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Cookie Diet

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In the world of fad diets almost nothing can be more absurd than the cookie diet. This diet is based on a mixture of amino acids baked into a cookie designed to control a patient’s hunger.

Fad diets seem to be everywhere these days. In general a fad diet is a diet which is designed to last for short periods of time, during which large amounts of weight can supposedly be lost. Often times, like the cookie diet, these diets rely on one miracle food with amazing properties for weight loss. In this sense they are something like the old traveling medicine shows, in which a slick talking salesman would expound on the virtues of some magical formula created by a Guru of some type.

The cookie diet was created by a physician named Sanford Siegel in 1975 while he was researching a book on the effect of natural foods on hunger. This cookie diet consisted of patients eating six cookies each day in place of meals, then eating a reasonable dinner. There were about 500 calories combined in the cookies, and the dinner could be 300 calories in the evening. Very quickly the cookie diet became a huge success, with 14 clinics in Florida and 10 in Latin America expounding this amazing weight loss formula. In the middle 1980s over 200 doctors were prescribing Dr. Siegel’s cookie diet in their own practices. It was at this time that shakes and soups were added to the mix, these also containing the amino acids that control hunger.

There is another version of the cookie diet referred to as the Hollywood cookie diet because it became popular with many Hollywood stars. This diet received a great deal of media attention in part because of the PR efforts of attention grabbing stars and starlets. This diet is similar to the original in that it consists of a cookie for breakfast, a cookie as a snack in the morning, a cookie for lunch, a cookie as a mid-afternoon snack, and then a reasonable dinner. Each cookie contains approximately 150 calories, loaded with fiber, protein and 13 vitamins and minerals.

Do yourself a favor – avoid the cookie diet. If you want to lose weight, or maintain a healthy eating lifestyle, simply lower the amount of calories you eat from everyday foods and add some exercise. In general this is a much healthier way to lose or maintain weight than relying on some fly by night miracle food, even if it is endorsed by someone you recognize from a movie.

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Fad Diets

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Fad diets are diets designed to be followed for only a short period of time. Another popular culture meaning for the term is a diet that becomes wildly popular for a period of a few months to a few years, and then fades into obscurity. Some of these fad diets include the cabbage soup diet, the Atkins diet, and the cookie diet.

Another name for the fad diet is food fadism. This refers to any form of food that becomes popular for a short period of time such as the fad diet. These generally have some common elements, including:

- Some elements of the food are said to have miraculous properties.
- Many other foods are completely eliminated from the diet, because they are thought to have negative properties.

As example of these elements of fad diets in the diet, take the Atkins diet. In this diet carbohydrates are the Keystone element that is negative and therefore to be avoided. Carbohydrates take on both of the common elements in that removing carbohydrates from the diet creates a near magical metabolic state in which fat is burned at an incredible rate. This diet had a number of short periods of extreme carbohydrate avoidance, followed by long periods of sustainable low carbohydrate eating. Unlike many fad diets the Atkins diet was designed to be something a person could stick to for a long period of time.

The Atkins diet was also one of these fad diets in that huge popularity was fairly short-lived. For a number of years the Atkins diet was everywhere, and everyone seemed to be following it. Entertainment magazines were full of movie stars and music stars and sports stars who claimed amazing weight loss and fitness all due to the Atkins diet. But after the death of Dr. Atkins, the diet became much less of a household word.

Many fad diets can be quite dangerous. Even a diet like the Subway diet, as first presented in the commercials, could have problems. It was based on the legend of Jared, a young man who’d lost nearly 250 pounds in only a year by eating Subway sandwiches, baked chips, and diet soda. In reality Jared cut his caloric intake from over 10,000 calories a day to only 900. Such an extreme level of caloric intake cuts and rapid weight loss is unhealthy. Even so, the Subway diet when followed in moderation can work. Particularly because the diet included exercise — Jared walked 6 miles a day while losing the weight.

Beware of fad diets. A healthy combination of reasonable diet and exercise in the long-term can help you lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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Grapefruit Diet

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The grapefruit diet is one of the earliest known Hollywood fad diets. It dates back to the 1930s, and many Hollywood stars of the time swore by it. It remained popular until the mid-1970s, when it became one of the diets that was faxed around from machine to machine, popularly known as xerox lore. The diet is attributed to the Mayo Clinic, which clearly states that it has nothing to do with the diet and that the diet is not good.

Originally the grapefruit diet was an Atkins style diet that added one half grapefruit before each meal. There was no cheating on this diet – only three meals a day and no in between meals snacks. The diet claimed that people could lose 10 pounds in 10 days, or 5 pounds in five days. It is also commonly claimed that a dieter might not lose any weight on the first four days but then 5 pounds would magically drop off on the fifth day. It was based on the claim that grapefruit contains fat burning enzymes, something that has never been proven.

In 2004 a scientific study determined that it is possible that the grapefruit diet helps people lose weight. Participants in the study lost 3.6 pounds on average in a 12 week span, eating one half grapefruit before each meal. Those who drank the serving of grapefruit juice at each meal lost just slightly less weight in the same period of time. Many of the participants lost more than 10 pounds in 12 weeks. The doctor who conducted the study found that the grapefruit diet seems to reduce levels of insulin. However, all the participants slightly enhanced their exercise programs, which may account for the lost weight.

