Finding a Diet Plan to Lose Weight Fast

Low carb meal with salmon.

Diet Plans Exposed
What is a Diet Fad?
Low fat Diet Plan
Dairy Free Diet Plan
Low Carb Diet Plan
Mediterranean Diet
Raw Food Diet Plan
Is the Gluten Free Madness Craze a Healthy Diet Plan for Everyone?
Who Owns Who?
What Everybody Ought to Know about Fad Diets

Diet Plans Exposed

If you are looking for a diet plan to lose weight quickly, then read on. Learn about the most popular diet plans as well as fad diets. I have tried several of them with amazing results including feeling better, elimination of aches and pains, more energy, and, best of all, weight loss!

BONUS Download: Get a downloadable PDF version of Finding a Diet Plan to Lose Weight Fast. You can print out and read later. Or use as a reference. Instant access; no email address required.

The diet industry is huge. Multi-billions of dollars a year and growing. Marketers are promoting the sale of diet products from the latest fad diet to consumers at an alarming rate. (Source: ABC News)

It does not surprise me a bit that large junk food manufacturers are also selling diet products. They go where the demand and money are! They are in the business of making money. I think this is inconsistent with what we need to lose weight.

For example, Nestle, the maker of KitKat and Butterfingers candy, Dreyer’s Ice Cream, also owns the Gerber baby food, Lean Cuisine, and Jenny Craig brands. You will see more big names involved below. In all fairness to Nestle and other food manufacturers, I think they bring a great deal of research and production expertise to the food industry.

I have frequently heard the term “highly processed food” but never really understood it. But I found the following chart showing the four levels of food processing. It is easy to see that food production factories produce highly processed foods. They are processed to be convenient and affordable to consumers. And then packaged to be shipped worldwide to warehouses and stores.

4 levels of food processing

The Center for Disease Control reports that in the past 20 years, obesity rates have dramatically increased in the United Sates. It’s estimated that more than one-third of U.S. adults (34.9%) and approximately 17% (or 12.7 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years have obesity.

That’s only the tip of the alarming statistics.Green vegetables help lose weight

  • It’s estimated that 50% of American adults are dieting at any given time.
  • Roughly half of American adults are trying to lose or maintain their weight.
  • An estimated 100+ million American adults were dieting in 2015.
  • The average American adult tries to implement a fad diet 4 times per year.
  • Within two weeks, 25% of Americans will have given up on their weight loss goals.
  • The U.S. weight loss market is now almost evenly split in dollar terms between weight loss products and services — products account for an estimated 49.3% of the total in 2013 ($29.8 billion), and services account for 50.7% ($30.7 billion). The total market value fell 1.2% last year to $60.5 billion and is expected to grow only 1.2% this year. (Source: Market Data Enterprises)

As these numbers show, obesity rates are reaching epidemic proportions. Many industrialized nations lead a sedentary lifestyle that only encourages weight gain. More and more people are following some type of diet plan than ever before. Often times these diets are the latest fad.

Fad diets are often chosen because they seem to work and work fast. They can help you lose weight the same as any type of diet can.

And they can be highly profitable to the food industry. Companies promote instant gratification of immediate weight loss. I think this is an incorrect mindset. One of the biggest mistakes in dieting is the all or nothing mindset. I found this common while in the Navy. We had certain weight and conditioning requirements to meet. So we had annual physical readiness tests to take. Often sailors would crash diet and exercise hard prior to the tests.

Whether you are choosing to follow the latest fad diet like the grapefruit diet or one of the more popular diet plans like the low carb craze, you should be aware of the facts before you begin.

What is a Diet Fad?

Before we get to the different types of diets, we should talk about what is a diet fad. If you are ready to lose weight you need to know the difference in the types of diets.

The definition of a fad diet is subjective. It really depends on who you are asking. There are many people who use the term fad diet as a way to ridicule what they think is a poor way to lose weight. The Whole30 program was considered a fad diet because it gained so much publicity from social media attention when it was developed in 2009.

low carb mealOthers believe that a fad diet is simply a way to lose weight that’s quickly become popular and often falls out of favor just as quickly.

