Fad Diets Don't Promote Fruits and Veggies...

New research by Royal Children's Hospital in Australia claims fad diets—like Slim Fast, Weight Watchers, Atkins and the "Eat Yourself Slim" Dietdo little to increase people’s intake of fruits and vegetables. Wow, what a shocker!

The study's in Biomed Central's Nutrition Journal. Reuters reports:

There was no significant difference between the diets in how much weight people lost, Helen Truby of Royal Children's Hospital in Australia and her British colleagues reported in Biomed Central's Nutrition Journal.

"Health professionals and those working in community and public health should be reassured of the nutritional adequacy of the diets tested," the researchers wrote.

Truby and colleagues asked 293 people on diets across Britain to record how much food they ate during a two-month period and compared the results with a group who ate normally.

They found that all four diets led to weight loss but that only people on the Weight Watchers plan boosted the amount of fruit and vegetables they ate even when the plans advised them to do so.

This shouldn’t be taken as a glowing endorsement for Weight Watchers. Dr. Fuhrman considers Weight Watchers an obsolete approach to weight-loss. Not to mention, portion-restricting diets have dismal failure rates or only post modest results.

Now, what this research does show is too many people are still veggie-phobic. Some REALLY freak out over vegetables!

Portion Control Products--Hunh?

“It is meaningless to compare foods by weight or portion size,” explains Dr. Fuhrman. Don’t believe it? Give this experiment a try:

Take one teaspoon of melted butter, which gets 100 percent of its calories from fat. If I take that teaspoon of butter and mix it in a glass of hot water, I can now say that it is 98 percent fat-free, by weight. One hundred percent of its calories are still from fat. It didn’t matter how much water or weight was added, did it?

I mean, look how silly these are. From The Los Angeles Times:




Now, many health experts think portion-control is out of proportion. Karen Ravn of The Los Angeles Times reports:

Portion-control plates are intended to do just what their name says: get portion sizes under control. Most experts agree that portions have run amok.


Starting in the 1970s, portions in all food categories except bread have been growing, according to a 2002 study conducted at New York University. That includes portions served in restaurants, packaged items sold in grocery stores and portion sizes in cookbook recipes.

Some examples: Twenty years ago, an average-sized bagel was 3 inches in diameter and had 140 calories, according to figures from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Now it's 6 inches across and packs about 350 calories. Twenty years ago, a cheeseburger, order of fries and a soda had 630 calories, fewer than half as many calories as the same 1,450-calorie meal, on average, today, according to the institute.

"People know portions are big, but they have no idea how big, and how much bigger they are than what we should eat," says Lisa Young, adjunct professor of nutrition at New York University.

Here’s my portion control. Please, may I have a GIANT portion of fruits and vegetables!

Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers, Zone Diet--All Poop Out...

A new study has determined that fad diets like Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers, and the Zone produced only modest weight-loss with limited sustainability. Ian Ayres of the Freakonomics blog has more:

A randomized control year-long study looked at the impact of four different diets (Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers, and Zone Diets) on a group of overweight and obese subjects who were looking to lose weight. The diets produced only “modest” average weight loss of about 6.4 lbs (2.3 percent of original body weight) and found no statistically significant difference in weight loss for the four different diets.


People do a pretty good job of losing weight for about half a year, and then their weight tends to drift back toward their pre-diet number. The difficulty of sustaining weight loss can be seen in this figure taken from a 2-year randomized study of the Weight Watchers program:

Now, news like this is rather redundant. Diets programs like Atkins and Weight Watchers are nothing but hype—BIG wastes of time! According to Dr. Fuhrman diets like these are doomed to fail. He explains:

All those second rate diets fail, because without addressing adequate micronutrient density, people crave more food than their body requires for good health.


In spite of the more than $110 million consumers spend every day on diets and “reducing” programs (more than $40 billion per year), Americans are the most obese people in history. To be considered obese, more than one-third of a person’s body must be made up of fat. A whopping 34 percent of all Americans are obese, and the problem is getting worse, not better.

Unfortunately, most weight-loss plans either don’t work or offer only minor, usually temporary, benefits. There are plenty of “rules and counting” diets, diet drugs, high-protein programs, canned shakes, and other fads that might enable you to lose some weight for a period of time. The problem is that you can’t stay on these programs forever.

Here’s my UNEXPERT opinion. Ditch the “diet” and change your lifestyle. Hey, it worked for me—Healthy, with a Vengeance!

The Problem with Weight Watchers and other Calorie Counting Diets

From the library of DrFuhrman.com:

Weight Watchers and other similar diet plans have dismal failure rates. To appeal to the mainstream, who presently are eating a diet predominating in “fake” low-nutrient processed foods, they must perpetuate the same nutritional mistakes that lead people down the path to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

The leading cause of death in the modern world today is heart disease. Most people consume a diet rich in processed foods and high saturated fat animal products that guarantees them a future destiny with heart disease. It is this same style of eating that fuels the obesity epidemic. To end these unnecessary tragedies, to get real results in the weight-loss arena and to save lives, we need to eat much differently.

When you support the status quo and attempt to motivate people to consume smaller portions of disease causing foods, you give people all the same addictive foods that caused them to become overweight to begin with. Unhealthy food is addicting. When your diet is still centered on disease causing foods, you will always feel ill and have addictive food cravings. Unless your body is flooded with all the nutrients it needs, you will simply crave more food than you need, and it will be almost impossible to achieve and maintain an ideal weight.

