The Hottest (Wackiest) Diets: What Works?

Looking for a magic weight-loss bullet, our testers report from the trend trenches.

By various writers
trendy hot popular wacky crash celebrity diets baby food photo pictures plate
Photograph: Yasu + Junko

Even if I had lost, this is still a lousy diet. Baby food alone does not provide enough nutrition for an adult. “Plus, all that sodium and sugar adds up. The sugar in some of these jars may equal the amount in an eight-ounce can of soda,” says Lisa R. Young, PhD, RD, adjunct professor of nutrition at New York University and author of The Portion Teller Plan.

IMHO: Stick with solid foods. Fresh fruits, vegetables and unprocessed lean meats are better for you, more satisfying and way cheaper.

Beth Levine is a freelance writer who lives in Stamford, Connecticut.

The Hillary Diet
By Marcia Davis

Politicians may have a hard time trimming the fat in Washington—but then, they’re not Dr. Roy Heron.

Heron is the man behind what’s come to be known as the Hillary Diet. Yes, that Hillary. Though the secretary of state (and former first lady) has not followed the diet herself, Politico reported last year that she has sent others to Heron.

As the story goes, Clinton was impressed when she learned that Heron, an internist, had helped one of her staffers lose 125 pounds. She mentioned his name to her brother, Tony, and to a good friend, John Coale, the husband of Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren; each eventually lost about 60 pounds under Heron’s tutelage.

Now, says Heron, his Doctor’s Weight Loss Center is a favorite of Beltway belt busters—some of them boldface names, some of them Capitol Hill staffers—as well as pols and celebrities from outside the D.C. area.

There’s only one respectable way I can respond to such buzz. I need to check out this program for myself.

Though Heron faced his own struggles with obesity as a child, he’s now a fit, middle-aged man of medium build, and he’s made fighting fat his life’s work. I felt I was a good candidate for the center: Without getting into the meaty details, let’s say I could stand to lose more than just a few pounds.

I wasn’t looking for a miracle. Still, during the two-week trial More proposed, I was hoping to drop four or five pounds. And if my total turned out to be six or eight instead—great! (OK, maybe I was hoping for just a little bit of a miracle. But what dieter isn’t?)

Heron has two offices in Virginia, and on a cold Saturday afternoon in February, I paid my first visit to one of them: his place in Alexandria, just across the Potomac River from Washington.

As I sat opposite him at a conference table, Heron explained why two weeks on his plan wasn’t ideal and why he was participating in this experiment reluctantly. Each person, he said, has her own unique eating habits; his method includes tailoring the diet to the person. “In two weeks, I’m just getting started with my patients. I’m adjusting their diet and getting to know them, what they like to eat, their lifestyles,” he told me.

To customize the diets, Heron requires a medical history, a physical exam and lab tests. And then there’s the 40-minute interview.

Do I live alone? Yes. Do I mostly cook at home or eat out? Mixed, I said. Do I eat breakfast? Sometimes. My favorite foods? That list was long, but I absolutely love Asian cooking: Chinese, Indian, Thai—you name it, I love it. And I am deeply committed to dessert.

First Published May 11, 2011

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