Diet fads. You see them everywhere you look in today's society. The idea of being thin is something that has become a billion-dollar industry in this world. The fact is every diet fad is a farce in pretty packaging. Some diets sell the idea that with minimal exercise and maximum food intake you will lose weight while others sell on the belief that eating fewer carbohydrates will help you to lose weight and gain the protein needed to burn fat and gain muscle.

Let's face it: thin is in. We look at magazines and we see beautiful women with trim waists that in all likelihood were achieved through extreme dieting, excessive exercise, anorexia or all of the above. And the first thoughts after seeing these images can be boiled down into one phrase: "I wish I had her body." There is absolutely no shame in wishing to be thinner or be more beautiful or even wishing to be healthy. How you achieve this goal is a completely different matter. Tempting fate by allowing yourself to become anorexic isn't the answer. Studies have shown that you won't become more beautiful and you certainly won't attract the kind of attention you want. I mean, look at Mary-Kate Olsen. She is an example that cannot be ignored. Starving your body to become in control of yourself is a path that can only lead to the hospital or to the doorstep of Death himself.

Now, I understand the allure of extreme dieting; the way of thinking you begin to develop is that the less you eat, no matter what it is, you will lose more. The key to dieting isn't how much or how little you eat. It's all about portioning your food or, if it helps to do so, to divide your meals up into smaller meals that you can eat throughout your day. I know what I'm writing here is something you've probably heard a million times before but if it works, don't mess with it, right? Now, after a few years of going from diet to diet, testing some of the fads, I have learned that the best fad is often your worst enemy.

The Atkins diet helped for a little while, allowing me to lose weight faster than I had ever lost before. I was flying high with how great it felt to lose weight and fit into a smaller dress-size. But, like all people with weaker wills, after two weeks of following this diet the best that I could, I broke down and cheated with a couple candy bars. The results of that single cheat showed up on the scale with a gain of five pounds for two Hershey bars. As popular as Atkins was at the time, I began to do research after that single incident. I found that this high-protein, high-fat, low-carb diet could be hazardous to your health if followed for any length of time. It is a diet that is completely unsafe, especially if you have a heart condition.

The Six Week Body Makeover tells you that if you eat more and exercise less, you will lose weight in six weeks and your body will be made over to the specifications you make by 'blueprinting.' Blueprinting is the method with which the dieter identifies their body type and figures out what foods they are allowed to have and what they are not allowed to have. I tried this diet and it really has no room for picky eaters and you can only eat certain foods at a certain time of day. And if you don't like the food, too bad it's all you can have.

I won't sit here and tell you what's wrong with every fad out there. That would take too long and there are so many problems with so many diets, it would probably take more than my lifetime to list them. What is important is that you find out what is wrong with these diets yourself. Before you go out and buy book after book about a fad diet like the South Beach Diet or Atkins or anything like that, go online and find every piece of scientific data about that diet. See what it is about that specific diet that makes it so good and then take a look at all the opposing data. Talk to your doctor to see what's right for you.

If there is any diet out there that I will endorse, it would be the ever-popular "Biggest Loser Diet." The reason I actually like this diet is because it is simple and easy to follow and it deals with information that has been proven to help a person lose weight. Unlike what some people think when they see the show, it isn't just exercise that allows those amazing people to lose the weight and keep it off. It's also about a change in their lifestyle that allows them to have the foods they enjoy and also still be able to lose the weight they need to. These people follow a diet monitored by doctors, nutrition specialists and their trainers, whom also know about nutrition and the benefits of changing the way you eat and live.

So my advice to you is this: go out and buy the Biggest Loser Diet books. There's a cookbook with fantastic and delicious recipes and a calorie counter book that helps with everyday items and even has a dining out guide to most of the popular restaurants out there. And the original book helps you to take a look at yourself and helps you to develop goals. Right now, as I am writing this, I am on a diet. It's a mixture of the Biggest Loser Diet and one of my own creations to help my weight loss along for my specific needs (I'm a very picky eater; I hate salad and the last time I tried to eat one, I looked like my cat trying to get rid of a nasty fur ball) and an exercise regimen I can live with and not die of exhaustion every evening.

I certainly hope this paper has been helpful to someone. If anyone is curious as to exactly what kind of diet I do, you may contact me by reviewing and leaving your e-mail so that I can get into contact with you.

Love and joy to all,

Amy AKA

Lacrea Moonlight