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Health Articles

Why Most Diet Systems Don’t Work

 Most diet plans have been, at best, disappointing.  At worst, many are outright frauds. Many cause major side effects and untold damage to your health.  In a nutshell, most promotional diets fall into four categories, all of which you should stay away from, because they can be hazardous.  And gaining back any weight you lose as a result is almost a certainty.


CATEGORY 1 - Drugstore Pills

This category has three of its own sub-categories:

1. Appetite suppressants, which reduce your hunger and make you eat less

Not only is this unnatural, but eventually it causes your body to snap and binge eat. What’s more, when you radically decrease your caloric intake it actually slows down the burning of fat because your body gets scared and goes into survival mode, turning every little morsel it gets into fat. What’s worse, when you go off your starvation diet, your body will overcompensate and the starvation response will continue, which basically means you usually end up gaining back more weight than you have temporarily lost. 

2. Starch, fat or carbohydrate blocker

The advertising for these little pills really play on your emotions because they tell you it’s possible to consume all sorts of fattening food like pastries and pizzas without gaining any weight.  How?  They claim to be able to separate the fat and zip it through your body without any of it sticking.  Yeah, right.  Many people experience horrific side effects such as diarrhea, sick stomachs or blinding headaches.  However the worst part of all is that the myth these pills perpetuate actually encourages people to establish bad eating habits.

3. The metabolism booster

Otherwise known as the thermogenic pill, these are the most dangerous of all because they often contain ephedrine (otherwise known as ephedra or mua hung) which is extremely dangerous, as it is a very strong stimulant which puts untold amounts of pressure on your heart, especially when you are reducing calories. It also contains massive amounts of caffeine and causes intense energy ups and downs, insomnia and mood swings.  Many people get addicted to them because they cheat by adding diuretics, which quickly knocks off the water weight and causes dehydration which can weaken muscles including, your heart.  The scales may say you have lost weight as a result, but in reality no fat has been lost: just water.


CATEGORY 2  - Meal Replacement Shakes

These claim to have all the nutrients you would get in a proper, healthy meal.  However, often they are very high in sodium which is known to raise your blood pressure and zap moisture from your muscles and organs.  Common sense tells you this can’t be good for you. What’s more, many people also find they feel like they have skipped a meal so they end up eating extra for their next meal to make up for it.


CATEGORY 3 - Fad Diets

This group includes any starvation diet and diets such as the South Beach Diet, The Atkins Diet, The Hollywood Diet, The Grapefruit Diet, the Low Carb Diet, the Cabbage Soup Diet and dozens of others you may have heard of.  Dozens of new fad diets pop up every year and they can deliver fast, although temporary results.  However, just about everybody who uses them binge eats.  At some point they get so sick and tired of eating in such an unnatural way that their sense of deprivation kicks in and they start pigging out.  For instance, you may go a few days following your plan and then something just snaps inside of you and you scoff down a few burgers and a quarter tub of ice-cream.


CATEGORY 4 - Shot Doctors

Some medical weight clinics offer an injection that they claim will help you keep your energy up and lose inches at the same time.  Part of the increased energy sometimes comes from vitamin B12.  They also claim that it is important to get this particular vitamin from an injection because it is not absorbed well when taken orally.  Vitamin B6 may also be included in each injection.  One of the more popular ingredients in these injections is adenosine, which is a substance that occurs naturally in your body. It is also sometimes used in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.

            The story goes that while treating people for these conditions researchers discovered there was a side effect of using adenosine.  The patients had a noticeable reduction in their waistlines and other areas.  They now suppose that adenosine has a cellular level effect on the body, causing fat cells to release their stored fat to be burned as energy, although locating clinical research on these claims is spotty.

            After having the injection, many people notice an increase in energy that day. They normally claim it will be very subtle, not a burst of energy.  They also sometimes claim you should notice that in the late afternoon and early evening, when you start feeling lethargic, you will instead find the stamina to keep going.

They claim the adenosine should stay in your system for approximately two days and that some patients have felt their effects for as long as five days, so the marketing pitch sometimes claim the best results come from people who receive three to four injections per week.

Many shot doctors claim these injections will not curb your appetite and will not keep you awake. When they try to put it in simple terms, they claim that it alters your metabolism rather than speeds it up.  However, the question begging for answers are, What are the short term side effects?  What are the long term side effects?  Do the patients lose fat or both fat and muscle, organ and skin tone?  



Here’s the dirty little secret the diet industry doesn’t want you to know: they’re well aware of the fact you are doomed to fail with their fad diets, pills and meal replacement shakes.  Just like nobody wants to build a car that lasts a lifetime, and just like kitchen appliances are designed to malfunction after the warranty expires, diet promoters want you to fail so you’ll line up and buy the next diet.  Try asking any large national weight loss center who they mail to the most and you’ll find it is to past members who have already completed their program several times.  They know that if people started losing the weight and keeping it off, it would cost them dearly.


So do your research.  Don’t believe the marketing hype unless they can back it up with science.  And, by all means, ask yourself if the diet program you’re considering makes common sense.  There are no magic pills that work, to my knowledge.

By Mike Beatty, CEO of ITG Diet


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