Over the last few months there has been a lot of talk about the best diet. (Check out U.S. News' evaluation of 20 popular diets, for instance -- the DASH diet came out on top.) But what about those diets that didn't make the cut ... by a longshot?
While it's great to know what we should be doing to make healthy eating choices (especially since 66 percent of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese), it's clear that societal pressures to look a certain way (read: thin) push people to look for quick fixes to their weighty woes.
"[Sometimes] people are desperate. And that's a case in point," says Cheryl Forberg, R.D. and resident nutritionist for NBC's "The Biggest Loser." This desperation may contribute to the proliferation of "fad diets" -- those weight loss plans that spur news headlines, but do little for your health -- in the U.S.
Founding director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center and HuffPost Blogger, David Katz, M.D., M.P.H., FACPM, FACP, has a rule of thumb when it comes to assessing the validity of a diet: "If it's not something a parent can share with a child, it is apt to be a very questionable approach."
We spoke to some experts to put together a list of 10 diets that decidedly break Dr. Katz's golden rule. Are there any other diets that you think we should have included?
Ultimately, healthy weight loss is all about finding an eating plan that is right for your needs -- and isn't just a "quick fix," but rather a lasting lifestyle change. To do this, Forberg advocates education first and foremost. When you know what you are putting into your body and why, you are more likely to follow through.
Diekman puts it succinctly: "[Fad diets] often ... set people up for failure, not achievement of a healthy body weight. The answer to achieving healthy weight loss is reduction of calories to a moderate point, proper food choices and inclusion of physical activity."
It may not be sensational -- but it works.