Fad diets are marketed as a quick way to lose weight. They tend to change from year to year but the promises marketers make don’t change.

Not all diets are a fad even if they are considered so by some. The low carb diet and the gluten free diet plan are both lifestyle changes often put into place because of a health issue. For instance, the low-carb craze is has been shown to lower blood pressure and improve diabetes symptoms.

Some fad diets work for a while but are often impossible to stick to for the long term. To determine if the diet plan you are considering is just a fad ask yourself these questions:

  • Who is promoting the diet? For example, is it a new diet product from a food industry giant?
  • Are some foods completely off-limits?
  • Does it promise you will lose an unrealistic amount of weight in a very short amount of time? For example, losing ten pounds in less than a week.
  • Are foods referred to as good or bad?
  • Are certain foods necessary and only found in special stores?

Diet fads are often made popular by the advertising methods marketers use to convince consumers to buy into their products. They may use celebrities as spokes persons. They may show testimonies from people who have lost a large amount of weight using the said diet. These marketing ploys really hit home for people desperate to lose weight.

Keep in mind, though, not all diet plans are fads. Many of the more popular forms of weight loss plans provide a very healthy way of eating.

25 Questions Answered About Popular Diet Plans

For the most part, the more popular diet plans like dairy-free, low carb and gluten free are good diet plans. Often people will adopt one of these for specific reasons, such as an allergy to dairy or celiac disease. Even so, it’s a good idea to ask some pertinent questions about each one before you jump into one of them.

Low Fat Diet Plan

low fat meal with mushrooms and tomatoes 
1. How much fat should you eat on a low fat diet and is this total fat or saturated fat?

How much fat you consume depends on several factors including your overall health, height and weight. A low fat diet generally means cutting back on both the total amount of fat you eat and reducing the saturated fat in your diet.

2. What can you eat on a low fat diet?

A low fat diet should be filled with lean protein and lots of veggies. You load up on fruit and greens. Low-fat dairy products are allowed as are nuts, whole grains, fish, and poultry. Butter and fatty meats like salami or bacon should be avoided.

3. Are all fats the same?

There are several types of fat. Some are healthier than others. The two that are the most harmful are saturated fat and trans fat. Saturated fat comes primarily from animal products like meat and milk. It raises “bad” LDL cholesterol levels. However, there is on-going research to determine if saturated fat is as bad as claimed because most animals (beef for instance) destined for the dinner table are “fattened” up in feedlots using grain products.

Trans fat is manufactured fat produced when vegetable oil undergoes a process called partial hydrogenation It lowers “good” HDL cholesterol.

Unsaturated fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated and are healthier fats. They should be chosen over saturated fats and trans fats when possible.

4. Do fat free and low fat foods lack nutrient value?

Not all do. You should be choosing whole foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains. Read the food labels on processed foods. Fat free food products shouldn’t be loaded with sugar or additives and should be lower in calories than the full fat version.

5. Are low-fat diets risky?

As long as you are getting the necessary “good” fat to help your body absorb key vitamins like A, D, E, and K, the risk is low. Your body needs some kinds of healthy fat to function at its best.

Marketing ploy:  Since the 1970s, professional health officials have promoted low-fat, or no-fat diets as a way to prevent heart disease from high cholesterol. Unfortunately, this turned out to be the wrong approach. Because fat adds flavor to food. To add flavor back to foods, manufacturers added extra sugar and artificial flavors.

I have to admit, I have fallen for the low-fat products in the past. It’s difficult to argue, when everyone was telling us eating too much fat was unhealthy.

Dairy Free Diet Plan

Dairy products including eggs and milk.

6. Can you eat eggs on a dairy free diet?

Yes. Eggs are non-dairy. Most of the time, a dairy allergy refers to milk products only.

