In this article, Jonni Good takes a look at Fat Loss 4 Idiots, Burn The Fat, The Negative Calorie Diet and other highly popular weight loss plans.
Many of the weight loss plans that top the Internet’s popularity list are similar to the programs you find in the local bookstore, like You: On A Diet, The Beck Diet Solution, The 5 Factor Diet , The Zone®, Skinny Bitch – while other downloadable plans offer completely new ideas for your battle against excess fat. The greatest advantage to these diet plans is their immediate availability – no need to run to the bookstore or wait for a book to be delivered online.
However, you don’t have the opportunity to thumb through the books to see if you think they’ll really help you lose weight. For that reason, I thought it would help if I offered a review of the most popular online diets.
So, the top 10list (oops – only 9 – my least popular diet is no longer being sold. Gee, I hope it wasn’t me…), with my reviews (and my somewhat biased opinions) are below.
The basic premise of the program is that people can show an almost immediate improvement and start losing weight within as little as 11 days by “shifting” their calories.
Now, what on earth do they mean by “shifting” calories? Basically, the authors believe that our bodies’ fat burning hormones can be manipulated to our advantage by eating different things at different meals, in a specific way. Here’s how the author’s describe their theory:
…your metabolism always burns calories based on your eating habits during the past few days — because it assumes that you’ll continue to eat in the same general way.
Guess what? You’re about to shock your metabolism by doing something you’ve never tried before — you’re going to do the OPPOSITE of what it expects you to do. You’re going to NOT continue eating the same types of calories and meals for more than a couple days at a time, and you’re going to lose a lot of weight by doing this.
To make this work you need to SHIFT the types of calories eaten as shown in our diet on the next page, and if you do this then your metabolism will burn all of the calories eaten. Then, when it finishes burning those calories it will find the nearest available fat tissue on your body and burn that too…
Of course, in order for this dieting technique to work you also need to eat foods which have been rated “Fat Burning Compatible” — because the foods you eat must be easy to burn (so that your metabolism will burn them entirely and then switch to burning your fat tissue after that).
These are pretty dramatic changes in the way most people eat, so to make it all easy, they provide an online diet generator that automatically creates an 11 day menu and calculates everything for you.
My opinion about this diet: Eating a varied diet is always more nutritious than sticking to the same foods every day, like many of us do. It also helps to have a specific menu plan, which takes a lot of work out of the whole weightloss issue.
However, I’m not entirely convinced that this switching around will actually make your body burn fat faster than it normally would do, or change your body’s production of hormones the way they say it does.
In spite of my questions about the reasons that they claim the diet will work, there’s no question that the foods included on their menus will give you fewer calories than most overweight people normally eat. You may not be counting calories, but their menu generator is counting them for you. And the process itself does make you pay attention to what you’re eating – something that most of us forget to do on a regular basis – and that in itself will help you eat less and lose weight. Click here for more information about Fat Loss 4 Idiots.
Bottom line – even though thousands of copies of this diet have already been downloaded, and it has obviously helped many people lose weight, it is not on the top of my list when it comes to recommending a new, healthier lifestyle. For that, keep reading.
Number 2 on the Internet’s top 10 diets list is Burn the Fat by Tom Venuto. Although Tom’s web page isn’t quite as flashy as the Fat Loss 4 Idiots page, the information he includes on his web page and the testimonials written by readers will give you more confidence in his program.
He describes all the different nutritional programs that he personally tried before finding the one that actually works, and he tells you exactly how he eventually came up with a plan that overcomes some of a dieter’s most common problems. Tom is clearly a man who takes health and fitness seriously.
Before choosing this book I would suggest you check out another one that was co-written by the same author, called Fit Over 40. It’s the next one on the list.
Tom doesn’t try to sell anyone on how “easy” his program is – there are 337 pages in his downloadable book – and he doesn’t promise instant success. Instead, he takes a more realistic view of the problem, and gives the information you need to not just lose a few pounds quickly, but to change your metabolism and your eating choices so you can get down to the weight you want – and stay there.
He also doesn’t gloss over the fact that more exercise is one of the key elements in losing weight.
Tom is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), and—what makes him different from other trainers—he’s also a success coach and licensed master practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)—the “excellence modeling” technology invented by Richard Bandler, and popularized by Anthony Robbins – so you know he understands the importance of motivation.
My opinion about this program: If there’s any group of people more committed to their bodies than super models, it’s the body building crowd. When you find a bodybuilder like Tom who insists on getting in perfect shape naturally, without drugs or questionable supplements, it gives him the street cred that many diet book authors just don’t have.
Since most of us don’t really want a “perfect” body, some of the information in Burn the Fat goes beyond what most of us are willing to do. However, it’s important to remember that bodybuilders insist on losing their extra fat without losing any muscle – a problem that most “normal” dieters often face. This book shows you how to act and think the way these successful bodybuilders do – and that does include increasing your exercise. He includes several weight-lifting routines to help you out with the exercise part of the program.
So – the bottom line is that this is a program that will give you results, but not immediately, and not without effort. And you should not expect to look like he does in those photos on his web page unless you intend to spend quite a few hours in the gym. Click here to learn more about Burn the Fat…
Before doing anything else, just take a look at the before and after photos on this book’s web page. Wow. Of all the downloadable diet books I’m reviewing today, this one is getting my highest recommendation – because it gives proven results, and because the program improves your health along with your dress or pants size.
Unlike many of the books on this page, this one is written for real people who have real obstacles to losing weight and getting fit. It is co-written by Tom Venuto, the author of Burn the Fat. Inside the book you’ll find 52 stories by real people who made amazing transformations of their own and were willing to share their stories with the world.
