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Fad Diet Nation

Whether it's five pounds or fifty, it's all too common to hear someone say they're on a new trendy diet to lose weight.
JOPLIN, MO.--- Whether it's five pounds or fifty, it's all too common to hear someone say they're on a new trendy diet to lose weight. For some people, it turns into a never ending cycle of weight loss followed by weight gain. Fad diets usually come with big promises for easy weight loss. That often works in the short term, but whether it outlasts the first few weeks is a completely different matter.

"I've done apple cider vinegar, HCG. I've done phentrimine, green tea. Oh there's so many," said Hayley Kennedy, Dieter.

Hayley Kennedy has lost some weight.

"No sustained weight loss. If I don't get immediate results, I feel like quitting," said Kennedy. 

She says she doesn't expect to look like a model. She just wants to slim down and keep her energy levels up without feeling hungry all the time.

"Fad diets have let me down every time, but yet I'm always willing to try again," said Kennedy. 

She's not alone, a national study estimated 108 million Americans dieted last year. While some of them cut calories and exercised more - there are plenty who chose a fad diet.

"People are interested in the fad diet because they want to lose weight and it's hard to lose weight. It takes time, it takes energy and the fad diet - it sounds fast and easy," said Heather Boline, Freeman Dietitian. 

Freeman Dietitian Heather Boline says there can be serious consequences to your health.

"Unfortunately, the weight loss that comes quickly comes at the expense of using the body's own tissue for energy," said Boline.

She points to the low carb diets as a popular choice but a negative impact long term.

"When you go back to eating normal, you have less protein and your metabolism slowed down," said Boline. 

That can cause dieters to gain even more weight than they lost. Fad diets can also cause hair loss - since protein is needed to grow hair. They can throw your nutritional balance out of whack. Joplin Counselor Deanna Street suggests instead, many dieters might want to take a closer look at why they feel the need to diet.
  
"Being attracted to the fad diets is really a substitute for looking at what's really going on," said Deanna Street, Joplin Counselor. 

She says dieting is often prompted by feelings of inadequacy.

"If I don't trust that I am a decent person or a good person. I don't trust that I am intelligent enough," said Street. 

That said, many dieters will just keep looking for the next big thing.

"It worked, I lost about 10 pounds. It's hard to keep it off if you don't keep that lifestyle," said Maggie Tennal. 

"Stop eating fast food, that's it. Nothing hard core, no vegan, no Adkins," said Jacob Rowe. 

"I think people go through fads but I think they'd be better off exercising well and eating three to four healthy meals a day," said Derrick Ashe. 

The healthier alternative, and there are lots of websites that can help. To view those websites, click here
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