7. Is it safe to cut out a whole food group?

Many cultures don’t consume milk and their health does not suffer. Milk is a cultural food adopted in European and American diets. Eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, seafood, lean organic meat and whole grains provides the needed vitamins, minerals and nutrients recommended by the USDA.

8. How do you replace the lost calcium from dairy products?

Osteoporosis is a serious concern for many, especially women and young children. It’s important you get enough calcium by eating foods rich in calcium to replace the missing dairy products. Here are just a few examples:

  • Dark, leafy greens (collard greens, bok choy, kale, broccoli)
  • Figs
  • Beans (if tolerated)
  • Almonds
  • Oranges
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Seafood

9. Will going dairy-free help me lose weight?

Losing weight is very possible when you adopt a dairy-free diet. One reason, it’s speculated is because of the high calories found in whole dairy products. (Source: JAMA Network)

10. Does dairy free mean you are vegan?

Dairy-free doesn’t necessarily mean you are Vegan. You can still eat eggs and meats. 

Marketing ploy: Dairy products are high in fat and calories. Going dairy free will help you lose weight.  Okay, I buy 2% whole milk and eat more eggs these days.

Low Carb Diet Plan

 Low carb meal with salmon.

11. Do low carb diets exclude essential food groups?

Low carb diets do cut out grains, legumes, sugar and starches, especially in the first stage of the diet. The Whole30 program is criticized because it eliminates dairy, whole grain, and legumes. Very low carb diet plans cut out fruits as well.

12. Are low carbohydrate diets high in saturated fat and dangerous?

Low carb diets encourage the consumption of fatty foods like meat and eggs rich in saturated fat and cholesterol. The American Heart Association says that saturated fats raise LDL cholesterol levels. Yet some recent studies have found that eating saturated fats do the opposite; they lead to the reduction of saturated fat since you are burning fat for fuel.

Which is right? The verdict is still out and chances are there will never be one solid answer. This conflict is not limited to just low-carb diets, you’ll find conflicting information with just every diet you research.

So what do you do? Eat sensibly. Perhaps limit your saturated fats but don’t eliminate them.  Talk to your doctor or a nutritionist that reads and understands the latest research and information. Let them guide you to what they feel might be best for you.

Remember, every person is different with different needs so a custom diet plan with sensible eating practices may be your best option.

13. Are low carb diets safe for long term use?

Low carb diets have proven to be safe as a long term diet plan.  Studies have shown that several populations throughout the world, including the Inuit and the Masai in Africa, have eaten almost no carbohydrates for almost their whole life. These populations eat lots of meat and fat and have no evidence of chronic diseases found in Western populations.

14. Is most of the weight loss on a low carb diets just water weight?

It is true that the first week or so you will lose a lot of water weight on the low carb diet. After that the weight loss comes from the fat stored in your body.

15. Do low carb diets actually work?

Low carb diets do work, quite well in fact.  One of the reasons for the success of so many on this diet is because it is based on real-food, restricting only those food groups that don’t necessarily provide nutritional value. It’s a healthy diet that reverses metabolic disease like diabetes. A ketogenic diet is a low carb, high fat diet.

Marketing ploy: The low carbohydrate diet is based on the idea that you consume fewer calories from foods like lean protein and fat rather than starchy vegetables and fruits.

Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean diet

16. Are fats allowed on the Mediterranean diet?

The Mediterranean diet allows for a variety of healthy fats. These include nuts, olive oil and fish rich in omega-3.These types of fats help keep your weight down.

17. Is the Mediterranean diet good for someone who can’t eat dairy or gluten?

The Mediterranean diet starts out low in dairy products, and emphasizes nuts making it a good fit for dairy-free individuals to use dairy alternatives. Unsweetened almond milk for example is a good choice to use in place of dairy milk. Gluten-free eaters can enjoy the Mediterranean diet by swapping the whole wheat and other grains with brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, millet, and buckwheat.

