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Why fad diets don't work [news]

Ask any nutritionist, dietitian or health professional whether fad diets work, and I'm picking you'll get the same answer. Our obsession with our weight and appearance - which, in the interest of honesty and transparency, I'd have to admit is fuelled, on some level, by me and my fitness colleagues - is seemingly without end. Far from abating, this obsession is gathering even more momentum, if our constant ambushing by the-latest-weight-loss-trend-taking-Hollywood-by-storm is anything to go by.

But there is a catch: fad diets do work. Sort of. Most of them stick to a basic formula that goes like this: the diet severely restricts your daily kilojoule intake but provides enough glucose to keep your most vital organ functioning: your brain.

Your body responds by tucking into stored energy reserves (enter FAT) to keep itself going.

But, in a masterstroke of evolutionary genius, because our muscles largely determine how much energy we need, our body also chews into our muscles to supplement the shortfall.

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