The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

Got a tip? Have something you need to tell us? Contact us

Loading Recent Classifieds...

The truth about fad diets: they don?t work

Lose 10 pounds fast’hellip; all you have to do is nothing!

If only it were that simple. The weight battle has always been an issue for some people, and some are willing to go to extreme measures to change themselves. It seems like new diet trends are popping up every day with clever gimmicks and empty promises. With spring break just around the corner, more people are looking to fad diets to help lose weight quickly.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), two-thirds of Americans are on a diet at any given time to either lose weight or maintain weight. Out of those two thirds, only five percent are successful.

Students looking for a quick-fix diet, such as crash dieting before spring break, turn to fad diets with hopes of achieving quick weight loss. Some Web sites such as even offer challenges for people who want to lose weight the quickest.

Fad diets are defined as fashionable or trendy diets that do not actually help with losing weight. These types of diets vary from the Zone diet, to Atkins to the liquid diet. Just about everything has been done and tried, except for maybe the chocolate diet. Any takers?

‘Fad diets provide the illusion that you can lose weight fast and feel better too,’ said Susan Richter, a certified eating disorder specialist.

As an eating disorder specialist, Richter aims to make sense of the behaviors that cause eating disorders. She believes the underlying problems and triggers of eating disorders can be resolved through counseling and group support.

Richter, a licensed therapist at New Beginnings Counseling Center in Camarillo, said diets are designed to fail and can lead to eating disorders. She emphasizes that the key to maintaining a healthy weight is to get a system to learn to eat through natural hunger signals. A system consists of a diet and exercise plan formulated specifically for a person, and through the help of professionals, proper eating and exercising plans can be achieved with lasting results.

‘The diet industry is worth 50 billion dollars and growing,’ said Richter.

Richter emphasizes that every body is different and what works for one person may not work for another.

If a person is struggling with their weight and not achieving the weight loss they are looking to, they may just be out of touch with their natural hunger. This can be avoided by seeing a nutritionist or eating disorder specialist, said Richter.

‘A normal appetite signal will help maintain a normal healthy weight, the important thing is to find it,’ Richter added.

Certified personal trainer Denise Carbone said she wishes there were a magical way to lose weight fast, but the trick is eating right by keeping in mind portion control and drinking lots of water. In basic terms, it comes down to calories a person takes in compared to calories burned. Carbone suggests a food plan consisting of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables along with fish oil.

‘Sounds simple,” said Carbone. ‘It is, but people don’t understand it.’

Carbone added she gets a surge of clients right after the holidays looking to tone up and look lean for spring and summer. ‘The slower you take it off, the more likely you will keep it off,’ she said.

Carbone who has been in the business for 25 years owns her own fitness studio in Westlake Village where she offers private and group training along with nutritional counseling.

If seeing a personal trainer seems too costly, students can exercise at the Fitness Centre located on campus. The Fitness Centre offers group fitness classes, aquatics and cardio and weight training. There is a rock-climbing wall open to all CSUN staff and students.

Nutrition and counseling services are also available through the Klotz Student Heath Center. Appointments are available to discuss a variety of issues including weight loss or gain and healthy eating habits. More information can be found at or by calling (818) 677-3666.

More to Discover