in the six weeks before a show, she adopts a very strict diet consisting of almost no carbs or fat. Nine days before the catwalk, she avoids all solid foods and only drinks protein shakes. She also avoids water in the 12 hours before the show to rid her body of excess water retention. The model also works out for two or more hours a day doing Pilates, yoga, and resistance training. “You can’t hide anything out there on the runway,” she told the Daily Mail.
This type of plan is not sustainable for the average person. Liquid diets are short-term fixes only because they do not teach the dieter anything about behavioral changes leading to long-term weight maintenance.
The Miranda Kerr/Peter D’Adamo Blood Type Diet
Miranda Kerr is another supermodel featured in November’s Victoria Secret Fashion Show. She has stated that she follows The Blood Type Diet (also known as “Eat Right 4 Your Type”) which uses blood groups to determine the best food choices a person can make. (The website offers a self-testing blood kit.)
For example, a person with blood type “O” would consume lean meats, poultry and fish and be advised to avoid grains, breads and legumes. For those with type “A” blood, a vegetarian diet is recommended. Miranda is said to maintain a strict diet of fish, fresh food and steamed vegetables. She also works out daily with yoga, resistance exercises, and high-impact workouts such as running or boxing. As does Ms. Lima, she consumes only a liquid diet prior to a big show and ups her workouts to twice a day.
With the blood type diet, the author claims that foods interact with the blood immunologically and helps to control inflammation. Calorie restriction is not needed because you are eating foods that best work for your individual body rather than relying on dieting for weight loss. But this diet really has no scientific backing. "I know of no plausible rationale behind the diet," John Foreyt, PhD, a researcher at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, told WebMD.
Again, remember that actresses and models have a completely different set of circumstances than the average American so trying to follow their diet plans are often a very futile effort for most. Consuming a liquid diet and working out twice a day in the weeks prior to a big event such as a wedding or a high school reunion may help you fit into that special dress, but it is not going to be beneficial to your long-term weight or health status.
NV Diet Pill
The NV Diet pill is marketed as a dual purpose pill that is claimed to help you lose weight and enhance your beauty. Its ingredients include Green Tea Extract, Theobramine, Hoodia Gordonii, Rhodia Rosea, Ginseng, Taurine, and Collagen.
Green Tea Extract contains polyphenols which is thought to help ward off damage that can lead to cancer and other diseases. It may also have an impact on metabolism by increasing energy expenditure. But the effect is probably overall minor – studies indicate that the green tea alone only raises metabolism for 4% over a 24-hour period.
Hoodia Gordonii is marketed as a appetite suppressant. Hoodia is a cactus-like plant which may have helped Bushmen in the Kalahari desert stave off hunger and thirst during long hunting trips. Hoodia Gordonii specifically contains p57, an ingredient that appears to work in the appetite center of the brain to reduce hunger. But there are very few scientific studies that show that it is actually effective in humans. Plus, it is estimated that 80% of hoodia products offered to consumers are contaminated or counterfeit.
The other ingredients listed are common to dietary supplements intended for appetite suppression and weight loss. Again, most studies find that even if they do have an effect, it is short-lived. And long-term effectiveness is not good because there is no behavior modification component to the plan. Keep in mind as well that dietary supplements sold over-the-counter are not tested for safety until after issues occur.
Feeding Tube Diet
The Feeding Tube Diet is among the Five Worst as selected by members of the British Dietetic Association. Also known as the Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition (KEN or K-E) diet, a dieter goes ten days eating nothing orally. A specific low-calorie formula is fed through a naso-gastric feeding tube into the stomach, offering the dieter the bare minimum for a few days and subsequently rapid weight loss.
Enteral feedings are intended for critical care patients who cannot consume food in the normal fashion. Patients are followed closely by doctors, nurses, and dietitians, and as soon as they are able to consume enough food to sustain life, the tube is removed. It is not recommended for long-term for healthy people as it can cause muscle atrophy and digestive problems.
USAToday notes that when done properly, juicing can play a role in a healthy diet. For those who don’t eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables, adding a juice drink can boost levels of nutrients and antioxidants. A healthy juice or smoothie can also make a healthful “on-the-go” snack or replacement meal when you are short on time. But vegetable and fruit juices do not contains some essential nutritional components, such as fiber, so they should not replace fresh foods in the diet.
But most people who search for the “Juicing Diet” are looking for detoxifying liquid-only “juice cleanses” that last three days or more. For those without any pre-existing health conditions, it is not likely to do any harm, but its role in long-term weight management is probably not significant. The weight you lose during the fast is water weight, which returns as soon as you begin eating solid food again.
NOTE: those with chronic conditions, such as diabetes or patients with kidney disease, are not advised to follow a juicing fast.
And for the claim that they detoxify the body - “There have been no clinical studies that validate their cleansing properties,” says Dr. Leonard Bielory, an allergy specialist at Rutgers University. “Drinking only juice for three days or more doesn’t do much but put the individual in an uncomfortable position.”
Marisa Miller Diet
Another model/actress, Marisa Miller shared top diet and beauty secrets with Women’s Health in September of this year. They include eating naked (you are more aware of your body and might make better choices), preparing food ahead of time (eliminating the excuse, “I have nothing to eat”), practicing portion control, making smart swaps (ie: kale chips instead of potato chips, garlic aioli instead of mayo), and keeping hands off the junk food.
All of these tips pretty much follow common sense ideas set forth by nutritionists and diet experts. Remember that Marisa also exercises regularly to keep her body fit. She has competed in volleyball and surfing competitions, so overall, she has likely has a lifetime of healthy habits and does not rely on short-term fixes.
By the way, you don’t specifically have to eat naked – but mindfulness during meals is a time-tested method for ensuring you eat more slowly and better recognize the point at which you are full, preventing overeating that leads to weight gain.
The Bottom Line
If you think it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Losing weight and keeping it off requires a long-term commitment to a healthful eating style and regular exercise. No pill or quick-fix liquid diet will ever change that.