This ‘review’ has it’s humble beginnings as my response to a person who asked me about the Acai Berry Diet, yet the take-home message can be applied to any ‘fad’ diet. -JS-
Sure, the acai berry has nutritional benefits (so do most other fruits, veggies, lean protein sources, etc), but a diet based around a single food source wreaks of gimmick. Fad diets typically rely on some combination of caloric restriction and exercise (they need to in order to be “effective”)
But If it’s your first time following a calorie restrictive diet, yes, you’ll lose ‘weight’ (not necessarily body fat) – probably fairly easy, too.
The problem is that the more you cycle between restrictive and “regular” eating patterns, the harder it gets to lose anything meaningful as you continue the yo-yo cycle. And every time you go back to ‘regular’ eating, you’ll gain even MORE weight than you lost.
This is why I use (and HIGHLY recommend) Dr. John Berard’s Precision Nutrition with my private coaching clients. It doesn’t rely on simple calorie restriction as a short-term ‘trick’. Instead, it provides all the tools one needs to develop and modify (depending on personal goals) healthy lifestyle habits (notice the similarities to my ‘5 hour’ approach with “This Workout…” It’s all about the HABITS!)
There are times and places where restrictive diets can be deemed necessary (for profit or as part of a bigger health picture). For example, one of my former clients is an actor (codename: VisionQuest) and he gave me the challenge of helping him lose as much weight as possible in ~6weeks for a role as a meth addict. Whether the weight loss was bodyfat or lean, healthy muscle wasn’t important. He simply needed to look like a junkie
We did some insane things I would NEVER do with a ‘regular’ person, but his career is his life, and he fully understood the long term effects of extreme dieting/yo-yo cycles and the volume and intensity of workouts we needed to apply, so we went to work…
“VQ” came into this particular project extremely lean and he successfully dropped 18lbs in that short time. Hated every minute of it, but couldn’t have been happier with the results. (A real-life former addict served as a consultant to the film and said that the typical meth addict drops closer to FORTY pounds when they get hooked.) “VQ” was perfectly happy w/his little 18lbs and was even happier to eat again when the shoot was complete.
Medically, it’s sometimes necessary to lose ‘as much weight as possible’ before surgery (to minimize the work load on an already weak heart, for example).
Sure it would be great if cardiac patients had time/energy/motivation to lose weight “the right way”, but apparently the medical profession views extreme dieting as the lesser of 2 evils. Even if I wanted to dispute their viewpoint, it wouldn’t really matter as I’m not in a position where I can override medically prescribed diets. If you’re considering such an extreme diet, make sure it’s medically necessary first.
If you have a major lifetime event coming up (wedding, reunion, etc) where you needed to look as good as you possibly could, there are certainly shortcuts, but don’t expect to keep it off when the event is over and life returns to relative normalcy.
’tis a shame the diet industry won’t say any of this to consumers.
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