Lose Weight, But Not Money: Wading Through What Works, What Doesn’t When It Comes to Losing Weight

Few topics have the potential to make more money, and create more controversy, than anything diet-related. One need only watch an hour or two of virtually any TV channel to see how many companies invest in and promote diets, weight loss products, and workout equipment. They don’t do this for your health or weight loss dreams, believe it or not. They do it to fatten up their own bank accounts.

That being said, most diets do work for some people, at least for a certain amount of time. Some may be crazier than others, of course, and most of the ones that stand the test of time are pretty much based on solid science, such as low glycemic index, minimal refined sugar, more protein, and mostly complex carbs. Companies that have been around for decades, like Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem, almost to a tee use this kind of solid, but simple and proven, knowledge to create responsible ways to lose weight and keep it off.

Of the zillions of somewhat more quirky diet plans, a few take off and stay in the mainstream zeitgeist for decades. Whether they really help people lose weight is often arduously argued by proponents and antagonists, but for some reason, they remain in the “popular if not mainstream” category for at least 10-20 years.

One such diet is the Eat Right for Your Type blood-type diet, developed in the 1990s by Dr. Peter D’Adamo. Claiming that different blood types, whether A, B, O, or AB, should eat different types of food to lose weight, the blood-type diet had many fans, and probably just as many detractors.

A 2013 study of the system, published by the National Institutes of Health, claimed that the diet plan and its claims had no merit whatsoever. The NIH was not alone in its debunking of the best-selling plan, either. The Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association came to a similar conclusion.

But you know what they say about opinions: everybody has one. Not to be too pragmatic, but any diet is good if it helps you lose weight, keep it off, and you don’t lose your mind while on it. If you are allowed to eat a fairly broad range of healthy foods, you’re probably on the right track, no matter how it’s packaged.

If, on the other hand, you’re told to eat 500 calories a day and get a shot of a human growth hormone, as one popular fad diet advised a few years back, we’d guesstimate that your long-term chances of success are zero to none.

Diets are like romance: everybody waxes about them in concept, but most people moan and groan about them in implementation. Sometimes, a slightly slower, but less stressful, approach will, in the long run, leave you looking and feeling better.

Of course, in our “gotta have it right now” culture, that philosophy is easier said than done. All we can suggest is step back and ask yourself if you’re being sold a bill of goods, or if it’s really good for you. And step away from the Cinnabon counter at the mall.


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