Given our culture's current obsession with thinness despite a growing rate of obesity in the western world, it's no surprise that we're positively inundated with fad weight loss plans and popular diets. Popular diets tend to range from re-workings of old tried-and-true methods, to harmless but largely ineffectual plans, to downright dangerous ideas.
If you're considering trying some of the popular diets, bear in mind that it's a good idea to do your research first. Some examples of current popular diets include the Grapefruit plan, the South Beach plan, various Detox plans, the Blood Group plan, the GI plan, and the Cabbage Soup plan.
All of these work on some variation of the idea that you need to consume fewer calories than you spend over the course of the day. However while some, such as the GI Plan, encourage you to eat a range of foods but just to be careful how you combine them, some limit or eliminate entire foods groups, such as is seen in the Cabbage Soup Plan, which cuts out or places extreme limits on most of the food groups on the various days of the plan.
Many of these fad plans promise that large quantities of weight can be lost very quickly. Nutritionists recommend that you lose no more than 1-2 pounds a week on any weight loss plan. Anything more will jeopardize your health. These plans may also advocate extreme cut backs on calories. While this may initially lead to rapid weight loss, your body will soon go into starvation mode, and your metabolism will slow down, causing you to burn fat and calories more slowly. The other downfall of these fad plans is that because they seldom teach you how to eat in a healthy way on your own, once the fad is over, you tend to gain the weight back.
If you are thinking about starting a weight loss plan, make sure to do your research and choose a plan that emphasizes healthy weight loss and overall nutrition. If you are in doubt about the merits of a plan, consult your doctor.