The diet and weight loss industry makes an estimated $20 billion a year in the US alone and although obesity is a rising problem across the globe and weight loss is encouraged, some of these weight loss trends can be harmful to your wallet. Society equates being overweight with being worthless, and with the latest obesity statistics being paraded across our television screens, laptops and newspapers, it’s no wonder that millions of people worldwide are turning to fads and drastic new methods of weight loss.
Among the frontrunners for some of the most costly diet fads around today are the South Beach and the Dukan diet. The South Beach diet involves exclusively eating foods with a low Glycemic Index (GI). Low-GI foods affect your blood sugar levels less than high-GI foods, thus keeping you fuller for longer and deterring overeating and snacking – two considerable causes of weight gain. In this diet, portion size doesn’t matter, however each meal on average will set you back $4.59, or $3340 a year. Similarly, the Dukan diet can cost you around $4.34 a meal, which adds up to $3,159 – not including subscription fees. This controversial, low carbohydrate diet consists of four phases; the first is strictly protein consumption and is designed to go on for no longer than seven days. The following phases then start to include carbs into the diet, starting with non-starchy vegetables and later starchy foods, like grain bread.