If you have a commitment to getting your health back, this is the book you should be reading. According to Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, M.Sc., a Contributor to Men’s Health Magazine:
“Fit Over 40 is a wake-up call to every man and woman that wants to improve their health while losing body fat. I don’t care if you are the world’s fittest 25-year old, if you aren’t inspired by the stories of these men and women, including Jon Benson, taking up working out at ages 30, 40, 50, and older, than nothing ever could!”
As a woman, I would choose this book over the Burn the Fat book, reviewed above, simply because a number of women’s stories are included in the book. It’s also important to me that the authors make it obvious that a high level of fitness is possible, even for “normal” people. That inspires me to believe that you don’t have to be a muscle-bound guy in order to get your body back into shape, no matter how old you are, and no matter how unhealthy you may be when you start the program. Click here to learn more about Fit Over 40…
I won’t go much into this program, because the third sentence on the website pretty much says it all: “But Most People Don’t Last 1 Day On The Master Cleanse.” Well, to be honest, I wouldn’t even try.
This program is also called the Lemonade Diet, and if you’re interested in trying it, do a Google Search using “lemonade diet” for your search terms – you’ll find the list of things you have to eat out on the web, for free. Doing a fast search, this is what I found:
60 oz water per day (or 10 oz per glass)
12 tablespoons Organic Grade B Maple Syrup (or 2 tbsp. per glass)
12 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (or 2 tbsp. per glass)
a little over half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper (or 1/10 tsp. per glass) or to taste
Smooth Move (Senna leaf) laxative tea
So – this is not a diet, it’s a purge. If you stay on the program for more than one glassful of lemonade with cayenne pepper, anything you have in your intestines will quickly come out – and that in itself is bound to lower the numbers on your bathroom scale.
You’ll probably be doubled over in pain, too, which may explain why almost no one ever drinks a second glass of the stuff. Click here to learn more about this cleansing program, if you dare…
I have nothing against the idea of colon cleansing. It’s actually a very good idea, and I recommend it. But don’t do it with the lemonade diet, please. The best book I’ve ever read on the subject is The Fasting Diet by Steven Bailey, a naturopathic physician practicing in Portland, Oregon. No cayenne pepper – just a real fruit juice fast you can use for a few weeks to make your colon healthy, (and lose that 20 pounds) without making yourself sick in the process.
You will lose weight on this diet, but it’s a little hard for me to recommend a program built on a false premise – even though it works. What the diet actually does is encourage you to consume fewer calories. This doesn’t sound very exciting, I know, but that’s all it is.
Even though the idea of “negative calorie foods” is not very well documented (to say the least) I do encourage everyone to start eating more veggies. If you need to make yourself believe they have magical fat-burning properties in order to make yourself eat them, then more power to you. The fact is, the more veggies you eat, the more you lose – so the authors of this book are absolutely right (they just say it in a way that I find a bit hard to swallow). Click here to learn more about the Negative Calorie Diet…
I have no idea why the authors chose such a strange title for their diet and exercise program, but it is quite popular with new mothers in spite of it. The program is written specifically for women who want to regain their pre-pregnancy body after giving birth. I haven’t read this one, so I can’t give much of a review, but the authors say that:
With the Fit Yummy Mummy Lifestyle System, you can lose fat in the comfort of your own home allowing you to…
* Reclaim your tight body and butt
* Tone your arms, legs, and abs
* Reverse the aging process
* Lift your glutes
* And perk up your chest
All in under 90 minutes per week!
Losing the extra weight and toning up the tummy muscles after a pregnancy is one of the biggest problems facing young women and moms, so the popularity of this plan is understandable. Click here to learn more about the Yummy Mummy program…
The author recommends 110 different fruits, vegetables, fats and herbs that will help you lose weight. When you substitute these healthy foods for the high-sugar, high-fat junk food you probably eat now, you will lose weight in a natural, safe way.
Some of the things you’ll learn when you read this book:
- Why these foods fight fat better than other foods, and how easy it is for you to eat Fat Fighting Foods in every meal.
- Additional health benefits you’ll get from eating these foods… these amazing foods help you achieve your perfect body and improve your health!
- How to prepare these foods, so you don’t kill their fat-burning ability. You’ll get simple tips you can follow… whatever your cooking ability or food tastes.
- How much of these foods you can eat to maximize your weight loss (you’ll be pleased to know the portions are very satisfying.
- Serving suggestions for these foods so you’ll never have to stand in front of your cupboards wondering what you’re going to eat.
This book is well-researched and documented, although it isn’t the easiest plan to use, and you may get more information than you were looking for. The author doesn’t try to over-simplify things too much – she counts on her readers to learn the foods that improve health and help people lose weight, and then incorporate those foods into your daily diet. All in all, I give this one a thumbs up. Click here to learn more about The Amazing Fat Fighting Foods…
Anthony Colpo is a personal trainer from Melbourne, Australia. His downloadable book gives solid advice about diet and weight loss.
I’m particularly happy that this is not a modification of the low-carb diet that was once so popular, and which still re-surfaces in new forms just about every day. The book is easy to read, and easy to follow, but don’t expect to look like he does if you aren’t willing to spend time in the gym. A lot of time in the gym. Click here to learn more about the Fat Loss Bible…
This one isn’t really a weight loss diet, although most people will lose weight if they go on it. Quite simply, it discusses the raw food diet, which is exactly what it sounds like. Since this is a very drastic change in your lifestyle, I would suggest that you go to your local bookstore instead and thumb through a few of the raw food diet books on the shelves. Then you can get a taste of the basic idea, and perhaps come back to this online book if you need added inspiration.