Acai Berry, a Brazilian fruit, has been recently promoted and marketed as a highly beneficial dietary supplement.
But the Center For Science In The Public Interest (CSPI) recently issued a statement saying that “There’s no evidence whatsoever to suggest that acai berry pills will help shed pounds, flatten tummies, cleanse colon, enhance sexual desire, or perform any of the other commonly advertised functions.”
The CSPI also warned that customers who provide acai berry internet sellers with their credit card info may have trouble later on stopping unauthorized charges to their credit cards from these companies.
It’s not just acai berry. Many fad diets promise a quick-fix type solution of a fast and easy weight loss.
This outrageous tweet is a good example:
Fad diets often promote a single “miracle food” or “miracle ingredient.” Many of them eliminate, or severely restrict, one or more of the five food groups and treat foods as either “good” or “bad.” Many fad diets also lack major nutrients such as dietary fiber, carbohydrates or healthy fats, as well as important vitamins and minerals. If you follow them for extended periods, or repeatedly, you may develop serious health problems later in life.
Acai Berry diets are relatively new, but the phenomenon of fad diets is hardly new. Classic examples of fad diets are the grapefruit diet, and the cabbage soup diet.
The Grapefruit Diet claims that there are magical ingredients in grapefruit and that when eaten with protein, it triggers fat burning and causes weight loss. In reality, according to most experts, people lose weight on this diet simply because they severely restrict their caloric intake.
The Cabbage soup diet is a radical weight loss diet designed around heavy consumption of low-calorie cabbage soup for seven days. The goal is to lose 10 pounds in a week, but nutritional experts say it is nearly impossible to lose that much fat within a week, so most of the weight lost on this diet is water weight.
So why do people fall for fad diets and quick-weight-loss scams? Because we don’t like to hear that we need to work hard to achieve real results. “Fast and easy weight loss” sounds so much better then “slow and gradual weight loss.”
Indeed, achieving healthy, long-lasting weight loss is quite boring. You need to eat less (but not so much less that you’re constantly hungry); exercise more (but – for most people – no more than a few hours of moderate exercise each week); fill your plate with colorful fruit and veggies and whole grains, then add a little lean protein and healthy oil such as olive oil; limit intake of saturated fat, sweets, salty snacks and alcohol; drink plenty of water; and get plenty of sleep.
It’s boring, but it’s the only thing that works.