December 19, 2012

Fast Food Diets: The Secret To A Perfect Silhouette Or Pure Madness?

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If you type the words ”weight loss diet” into Google, you’ll get about 595,000,000 results. From famous diets, like Atkins, South Plan, Hollywood Cookie or Zone, to truly bizarre ones, that would make any nutritionist go crazy, the Internet is full of miracle-diets that promise to reveal the svelte body you’ve been dreaming of, in the shortest amount of time possible.

The problem that many people encounter when trying on a diet isn’t however related to the fact that it might be inefficient on a long-term period or that it may be unhealty, but more to the fact that it forbids certain foods that happen to taste delicious. Thus…the fast food diet was born.

Although it may sound bizarre and quite paradoxal, there are people out there who swear by this kind of diets, assuring others that regularly eating fast food on a daily basis have helped them shed off unwanted pounds. Here are a few of the most famous fast food diets:

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>> The Starbucks Diet

66-year old Christine Hall swears that religiously following a Starbucks-excluise diet has helped her shed about 80 pounds. Hall limited her food intake to Bostro boxes, fruit, Panini sandwiches and Starbucks beverages for a period of two years, a fact that not only lost her the extra pounds, but also a good chunk of money. The secret pof this diet, according to hall, is the fact that the intake of calories is small, and comes from healthy food. Given that my favourite food at Starbucks is the raspberry cheesecake, I don’t think this diet would do me any good.

>> The Convenience Store Diet

Professor Mark Haub of Kansas State University made himself a guinea pig for hiw own bizzare experiment: He ate only sweets, such as Twinkies, Doritoes or Kit Kat bars, for two whole months, proving that you can lose weight no matter where the calories come from, as long as they don’t exceed a certain daily limit. Professor Haub lost indeed about 27 pounds, and his HDL (good cholesterol) levels went up, but it’s important to know that he supplemented his diet with vitamins, protein shakes, occasional servings of fresh vegetables and daily exercise.

>> The Super Size Me Diet (also known as McDonald’s Diet)

The famous ”Super Size Me” experiment conducted by docummentarist Morgan Spurlock, which was nominated for an Acedemy Award in 2004, featurs Spurlock, a very fit man, eating exclusively McDonald’s food for an entire month. He gained 25 pounds and suffered from a series of psychological effects, such as the inability to sustain long periods of effort, sexual disfunctions and mood swings. After finishing the experiment, it took Spurlock 14 months to get back to his original weight and shape.

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>> The Taco Bell Diet

In 2009, Christine Dougherty managed to lose 54 pounds by replacing her usual fat-filled order at the famous fast food chain with a more healthy one from the restaurant’s Fresco menu. Dougherty maintained her diet over a period of two years, mixind it with a series of other ”sensible choices”, according to her personal website.

>> The Subway Diet

Eating only healthy Subway sandwiches and exercising on a daily basis, Jared Fogle managed to keep his weight under control, losing a dramatic amount of pounds and coming to represent the fast food chain in their promotional ads.

The story was included in Men’s Health magazine, which published an article titled ”Stupid Diets…That Work!”, describing the Subway diet.

If you’re wondering how it’s possible that someone can lose weight by eating nothing but burgers and chocolate bars every day, the nutritionists’ answer is: on the short term, it is possible to drop weight due to the low calorie intake, but restrictiong your diet to a single set of foods on the long term is not onyl bad for your silhouette, but also very dangerous for your health, as certain nutrients may be neglected. In addition to this, I wonder if I would just as much enjoy splurging on a Double Cheeseburger from McDonald’s if I happened to eat it on a daily basis. My guess is no.

Photos courtesy of: onesmartbrownie.com, paulinatj.blogspot.com, nisro.blogspot.com