Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dr. Abby Bashes "The Bead Diet"

Originally posted @diet.com

Have you heard of “The Bead Diet?” According to their website, www.accuweight.com, people lose 15 pounds a month, with most people losing more.

This three part program includes applying pressure to tiny beads behind the ear (acupressure), performing “Chi Gong Breathing,” and a crazy food plan.

Acupressure is designed to trick the body into feeling full, by creating balance through the hypothalamus. This part of the brain governs fullness and the amount of food eaten.

“Chi Gong Breathing” is supposed to harness the life force, “chi,” to improve health and longevity, and increase feelings of peace and harmony. They also claim that it enhances energy levels, attention, concentration, and mental alertness.

Next comes the food. There is no specific information on the site, but I’ve been told that for two days you eat milk products, and for two days fruits and veggies. The site promotes lots of artificial sweetener.

The nutritional balance of the food, along with acupressure, supposedly tricks the body to ignore the reduction of calories. This prevents starvation mode. The body uses stored fat for energy, resulting in weight loss and amazing medical results. If you exercise and feel faint, they suggest a bit of honey in water, and a sugar-free electrolyte drink if necessary.

They encourage eating between noon and 6PM because the body needs nutrition during those hours. Eating outside those hours might cause the body “to cannibalize itself using not only fat, but muscle, organ mass and negatively affect your metabolism.” YOWZA!

Finally, after losing all the weight you want, they promise maintenance within 3-5 pounds of goal, apparently your new set point.

Does this sound too good to be true? Even if everything goes according to plan, the claim of maintaining that level of success sounds preposterous. It would be more believable if they provided some decent research confirming this. After all, they have been operating for 11+ years, yet there is not a single follow-up study on their website.

The only study cited followed 16 subjects on the plan for 13 weeks. They lost an average of 46 pounds. Since when is sixteen subjects considered strong science, especially without any follow-up???

We all know that most people can lose weight on any fad diet, but few people can keep it off without developing an eating disorder; ie. preoccupation with food and weight. I believe the two part system of dieting to lose weight, and then trying to maintain the loss, is what has failed. There needs to be one way of living, which strives towards health and fitness.

1 comment:

diotimamantinea said...

I did the bead diet back in 2011 and went from 212 lbs to 152 lbs in less than three months. Yes, it is very restrictive, but it works. I haven't gained back the weight as of over two years later, eat whatever I like, and all of my blood levels are normal.

The biggest issue I found was dealing with my body image. I lost the weight so quickly that I would look in the mirror and still see myself at 212 lbs, which is why I took a break. I'm going back on it to lose the last 30 lbs I want to lose (I'm 5'2"). And my starting weight? 153 lbs.