Fad diets, America loves them ❤️, but no thanks

History of U.S. fad diets. Not all of them of course, that would take forever.


The Lucky Strike cigarette brand launches the "Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet" campaign, capitalizing on nicotine's appetite-suppressing superpowers.


The Grapefruit Diet—a.k.a. the Hollywood Diet—is born. The popular low-cal plan calls for eating grapefruit with every meal.


The Cabbage Soup Diet promises you can lose 10–15 pounds in a week by eating a limited diet including cabbage soup every day.

Mid- 1950s

Urban legend has it that opera singer Maria Callas dropped 65 pounds on the Tapeworm Diet, allegedly by swallowing a parasite-packed pill.



Jean Nidetch, the founder of Weight Watchers, wrote a book in the early 1970s called The Memoir of a Successful Loser The Story of Weight Watchers which documented the original Weight Watchers plan.

Weight watchers promotes calorie restriction via tracking plus exercise for weight loss.

Probably why this diet program has been successful for so long is that it emphasizes calorie tracking plus regular exercise.


The Atkins diet “revolution” begins. The diet emphasizes high meat “what it defines as protein” consumption in place of evil carbohydrates.

(I copied the below definition of the Atkins diet from Wikipedia, it’s spot on!)

(The Atkins diet is a commercial weight-loss program devised by Robert Atkins. The Atkins diet is classified as a low-carbohydrate fad diet.[1] The diet is marketed with questionable claims that carbohydrate restriction is critical to weight loss.[2] There is no good evidence of the diet's effectiveness in achieving durable weight loss[3] and it may increase the risk of heart disease.[4])

The Atkins diet was really the beginning of many fad diets that emphasizes macro nutrients. And the massive restrictions of one of them to achieve weight loss.

There are 2 more modern fad diets that have gained in massive popularity, the paleo diet and modern keto diet.

In regard to the paleo diet I’m no mathamagician but pretty sure our Paleolithic ancestors didn’t roll out of there cozy bed, slap on some lulu lemon, snuggle their tootsies into Uggs and stroll down to their favorite cafe to order a breakfast of grilled sausage gluten free English muffin egg sandwich and side of blueberries. Afterward ordering an Uber from their phone to get to work where they sit in a cubicle looking at a computer screen all day while drinking coconut water. Only later taking another Uber to the gym to get that CrossFit workout in, with terrible form I’m sure.

I don’t want to be to much of an unfair dick here so I will say from a nutritional standpoint a paleo diet is a way way fucking better option then the standard American diet, Keto or Atkins diet.

And that leads me to one of the more recent and in my opinion dumbest fad diets, the Keto diet.

(Definition from Wikipedia):

(The ketogenic (developed in the 1920s) diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fueling brain function. However, if little carbohydrate remains in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood, a state known as ketosis, leads to a reduction in the frequency of epileptic seizures.[1] Around half of children and young people with epilepsy who have tried some form of this diet saw the number of seizures drop by at least half, and the effect persists even after discontinuing the diet.[2] Some evidence indicates that adults with epilepsy may benefit from the diet, and that a less strict regimen, such as a modified Atkins diet, is similarly effective.[1] Side effects include constipation, high cholesterol, growth slowing, acidosis, and kidney stones.[3])

Soooooooo of course an extreme diet developed to reduce severe epileptic seizures in children by 50% must be good for everyone right!?

(Here is some information from the American College of Cardiology 2017)

(Cardiovascular disease (CVD) accounts for approximately 800,000 deaths in the United States (US), or one out of every three deaths. Among Americans, an average of one person dies from CVD every 40 seconds. Coronary heart disease (CHD) accounts for the majority of CVD deaths, followed by stroke and heart failure. More than 90 million Americans carry a diagnosis of CVD. Over 45% of non-Hispanic blacks live with CVD in the US.
On a global level, CVD accounts for 31% of all deaths. The estimated cost of CVD will be $1,044 billion by 2030.
Although deaths due to CHD have declined over the past 10 years, CHD remains the leading cause of death in the US. An estimated 790,000 US adults experience a heart attack each year.
Stroke accounts for 1 of 20 deaths in the US. Approximately every 40 seconds, someone experiences a stroke in the US. Death rates due to stroke have declined. As adults with stroke survive, stroke has become the leading cause of long-term disability in the US.
While smoking rates in the US have declined, tobacco use has increased on a global level. Smoking, including secondhand smoke, accounts for an estimated 6.3 million deaths worldwide.
An estimated one in three US adults do not meet current recommendations for physical activity. Improvements in dietary patterns have been observed in both US children and adults. Increased whole-grain consumption and decreased sugary beverage consumption has been noted in both US children and adults. However, no significant trends in reduced sodium intake have been observed.
Obesity rates have increased over the past decade; in the US, an estimated 37.7% of adults are obese.
An estimated one of every three US adults have elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Approximately 18% of US adults have low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.
An estimated 85.7 million Americans (34% of the population) have high blood pressure. More than 45% of non-Hispanic Black women have hypertension. An estimated 45% of Americans with hypertension do not have controlled blood pressure.
Approximately 23.4 million American adults have diabetes, while an estimated 7.6 million American adults have undiagnosed diabetes. Worldwide, the prevalence of diabetes is expected to increase to 7.7% in the year 2030.)

coronary heart disease, stroke and heart failure happen from one thing. A diet high in cholesterol and saturated fat.

What foods contain the highest amount of cholesterol and saturated fat?

  1. Meat (chicken,beef,pork,fish,and any other animal meat)

  2. Dairy (cream,milk,butter,cheese,yogurt)

  3. Refined oils (canola,vegetable shortening,fryer oil, safflower oil, olive oil,etc)

I want to very clearly explain how the human body loses fat regardless of what you are eating.

It’s called a calorie deficit. This means that you burn more calories then you consume.

So, let’s say you want to lose 1 pound of fat in 1 week. And let’s say you are currently consuming 2000 calories a day(every person has different calorie requirements, I’m just using 2000 calories to keep it simple). To lose that pound of fat in a week you need to be in a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day for 7 days (1 lb of body fat has a calorie equivalent of 3500 calories). So daily you will consume 1500 calories to get to your goal in 7 days.

And let’s say you are not smart and decided to get all 1500 calories per day from bacon. An extremely unhealthy “food”. You drink water and eat nothing but 1500 calories of bacon per day. Will you lose the pound of fat by the end of the week?

Yes! Because you stayed in a calorie deficit. Will you be more healthy?  No!

By doing that you loaded your artery walls with cholesterol laden plaque, which over time will speed up your unhealthy premature death as described in the statistics above.

Now let’s say you stay in the same calorie deficit per day for a week to get to your 1 pound weight loss goal. But you decide to eat a healthy diet of vegetables,  sea vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruit and water.

Will you lose the 1 lb of fat by the end of the week? Yes! Will you be more healthy? Yes!

If you overeat, over consume calories (a calorie surplus) you will gain weight. Period. Regardless of what you are eating.

There is healthy weight loss and there is unhealthy weight loss.

Don’t fall into the hype and half science of these fad diets. They do NOT have your long term health in mind. They just want to sell you a meal plan or supplement. But don’t just take my word for it. Actually do some research. Don’t just watch a 20 minuet YouTube video with some beefed up shirtless guy telling you to put butter in your coffee. (Homer Simpson did that too)

If you want to be more healthy but don’t know where to start

Www.Nutritionfacts.org is a great place to start.