Harley Pasternak – creator of The 5 Factor Diet and the fitness guru behind some of Hollywood’s hottest – knows a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to slimming down. Unfortunately, there are more fad diets and gimmicks that don’t work than do.
“If I had a penny for every client who’s told me of an outrageous eating plan they’ve tried, with amazing results in the first few days, only to eventually gain it all back – and then some – well … let’s just say I’d have a lot of pennies,” he writes on People.com.
One of those diets is the controversial HCG diet, which Pasternak believes will not only cause you to regain the weight you lose, or more, it’s downright dangerous. He writes:
• The HCG Diet
The Idea: This plan calls for daily injections/pill/drops of the hormone HCG (found in the urine of pregnant women), and couples it with a daily caloric intake of just 500 calories!
The Truth: Such a low intake of calories is very dangerous. Just to survive with minimal to no activity, a small woman would need at least 1,000 calories to maintain health and proper body function. Users of this diet will lose dramatic amounts of weight from starving themselves, but will gain it all (and more) back when normal eating resumes.
If your doctor tries to sell you on this program, please report them to the state medical board.
That’s not the only extreme diet Pasternak advices against. He’s also not a fan of The Master Cleanse, which Beyonce credits for helping her lose 20 pounds for her acting role in Dream Girls. (Though she gained it back as soon as she went off the diet)
• The Master Cleanse – or any Cleanse
The Idea: Chugging maple syrup or cayenne goop or expensive juice delivery services can “cleanse” our organs, reboot our metabolism, help us grow better hair, and have stronger nails – why not throw in “win the Nobel Prize” and “win the lottery?”
The Truth: The idea of limiting yourself to a regimen of liquid sugar (void of fiber, protein or healthy fats) to flush out toxins is not only painful, it’s actually dangerous! In fact, I’ve seen more people get fatter following faux cleanses than any other bad diet. I can safely say that the vast majority of us in the scientific community agree that the notion of a nutritional scrub is nothing more than “highly profitable fiction.” It’s more of a symbolic gesture than a physical one.
Other diets that Pasternak recommends you avoid include:
The Cookie Diet/Lemon Diet/Cabbage Diet
The Snack Pack Diet
The Fat-Free Diet
For more advice on the above diets, check out Pasternak’s blog here.
Photo: Nebil Elderkin