18. Does a Mediterranean-style diet follow American Heart Association dietary recommendations?

Mediterranean-style diets are close to the American Heart Association dietary recommendations. However they don’t follow them exactly. The Mediterranean diet has a rather high percentage of calories from fat.

19. Does the Mediterranean diet help your heart?

Some studies (Source: show that following a modified Mediterranean diet can benefit a healthy heart.  Scientific evidence proves that the positive effects such as reducing cholesterol comes from the results of the Mediterranean diets rich sources of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains and protein sources such as fish nuts and low-fat dairy.

20. Can kids eat the foods found on the Mediterranean diet?

With the rise in the number of obese children in recent years many parents are looking for a way to start healthier habits for their children. Those who stuck to a Mediterranean diet are less likely to be overweight. 

Marketing ploy: The Mediterranean diet is low in saturated fat and high in fruit and vegetable content leading to weight loss and a longer life.

Raw Food Diet Plan

Raw food diet includes smoothies 

21. What is a raw food diet?

A plant based diet where no cooking is needed. The diet mainly consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Raw food plan requires tedious preparation such as blending foods for smoothies or dehydrating foods to make fruit or vegetable crackers.

22. Will you lose weight?

It’s very likely you will lose weight if you follow the many rules of a raw food diet.

23. How easy is it to follow?

The raw food diet is difficult to follow simply because raw food suggestions are interpreted differently by every dieter. The dieter has to make the choice on whether to add cooked foods or how they will be prepared. Food preparation can be a lengthy process that includes blending, juicing, dehydrating and fermenting foods.

24. What are the benefits?

You lower your cholesterol when you eat a raw diet. Raw food diets help you clear skin problems and gain more energy. A raw food diet helps your body remove built up toxins and treats chronic disease like diabetes or pain.

25. What Do I Eat on a Raw Food Diet?

The raw food diet can be followed in different ways. Often those who follow this type of eating plan are vegan. Some consume a few raw animal products like raw milk, raw fish or raw meat. Some eat only raw foods while other dieters include cooked foods as well.

Marketing ploy: The raw food diet is marketed to consumers as the most healthful food for your body is uncooked foods, that heating the food kills its nutrient and it’s the ultimate way to lose weight.

Every new or reinvented diet plan has benefits as well as drawbacks. The most popular diets are often the ones marketers have spent a lot of time and money promoting and have found some key point to exploit.

Where one person may find success with a certain diet, another person may find the same diet too restricting. In addition, every individual must take into consideration their personal health issues, lifestyle, wants and needs when trying to choose which diet is best for them.

Is the Gluten Free Madness Craze a Healthy Diet Plan for Everyone?

food containing gluten

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve no doubt heard of the Gluten free madness taking over consumers. Of course with celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Miley Cyrus on board with the craze, the interest in a gluten-free diet has skyrocketed.

The gluten-free diet eating plan is based on a diet plan recommended for those who have celiac disease or intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. One of the perks or side effects is the diets ability to help the dieter lose weight.

Gluten-free has grown in popularity in recent years. In fact, in a 2013 poll (source: 29% of American adults say they’d like to cut back on the amount of gluten they eat or go totally gluten-free. And it’s not just in the U.S., Canadians and Europeans are cutting out gluten as well. The truth is that less than 1 percent of people have celiac disease, according to the National Institutes of Health.

So why are people so fascinated with this diet plan?

It’s clear to see that people who don’t have problem eating gluten are fascinated with the health benefits of the food plan.

People are interested in their health and wellness more than ever. They see this as a cleansing diet or a way to control calories or cut carbs. This means they are using it as a fad diet that may not work in the long term.

One of the problems with substituting gluten-free products is that many are produced with higher fat, sugar and calories than traditional brands. The gluten may be removed but the sugar, sodium, fat and calories are still in those cookies labeled gluten-free. This can cause you to gain weight instead of the expected loss you were hoping for.

A lot of the gluten-free madness has come from marketers jumping on the bandwagon and pushing the lifestyle onto everyone.  In almost every instance, the gluten free versions of regular products are more expensive, often costing twice as much or more.

