"During a summer of skimpy bathing suits and bare sundresses, many women are thinking about one number. It’s not the number of diapers they need to bring to the Hamptons or the balance in their bank accounts. This season most women will be obsessing about their weight. And it seems they will try anything to drop the pounds." (Forbes, Jenna Goudreau, 7-8-10)
Yes they will! This is the season of weird and wacky diets…anything to take off 20 pounds in less than two weeks…or whenever that class reunion or wedding takes place when you want to appear svelte and slim and so sleek…like an otter slithering through the water in all its grace. If you have to eat nothing but cabbage soup for the two weeks or go on the rice diet or the Adkins Diet….you must drop 20 pounds in almost no time at all, right???
"Every time a diet fad hits the market, people want to give it a shot," says David Edelson, MD, founder and medical director of a weight loss facility, Healthbridge. "It’s the American way. We want it fast, we want it now, and we don’t want it to be difficult."
All of us know (I think) that women feel much more social pressure about being thin and young-looking, being hard muscled without appearing thick and muscle-bound…women need to look "just perfect" to impress both men and women who are their friends and are also probably seeking the same goal…perfection in appearance and body weight and all that good stuff that is prescribed by the society we live in. Many women are willing to take a chance with ruining their health in order to "look right" to other people, as well as themselves.
Many women have succumbed to the false dream of being even thinner, to the point where they always see them selves as being too fat and then fall into eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia in order to get even thinner with the bad effect of suffering heart failure when the nutrition they need is so scarce that their bodies fail and death can occur as in the case of the anorexic singer Karen Carpenter whose heart failed after she starved herself into illness and death. For a woman who suffers from an eating disorder, they are never thin enough; their self perception is way out of whack and they self-starve until they are skeletal. Many of us have known such people. I know I have…several times in my life.
Some of the wackiest, weirdest diets are listed in a "FORBES" article. The past few months "the baby food diet" which consists of eating baby food from jars and existing on green slimy strained veggies is a fad diet. One of the fast food chains, Taco Bell, has claimed that eating their "drive-thru-diet" meals will cause weight loss and they cite the loss of 54 pounds by one woman who faithfully followed the Taco Bell plan. The "Cookie Diet" is another newbie on the summer diet fad front: eat 5-6 cookies each day followed by a regular dinner and this is supposed to produce weight loss.
In the 18th century, a doctor named Malcolm Flemyng suggested to his patients that they should eat soap in order to lose weight. I would guess that a diet of soap might produce a mighty "cleansing" of the digestive tract and could produce some temporary weight loss by creating such bad diahrhea that pounds would come off fast as happens when one gets a bad case of intestinal flu. Most of the loss would be from losing body fluids. At the same time in history, some desperate dieters swallowed tapeworms to parasitically cause them to lose weight. That would have been a desperately dangerous type of diet according to present day doctors.
Jump ahead to the 1970s when a diet guru named Robert Linn, MD, prescribed the "Last Chance Diet" which consisted of drinking a diet liquid substance several times a day. It was called "Prolinn" but the contents of the diet drink were questionable and dangerous: it was made from pre-digested animal hides, tendons and other slaughterhouse by-products combined with sweeteners and flavorings. The FDA stepped in after several of the Last Chance Dieters died.
Another recent diet regime is the "Apple Cider Vinegar" diet made popular by supermodel Heidi Blum. It consists of swigging apple cider vinegar before every meal. It only aids weight loss because vinegar tastes so terrible that anything eaten after drinking it would also taste terrible leading to weight loss. The highly acid vinegar may also harm the esophagus and stomach so it is not a good diet plan according to doctors who have studied it.
Dr. David Edelson also warns about two extremely weird diets he has heard of being used by super models and actresses who eat cotton balls in order to feel fuller. There is extreme danger to the digestive system in the cottonball diet. Some super dieters known to Dr. Edelson have tried eating only 500 calories a day and using an injection of a hormone that is produced in the placenta of pregnant women but Dr. Edelson warns "there are so many red flags here…stay away from this."
Dr. Edelson acknowledges that there will always be weird and wacky diets popping up that people will want to try. His advice is to concentrate on portion sizes, the kinds of food you eat, and your emotional eating habits and the rate of excercise you engage in. It only makes sense to control the portions of food you eat and the kinds of food you eat, paying attention to not overloading on sugars and carbohydrates which turn to fat in the body. The old adage that "pushing away from the table" is the best kind of excercise for dieters.
Diets are probably popular because so many people like to follow rules and regimens to keep themselves on track. The only diet that Dr. Edelson recommends is the South Beach Low Carb diet which should be considered when trying to shed those pounds in order to get into those skimpy bathing suits and revealing sundresses. He also suggests the hormone balancing "Zone Diet" or a vegetarian diet for those how want to lose weight.
Fad diets will probably be only that—-fads that do not produce any permanent or healthy weight loss.
After reading all this information in the FORBES magazine for July 8, 2010, I feel like going to the nearest Dairy Queen and ordering a choco-cherry blizzard, either a medium or a large!!!! I am not going to take off 20 pounds by the first of August, I know that for sure.