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Crazy Mom Diets ... That Actually Work?

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Momlogic's nutritional counselor gives you the skinny.

Haylie Pomroy: In my 15 years of practice as a nutritional counselor, I have seen diet trends come in and out of favor. There are a few that are actually pretty sound in their approach. Then there are some that are wacky in their philosophy as well as their outcome. Some get the weight off fast, only to leave it and double the pounds lurking as soon as you eat again. And then there are some that are downright dangerous.

woman eating

Let's see if we can merge urban myth with clinical experience and explore some "crazy" diets that can actually work.

HCG Diet
It is a clean, healthy food-based diet coupled with a trace of the pregnancy hormone HCG. It is extremely low in calories, but the theory is the HCG stimulates rapid fat metabolism, providing the fuel for the body. I have seen clients lose 25 pounds in a month, reverse diabetes, lower cholesterol, and avoid gastric bypass surgeries with this one. Some extreme dieters follow this diet and try to save their money by not purchasing the HCG -- a monthly supply runs $500-$1,700. This is where this diet can go very wrong. On the diet without the HCG, I have seen many young women come in with elevated cholesterol and in a very poor state of health.

Optimal Cleanse
This has been billed as the "Lose 10 pounds in 10 days" diet on national television and is endorsed by many A-list celebrities. The craziest thing about this diet is how much it changes people's lives. It is like boot camp for those that want to become a health nut and make lifelong weight changes. There are shakes involved, but grocery lists, recipes, and meal plans make this program easy to integrate into a new lifestyle. Clinically I have seen this diet significantly reduce cholesterol, lower blood sugar, and go after the fat in those hard-to-get-to places.

The Cabbage Soup Diet
I actually kind of like this diet and I have seen many individuals have pretty good success. Basically you make a cabbage soup, eat as much of it as you can every day, and each new day you add specific foods and only those foods. For example, you have a day with bananas and skimmed milk, and the soup of course. This diet seems to fade in and out of popularity over the years; I have even seen it handed out in cardiovascular clinics across the country. Clients get some weight off and then can migrate to a healthy, well-balanced diet and keep it off.

Master Cleanse
A crazy diet article would not be complete without mention of the master cleanse. Many people also refer to it as the maple syrup or lemon juice diet. It is not at all food-based. You drink approximately 160 ounces daily of lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, salt water, and herbal stool softening teas. This is not typically a diet I endorse, but there is a time and place for most things. A male client had a torn meniscus in his knee and was in significant pain. His insurance company would not approve his knee surgery until he lost 20 lbs. Pain, medical necessity of the surgery, and very limited financial resources motivated us to dust this "crazy" diet off and successfully take it for a spin.

Although this diet has been around for over 50 years, Beyonce brought it into fashion again when she used it to lose a quick 20 lbs while preparing for her roll in the movie "Dream Girls."

I really try to keep up on fad or "crazy" new diets. Many are merely recycled ideas with a new name and new promises of glory. There is the Chocolate Diet, Apple Cider Vinegar Diet, Russian Air Force Diet (I see this one making a comeback soon), and, believe it or not, there is even a diet where you drink your first morning urine, yuck!

Many of my clients walk through the door having tried one or many crazy diets. I have to tell you that I am truly a purist at heart and I advocate high-quality, nutrient-dense foods that enhance the metabolism and nourish the body. I will also tell you that under the right clinical setting, I have used many crazy diet concepts to jiggle loose a few pounds fast for clients in need!

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116 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jason Janik October 19, 2010, 9:06 PM

This is a good approach to what, for some, may be a controversial topic. Very well though out post. - I am an only child. I have one sister. - Woody Allen Born 1935

Juan Jump October 19, 2010, 9:43 PM

Just read it and went gosh, I know why I was poor in the debate class. - Any non-trivial program contains at least one bug. Attributed to Laws of Computer Programming

James Jobes October 19, 2010, 10:19 PM

You make some good points. I guess it depends on your standpoint. - It is impossible to travel faster than the speed of light, and certainly not desirable, as one’s hat keeps blowing off. - Woody Allen Born 1935

Jack January October 19, 2010, 10:56 PM

Interesting point of view.Thanks for the post. - In Beverly Hills…they don’t throw their garbage away. They make it into television shows. - Woody Allen Born 1935

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Joseph Janney October 19, 2010, 11:32 PM

Just read it and went gosh, I know why I was poor in the debate class. - True, I’ve been a long time making up my mind, but now I’m giving you a definite answer. I won’t say yes, and I won’t say no — but I’m giving you a definite maybe. - Samuel Goldwyn 1882 - 1974

Jesse Jemmott October 20, 2010, 1:21 AM

I agree with a lot of what you’re saying here but it could do with more detail. - The mind is everything; what you think, you become - Gautama Buddha (c. 563 - c. 483 BC) was a philosopher, teacher, and religious leader. “Buddha”, meaning “awakened one” or “enlightened one” is a title, not a name; the Shakyamuni Buddha …

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Strange this post is totaly irrelevant to the search query I entered in google but it was listed on the first page. - The difference between the right word and almost the right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug. - Mark Twain 1835 - 1910

Jack Jacquet October 20, 2010, 2:36 AM

Interesting post reminds me of another gem. - God heals and the doctor takes the fee. - Benjamin Franklin 1706 - 1790

Jimmy Jame October 20, 2010, 3:12 AM

Came clueless, left worried. Thanks for the post. - I’m astounded by people who want to ‘know’ the universe when it’s hard enough to find your way around Chinatown. - Woody Allen Born 1935

Jesse Jacek October 20, 2010, 3:12 AM

Strange this post is totaly irrelevant to the search query I entered in google but it was listed on the first page. - Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed. - Benjamin Franklin 1706 - 1790

Geoffrey Jeanbaptise October 31, 2010, 3:01 PM

I’d be inclined to be of the same mind with you on this. Which is not something I usually do! I love reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!

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Kerrie Stasio November 12, 2010, 6:20 AM

It only goes to show where there’s will there’s a way. Keep on trying. - Buy land. They’ve stopped making it. - Mark Twain 1835 - 1910

Kerrie Fluegel November 12, 2010, 6:39 AM

Hey, found your site by accident doing a search on Google but I’ll definitely be coming back. - When the Academy called, I panicked. I thought they might want their Oscars back and the pawn shop has been out of business for awhile. (at the 2002 Oscars) - Woody Allen Born 1935

Kerrie Brandolini November 12, 2010, 6:58 AM

You make some good points. I guess it depends on your standpoint. - Here I am paying big money to you writers and what for? All you do is change the words. - Samuel Goldwyn 1882 - 1974

Kerrie Salquero November 12, 2010, 7:18 AM

Great post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’ll keep an eye out for more cool tips. - Any given program costs more and takes longer. Attributed to Laws of Computer Programming

Kerrie Maslak November 12, 2010, 7:38 AM

Then again, the opposite could be true. - When we played softball, I’d steal second base, feel guilty and go back. - Woody Allen Born 1935

Kerrie Seemer November 12, 2010, 8:16 AM

This is quite interesting! I really liked this article! I have put together something JUST like this! - Who is General Failure, and why is he reading my hard disk? Attributed to Steven Wright

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