So.. Dr. Oz is at it again. This time he was fawning over Haylie Pomroy's "Fast Metabolism Diet." Haylie's qualifications are not clear but she is described as a "lifestyle counsellor." Hmmm. Wouldn't it be better to see some oomph like a nutrition, dietetics, physiology, biochemistry or medical degree behind someone who is formulating diets for the public? It quickly becomes evident that Haylie lacks any such background as we read through her confused and confusing explanations about how adhering to her diet activates the adrenals, pituitary, liver and thyroid at different times so that they unleash their fat-fighting hormones. There is talk of boosting endorphins, "feeding" the liver and igniting the thyroid's thermogenic effect. Sounds good ,but not a shred of evidence that any of this happens and if it does, what the consequences are. What “feeding the liver” means is murky, but the claim is that when it is flooded with appropriate nutrients it manufactures carnitine, a key “fat-burning” nutrient. Actually promoting carnitine synthesis may not be such a good thing given a recent study that links a carnitine metabolite known as trimethylamine –N-oxide with heart disease.
Pomroy’s diet goes through three phases. In Phase 1, we are told, we unwind stress with plenty of carbs and fruits, in Phase 2 we unlock fat with lots of proteins and veggies and in Phase 3 we unleash our metabolism with the addition of healthy fats and oils. And then Tinker Bell finishes it all off by sprinkling us with fairy dust. This is all pseudoscientific puffery. Of course the real question isn't whether the explanations are all bunk or not, which they are, but whether the diet leads to weight loss. And yes, it probably does! Just like the thousands of diets that preceded this one. Why? Because it decreases caloric intake. And if you take in fewer calories than you expend, you will lose weight. The trick is to keep it off. This is where diets fail. People cannot stick to them and the weight creeps back. The Fast Metabolism Diet will have its day in the sun, but it won't be long before it retreats into the shadows, only to be replaced by the next "miracle" diet with some new-fangled gimmick. Let's see..what could that be? How about a cycle in which you eat only red foods the first day, green the second, brown the third, white the fourth, yellow the fifth, orange the sixth and blue the seventh. There will be weight loss. Let's call it the "Rainbow Diet." I could probably get on Oz with it. Silly enough.