Diets such as this fail over 90 percent of the time simply because they are structured around dangerous foods and do not ensure adequate nutrient intake. Studies performed on subjects undergoing the Weight Watchers program have shown that after 6 months the average weight loss was less than 5 pounds.1

In comparison, a group of 100 overweight people following my Eat to Live approach, who were tracked for two years, showed a weight loss of 49 pounds after their two year follow-up. The reason my approach is so successful is that it is not merely a weight-loss diet. It encourages you to eat large amounts of vegetables, beans and fruits, the most powerful anti-cancer foods on the planet. Food is rated, not by calories but by nutrient levels to encourage recipes and menus that make you disease-resistant. You learn how delicious healthy eating can be, but as a result by eating more healthy food, you can lose the cravings and temptations to eat greasy, sugary and unhealthy food. When you are so filled up with nutrient, fiber and volume, you simply lose your “toxic” hunger and food cravings.

With calorie-counting and point-counting and having to weigh, measure, and calculate amounts eaten, you are following a diet. Who wants to diet and measure portions forever? I enjoy eating. I eat the way I advise all my patients to do, yet I am not overweight. Why? I enjoy eating lots of great tasting stuff and not having to worry about my weight or my health. Intellectually, I know that I am doing the right thing to prevent heart disease and other medical problems from developing in my future. Dieting and measuring out thimble-sized portions of food for the rest of one's life is not something that fits in naturally and permanently into anyone's lifestyle. Besides, anything you do temporarily gives only temporary benefit.

A key (and always overlooked) element in my Eat to Live approach is understanding “toxic hunger.” Most people feel abdominal spasm, stomach discomfort, headaches, and weakness driving them to eat for relief. They do not recognize these symptoms as withdrawal symptoms from their nutritionally inadequate diet. When one eats a high-nutrient diet these symptoms of toxicity melt away, and you are put back in touch with true hunger, that mouth and throat sensation that makes even simple food taste great. True hunger leads you to the precise amount of calories that you need to maintain your ideal weight, no more and no less. When you achieve this, you no longer have to try to figure out how much is the right amount to eat; you eat as much as you desire. It is the secret to maintaining your long-term weight control.

Weight Watchers does some sensible things, like encouraging exercise and the consumption of healthier food choices such as fruits and vegetables. However, it is essentially a calorie counting diet with group support which then lets you eat anything you desire. Instead of counting calories, they have counted them for you and grouped foods by points. You look up the point value of all foods, and they tell you how much of it that you are allowed to eat and how many points a day that you can consume.

Consider these typical Weight Watcher's solutions: “Love strong-flavored crunch? Try some ranch flavored chips or cheddar “Goldfish” crackers. Want something chocolaty? Enjoy a small piece of very rich chocolate or a small fudgy brownie. Need a longer-lasting sweet? Opt for butterscotch hard candies or a chocolate lollipop.” This is the solution for you if you are willing to sacrifice your health, maintain your food addictions, and stay a dieter struggling with weight and health issues the rest of your life.

Restricting portions is an obsolete approach with a dismal tract record. When you restrict calories you wind up having to eat such tiny portions in order to lose weight. It doesn't satisfy our desire to eat; it leaves us unsatisfied, hungry and suffering. Our food cravings continue, and we live frustrated, trying to follow a diet. Try to breathe less air for a few minutes. Soon, you will be gasping for air. Likewise, diets that can't be maintained naturally forever don't usually work. People lose and then gain, yo-yoing their weight, which is not healthful.

Rethink this dieting philosophy, and you can lose a spectacular amount of weight in the process. My patients lose an average of 15 pounds the first month, and then about 8 – 10 pounds a month thereafter. But even more dramatic is you can gain the health advantages, radically dropping cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar as you lose the weight. The results are impressive and lasting when you choose to Eat to Live.

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Most Weight Loss Plans Are a Waste of Your Money

What is wrong with every single commercial weight-loss program? They are all too high in fat and too low in fiber because they cater to the American love affair with rich, high fat food.

Weight Watchers' brand foods contain 24 percent of calories from fat. Lean Cuisine contains 25 percent of calories from fat. The Jenny program requires the purchase of packaged meals with entrees such as cheese souffl´┐Ż and Salisbury steak, meals that are almost as bad as what most Americans eat at home. These commercial diet plans, since they are not very low in fat, must restrict portion sizes to offer "low calorie" meals. These "skimpy" portions represent an obsolete approach with a dismal track record.

It is merely a matter of time before those trying to keep their portions small increase the amount of food they are eating. The amount of fiber is insufficient and the nutrient density of the diet is poor. These diets restrict calories, but because the food choices and meal plans are so calorie-dense, the dieters must eat tiny portions in order to lose weight. These choices don't satisfy our desire to eat, and we wind up craving food and becoming frustrated. When dieters can't stand eating thimble-sized portions anymore and finally eat until satisfied, they put on weight on with a vengeance. You may be able to hold your breath under water for a short period, but when you resurface you will be hungry for air and will be forced to speed up your respiratory rate. In a similar manner, if you cannot eat small portions forever, it just isn't likely to work for long.

You can't eat out of boxes and consume powdered drinks forever, either. If you do lose weight, you will always gain it back. Instead, permanent changes in your eating habits must be made. Learning new recipes and adopting different ways of eating that you can live with will maintain your weight loss and protect your health for the rest of your life.