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The Wackiest Fad Diets in America

Some 41 percent of American adults are looking to lose weight, according to a recent Consumer Report Survey. They are hoping to shed an average of 37 pounds.

Unfortunately, a lot of people are still confused, or in denial, about how to accomplish this feat. Just take a look at these truly wacky fad diets:

  • The Astrology Diet, based on the 12 astrological signs, where "fiery" signs are directed to eat "cooling" foods, and so on. There is absolutely no nutritional or scientific backing for these ideas, and as fun as it may sound, it's better to keep your astrological chart separate from your dinner menu.

  • The Blood-Type Diet. When I was foolish enough to believe the "Eat Right for Your Type" diet and followed the recommendations for blood type A -- that absolutely conflicted with my protein Nutritional Type status -- I actually developed diabetes. Eating according to your blood type (O, A, B, AB) is clearly not a wise choice for everyone.

  • Single-Food Diets come and go like the seasons. Grapefruit, cabbage soup, pineapple, lemon-juice and cayenne pepper, popcorn ... this is not only about as wacky as it gets, it's also plain dangerous. When you eliminate food groups entirely, you're setting yourself up for both nutrient deficiencies and serious rebound, usually adding a few pounds to the weight you were when you started.

  • The Maple-Syrup Diet. About as wacky as they come, the abominable maple-syrup diet can throw off your body's balance of sodium, potassium and fluids, leading to worse problems than you had to begin with.

  • Detox Diets usually include colonics (enemas), which are great for cleansing the body of toxic materials, but not for dieting purposes. Only perform detox cleansing when you are on a healthy diet and exercise program! 

Newsweek May 28, 2007

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

It is important to understand that there really is no one diet that will work for every single person, as people are unique in their nutritional and biochemical makeup. Your body requires specific levels of nutrients based on your biochemical individuality.

For example, while many people will thrive on a fashionable low-carb diet, the simple fact is that one-third of people actually need a high-carb diet (albeit with limited or no grains) to lose weight.

The best thing you can do for your overall health -- which will allow you to lose excess weight effectively, and safely -- is to follow an individualized diet -- like Nutritional Typing -- that takes those differences into account.

Nutritional Typing is my new and improved version of nutritional typing that puts far more emphasis on the timing and quality of your food and less emphasis on supplements. It is also a much simpler system to follow.

Such a diet should, of course, be used in conjunction with other sensible lifestyle choices like regular exercise. Recent studies have shown that people who are thin solely because of their eating habits, without an exercise program to go with it, often have hidden interior fat deposits, which are just as dangerous as the more visible fat.

Another place you can go to find tools that will help you customize your diet to your personal nutritional and psychological needs is www.ENLITA.com, a brand new online weight loss program created by myself and my co-author,  Dr. Kendra Pearsall, who  is a natural weight loss physician.

The purpose of the Enlita Program is to teach people how to make small baby steps in the area of natural lifestyle changes including nutrition, exercise, mental/emotional health, hormones, detoxification, digestion, lifestyle, spirituality, time management and much more. Enlita.com hosts weekly teleseminars and support groups with the top experts in the country, and provides weekly lesson plans for you to get the expert guidance you need to permanently attain your ideal weight.

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