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Leaping after leptin

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Deathly obese
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I lost 84 lbs. In 7 days!
amazing before and after image of fat man changing into a cheerleader The Earnfast diet
Losing weight is hard to do, but the basic prescription is simple: cut your calorie intake and jack up your exercise. Here's the government-approved word on what to stuff in your yap.

If that's too boring, check out a more alluring diet. We're not talking about our "Lose 84 pounds in 7 days!" diet. We invented that one. But diet-surfing on Yahoo! revealed that Diet Riot "offers a humorous, non-diet approach to permanent weight loss," while First Place is a Christ-centered health program. Hugs International has information on "non-dieting." To feed your love affair with Hostess Twinkies, dial up the Fast Food Diet.

Nachos followed by double-brownie fudge cake, anyone?
What makes a good diet, and how can you distinguish the reputable from the bogus? Diane Quagliani, a dieticitan who speaks for the American Dietetic Association, offers these counterfeit-diet warning flags.

  • Too good to be true. For example, the ads for "fat-burning pills" on late-night television promise "You can eat what you want, without exercise, and still lose weight." Faced will this level of drivel, Quagliani suggests "Your common sense should kick in."

  • Says who? "Evaluate whether the person is impressive or not," she says. "Credentials matter, but sometimes you have doctors writing things that are not so good, either."

  • Food _______ is evil! Diets that demonize fats, carbohydrates or proteins are likely sham-filled, Quagliani says, observing that the current craze for high-protein, low carbohydrate diets mirrors a similar fad from several decades ago.
The simple truth about weight loss, Quagliani stresses, is that calories count and exercise matters. Exercise -- whether vigorously chewing gum or pounding the pavement preparing for a triathlon -- is the only way to burn calories.

But instead of sensibly reducing your energy intake and increasing your energy expenditure, why not try cider-vinegar pills? According to the ad, they are "the most natural fat eater of all times." And if vinegar's a bust, how 'bout the diet that works "faster than starvation"?

When it comes to humbug weight-loss schemes, Quagliani favors the "magic Chinese earrings" that are guaranteed to take the pounds off.

Read our weighty bibliography on weight loss.

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