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July 12, 2012

OMG – indeed!

Photo source: ego-living.com

Even with the countless fad diet books that have been out on the market for years, there always seem to be new ones popping up. The latest garnering attention is the book Six Weeks to OMG: Get Skinnier Than All Your Friends by personal trainer and actor Paul Khanna (writing under the pen name of Venice A. Fulton).

During the author’s July 10th appearance on The Today Show, he balked at claims that his book was targeting young girls even though the book uses “OMG” in the title and even mentions that “Your parents think you probably shouldn’t read this book” in the opening pages, claiming instead that his diet book isn’t targeting anyone except for those who want to lose fat.

Among some of the more attention-grabbing claims made in the book, the author suggests:

Skipping Breakfast to Burn More Fat
(Writing that “Breakfast is for wimps” and that skipping breakfast will help stop you from becoming a “Fadult” – a fat adult)

Eat Less Fruit
(Writing “Fruit can be a cheeky devil” because it contains fructose, which can turn to fat)

Taking Cold Baths to Rev up Your Metabolism
(Writing that cold baths “Help you lose calories fast”)

In regard to the book’s advice to skip breakfast, Today Show nutritionist Joy Bauer reponds, “We know that people who eat breakfast have a much easier time losing weight because it regulates your appetite and also revs your metabolism in the morning.”

The author claims that studies that claim that eating breakfast helps people succeed at dieting haven’t actually proved that.

The author also claims that when eating carbs, it doesn’t matter if you get your carbohydrates from a can of Coke or broccoli. “To get skinny,” he writes, “It makes no difference whether they get their daily carbs from cans of Coke or from broccoli… For six to 12 weeks there’s no harm in using this knowledge to get super-skinny.’”

As you might imagine, many fitness and nutrition experts disagree with many of the author’s claims, including personal trainer John Templeton of Mount Cross Fit, and dietician Rachel Scrivin, who both shared their views on a recent write up appearing on Bay of Plenty Times. After debunking much of what the Six Weeks to OMG: Get Skinnier Than All Your Friends book suggests, Scrivin adds, “The energy-in, energy-out principle needs to be followed in order to lose weight. Eat less and exercise more for a healthy body and healthy mind.”

Anyone who’s investigated or even dabbled in nutrition can recognize that many of thsee claims are questionable at best. Ask anyone who’s successfully lost their excess weight and kept it off for years and they’ll likely tell you they did so without any fads or any tricks. This is because we simply can’t trick our bodies in the long run. Even people who undergo surgery to assist with their initial weight loss have stories of eating very little and very healthfully after the surgery in order to lose all of the excess weight and to keep it off.

Taking cold baths? Skipping breakfast? Choosing Coke over broccoli? Authors such as Paul Khanna (AKA “Venice A. Fulton”) should really be ashamed of themselves – not only for taking advantage of desperate people looking for a way out of their excess weight predicament, but also for potentially putting people who follow these suggested methods into a nutritional danger zone.

At the end of the day, in my experience, it’s the simple truths that work the best:

Eat less.

Move more.

Drink lots of water.

Get plenty of rest.

And ignore any diet book or method that seems suspect.

Perhaps the “OMG” in the book title should stand for “Oh, My Gimmick” because in my humble opinion, that’s what the weight loss methods in Six Weeks to OMG: Get Skinnier Than All Your Friends smack of.

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