Ayoob: "This one is temporary; it's meant to be temporary, and that's not going to be of much help to most people. Even temporarily -- several days to a week -- it's a bad idea. It's mostly about fruits, steamed veggies, and not much protein at all. Bad idea. Stick to this diet strictly and you'll be losing muscle mass -- and that's your calorie engine... 'Detox' diets may have been around for years, but so has fasting, and I wouldn't recommend that as a means of weight loss either. Period."
What It Is: The Zone Diet, developed by Dr. Barry Sears, purports to balance the body's hormone levels within a specific range by controlling the foods that are consumed. According to the official website for the diet, "The Zone Diet can best be described as a moderate-carbohydrate, moderate-protein, moderate fat diet that has approximately one gram of fat for every two grams of protein and three grams of carbohydrates."
The Zone Diet places special emphasis on the moderate intake of low-fat protein, low glycemic-load carbs (such as those found in fruits and vegetables), and monounsaturated fats, as well as all needed nutrients.
Ayoob: "This one is fairly moderate, focusing on a good amount of lean protein, moderate fat and moderate carbs. Skip the vegetarian version if it's not your thing."
Katz: "I think this is too high in protein. It works by providing a strict dietary discipline, but suffers the same problem with sustainability as the others."
Ikeda: "Another oldie that had no impact whatsoever on the obesity epidemic in this country."
What It Is: Despite the names of these popular diets, both the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic deny having any association whatsoever with them. This, however, does not seem to have impacted the popularity of either of these regimens, both of which are subjects of a high volume of Internet searches by those hoping to lose weight.
The Cleveland Clinic 3-Day Diet features a strict menu which is heavy on black coffee and light on calories. Proponents say those who follow the diet can lose up to 10 pounds in three days. The Mayo Clinic Diet on the other hand features a great deal of grapefruit juice and few, if any, carbs.
Ikeda: "If these diets worked, the Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic would proudly take credit for them. They would publish books about them and make money off the sales. The problem is, these institutions are too ethical and know the diets don't work, so they distance themselves for good reason."
Katz: "These look ridiculous; they simply provide a detailed meal plan that restricts calories. As soon as you stop following these detailed directions, it's all over."
Ayoob: "First, skip any 3-day diet. If it's not meant for more than three days, you're likely just maximizing water loss, not much else. Go off the diet, the water weight returns and you've lost three days that could have been spent working on sensible eating... Any diet that only lasts a few days or a few weeks is a diet to be avoided. Better to get on some sneakers and do a fast walk away."