Here are the rules for the grapefruit diet:

- Eight 8 ounce glasses of water each day, this is a must.
- Eat only until you are full at each meal.
- Eat everything listed for each meal, do not skip foods, they are specifically formulated to help burn fat.
- Grapefruit is a catalyst that starts fat burning. Do not change the amount of grapefruit.
- Drink only up to 1 cup of coffee at meals.
- Never eat between meals.
- Butter can be used.
- Do not eat desserts, breads, white vegetables, or sweet potatoes.
- Eat any amount of meat, salad and vegetables to make you full.
- It’s important to eat into you’re full because the more you eat the more we will lose.
- Follow the diet for 12 days, skip two days, then start again.
- Eat one half grapefruit, or drink 18 ounce glass of grapefruit, with each meal.

Now you can go try the grapefruit diet.

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Cabbage Soup Diet

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There’s a very simple explanation for the cabbage soup diet – FRAUD. There’s no need to know anything more about this ridiculous diet. But in case you’re curious here is some more information.

Nobody knows who created the cabbage soup diet. It first appeared in the early 1980s, faxed from person to person like a chain letter. The diet went under many names, often using a part of the name of a well respected institution such as the Russian peasant diet, or the St. Jude’s diet. Needless to say, the diet has no relation to any of the institutions, nations, or people used in these names.

The cabbage soup diet calls for drinking nothing but water or unsweetened fruit juice on days when juice is allowed. A general outline of the diet is something like this.

Day one — cabbage soup plus as much fruit as you can eat, but no bananas.

Day two — cabbage soup plus vegetables, which could include a half baked potato with no butter.

Day three — cabbage soup plus vegetables and fruit, not including bananas or potato.

Day four — cabbage soup +8 bananas and skimmed milk.

Day five — cabbage soup, six tomatoes and up to 20 ounces of beef.

Day six — cabbage soup and as much of beef and vegetables as you can eat, no potatoes.

Day seven — cabbage soup, brown rice, vegetables, unsweetened fruit juice, but no potatoes.

The cabbage soup diet claims that people can lose 10 pounds in only one week. While it may be possible, most of that weight will be water weight. Nutritionists agree that it’s just not possible to lose 10 pounds of fat in only one week. It is however, possible to get sick from a lack of nutrition which is one danger with the cabbage soup diet.

The other problem with the cabbage soup diet is that it’s a very difficult diet to follow. That isn’t to say that it’s complicated, but cabbage soup seven days in a row can be quite bland and boring. Many people who have started the cabbage soup diet quit after only one or two days. Even as more exciting cabbage soup recipes, including some with various spices, made the rounds people still quit early.

In general nothing quite as extreme as the cabbage soup diet is needed to lose weight. A program of exercise plus cutting down calories than what you normally eat on a day-to-day basis can be very effective.

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Subway Diet

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Everyone is familiar with the Subway Diet featuring Jared, the guy who lost 245 pounds in a year by walking and replacing two meals a day with Subway sandwiches. Now, as Paul Harvey would say, it’s time for the rest of the story. Read further for a brief history of the subway diet.

Jared Fogle was a student at Indiana University who worked at an adult video store in order to pay his way through college. He sat long hours in a class room, sat long hours behind the counter at the video store while eating snacks, and as a result ended up weighing 425 pounds. Needless to say his weight and health situation had become critical. Jared wanted to find a way to lose weight.

He tried various diets, but they didn’t work because he still had all those hours behind a counter during which to cheat. One day he noticed a Subway sandwich store about a mile and a half from his apartment. Without knowing it he was inventing the Subway diet. Jared decided to skip breakfast every day, walk the mile and a half there and back to Subway for both lunch and dinner during which he consumed only a sandwich, a bag of baked chips and a diet soft drink. His caloric intake plummeted from about 10,000 calories each day to only 900, with 6 miles of walking added for good measure. The result of Jared’s personal Subway diet was a loss of 245 pounds in only a year.

How did this Subway diet become a national ad campaign for the Subway chain? One day Jared bumped into a buddy who was a reporter for the school paper. This buddy barely recognized Jared, so he decided to write an article about his amazing weight loss. Someone at Men’s Health magazine read about Jared and decided to include his diet in a feature about crazy diets that work. A local Chicago Subway owner read the Mens Health article, brought the diet to the attention of his advertising people who contacted Jared to verify the story. They took the ad idea to Subway’s national ad agency who disliked the idea, so they created a local campaign for Chicago featuring the Subway diet.

Needless to say the Subway diet became a huge hit. Suddenly Jared and his Subway diet were everywhere – in newspapers, on television, even on Oprah. Subway’s national ad people contacted the Chicago ad people about airing the ad nationally.

Many people have had success with the Subway diet. But keep in mind that Jared’s extreme program of calorie cutting and extreme weight loss are, in general, potentially dangerous. A little more moderation is needed, but exercise and cutting calories are a proven one two punch combination in the fight against obesity.

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