But it seems Americans are willing to spend more to be gluten-free. In fact the gluten-free industry, which has moved over to include pet foods, household cleaners and beauty products, does business to the tune of almost $9 billion.

For those who do have celiac disease, the gluten free diet is their only option. For everyone else, the gluten free diet plan should be carefully considered before you jump in.

Marketing Ploy: Is the Diet and Food Industry Cashing in on Popular Diet Plans?

The diet industry is booming. In fact, Americans spend over $60 billion every year on dieting. People have become obsessed with the way they look and are ready to jump onto the latest diet plan that promises they’ll lose weight. The food industry is taking their fair share of consumers’ income. They are cashing in on the dieting craze.

Here’s some startling statistics.

In 2010, $2.32 billion was spent on low calorie/diet foods and $3.29 billion on commercial weight loss centers. (Source: Fitness for Weight Loss)

People spent over $2.52 billion on artificial sweeteners and over 1/3 of all diet and weight loss purchases was spend on diet soft drinks: $21.15 billion. (Source: Fitness for Weight Loss)

Weight loss books and exercise DVD’s took in their share at $1.21 billion.

Astonishing isn’t it?

There are different ways the industries are cashing in.

Who Owns Who?

The major diet companies like Jenny Craig are owned by the junk food industry. Nestle Nutrition bought Jenny Craig in 2006. Nestle is famous for Kit Kat candy bars, Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal and hundreds of other unhealthy products.

Unilever Corporation owns Slim-Fast. They are the home to Ben & Jerry’s Ice cream, Lipton tea, Popsicle, Hellman’s mayonnaise and Imperial Margarine.

CoolBrands International bought Weight Watchers in 1999. Weight Watchers was originally owned by Heinz. CoolBrands owns Russell Stover Candies, Tropicana, Betty Crocker and Trix cereal.

It’s easy to see why these diet companies are so popular. The food industry that makes some of the worst junk food that causes weight gain, own them. They are spending millions marketing to you & your family to eat the yummy, unhealthy foods. Then they are marketing to you – and giving you hope – that you can lose the weight that they helped you gain.

The food industry manufactures “fake” healthy food.

Grocery store shelf with diet foods.

You’ve seen the labels. All Natural, Contains Real Fruit, Sugar-Free, Low-Carb, Gluten-Free High Protein.

These foods are marketed to be good for you, healthier than the “full-fat” version or contain fewer calories than the original does. But in reality, many are less healthy than the original product.

These products often contain more calories, more sugar, more fat and few, if any, real ingredients. They are often filled with chemicals, additives, and preservatives that have no nutritional value whatsoever.

These are marketing ploys designed to get you to eat more of their product. They produce sugar free diet drinks that cause your insulin production to soar, thus increasing your appetite for more food.

The food industry has found a way to make processed foods profitable, highly profitable. The only profits generated from natural foods like vegetables, eggs, lean meats and beans are the farmers, transportation companies and the grocery store that carries them. The food industry is in the business to make money. They make that profit from highly processed foods and its packaging.

Let’s look at an example of the food industry taking advantage of a diet plan.

The gluten-free diet plan was designed for those who have celiac disease or intolerance to gluten. Just a few years ago, finding a gluten-free product was nearly impossible. Jump ahead to today. In almost every major grocery store, there is at least one aisle dedicated to gluten-free items.

Big brands like General Mills have taken notice of the demand. They manufacture products like gluten-free Chex Mix. Kellogg’s has begun manufacturing a gluten-free version of Rice Krispies. Even the Girl Scouts are in on the action, offering a gluten-free cookie.

Mintel International, a market research company, has projected the market for gluten-free foods will rise to more than $15 billion in sales in 2016.

General Mills is already getting a piece of the pie. They offer the gluten-free community more than 300 gluten-free products that are peddled as being great tasting, affordable and easy to prepare.

And it’s not just General Mills.

Over 39% of food companies have begun manufacturing gluten-free products. Restaurants are adding gluten-free, low carb and Weight Watchers point options to their menus and redoing floor plans so their gluten free foods aren’t cross contaminated.

Like any trend, the food industry steps up to the plate and gets involved. They want to make a profit from the trend and use different types of marketing ploys to get the consumer to buy their products.

The Recycled Diet Ideas Secrets

Did you know that the current low carb diet craze and the South Beach Diet are simply recycled forms of the Atkins diet popular in the 1970’s? Or that the Paleo diet is closely related to the raw foods diet?

Vegan. Gluten-free. Paleo. Juicing. Mediterranean. Every one of these diets has been around in some form for years. Every diet you have ever heard of has its roots in some other diet.

The U.S. and Europe has a long history of dieting. In the 1920s and 1930s, there was a diet called the all-grape diet. It was popular among wealthy women in the U.S. and France. The plan called for eating only grapes for several months to lose weight and reap anti-aging benefits.

Sound familiar? It’s the early form of a raw food diet plan that limits food to only raw foods.

Robert Atkins popularized the Atkins Diet. It called for limiting the number of carbohydrates you eat. His theory was that by limiting this type of sugar, your body uses stored body fat for energy instead of metabolizing sugar for energy. A ketogenic diet causes the body to break down fatty acid into ketones used for energy.

Again, sound familiar? This is the precursor to the modern day South Beach diet and more recently, the low carb diet craze.

Weight Watchers promotes eating a balanced diet, eating in moderation and having the choice to eat what you want. It uses a points system to keep track of the foods you eat. It has been around for more than 40 years.

Low fat diets were promoted in the 1970’s by authorities as the best way to prevent heart disease. The diet lost favor for a while and was reintroduced in the 1990s, limiting fat to lean cuts of meat like chicken and fish.

The modern version of low fat diet? The Mediterranean diet. It emphasizes healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acid from fish, nuts, legumes and fruits and vegetables.

Paleo Diet, gluten-free diet, DASH, whole food, clean eating, intuitive eating, low carb diet and the dairy-free diet are all forms of eating that involve limiting a certain food group and processed foods.

There have been many types of diets throughout history. It doesn’t matter if it’s restricting carbs or fats, eliminating dairy or gluten or eating only foods prepared a certain way, there’s one thing is for certain. Every new diet plan that is introduced has its roots somewhere in the diet history world.

Finally, What Everybody Ought to Know about Fad Diets

It’s not surprising that millions of people try finding a diet plan to lose weight fast. Claims from the food industry, so-called testimonials and the hype of so-called experts can confuse anyone.  The one thing you should remember about any diet plan is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If a diet plan calls for hard to find ingredients or is difficult or time-consuming to prepare, it may not be worth the benefits.

Each diet plan discussed in this report has its positive points. Each one has downfalls as well.

When researching a type of diet plan take into consideration the following:

  • Is it specifically designed for certain health risks? For example, the gluten-free diet plan is for those who can’t tolerate gluten. It’s risky for them to eat it. The same goes for a dairy-free diet plan. Ask your nutritionist or doctor if this is the right plan for you if you just want to lose weight.
  • Avoid plans that promote rapid weight loss. These often don’t have a lasting effect. The plan is to lose the weight and keep it off, right? Slow, steady weight loss is more likely to last. A healthy diet plan means losing around 1 pound a week.
  • Are the quantities and limitations too tight? For example, the grapefruit diet limits you to eating boring food over and over.
  • Ask yourself, “Can I eat this way for the rest of my life?” If the answer is no, the plan is not for you.
  • Ask your doctor and/or your nutritionist what would be the best diet plan for you.

Finally, all types of diet plans call for some sort of changes in your diet. Learning that much of the popularity of a diet plan comes from the marketing of the food and diet industry helps you make a more informed decision.

I would love to hear what works for you! Please fill in and submit the form below.


Return to the Can Seniors Lose Belly Fat Home Page


Tips and updates about healthy living.