Trying to save money while dieting? The surest way to spend big bucks is to allow yourself to be taken in by expensive gimmicks. With an abundance of fad diets and products on the market, confusion is enemy number one for your wallet. Here are a few to watch out for:
1. Deceptive labeling. The term "low-carb" is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), yet manufacturers have found sneaky ways to use it on food packaging. Terms like "carb smart," "carb friendly," and "carb aware" are all unregulated, and are virtually meaningless for dieters. Until the FDA sets guidelines for the use of these terms, consumers should be wary of what they promise. Remember, The South Beach Diet? is not a low-carb plan. The focus is on selecting the right carbs ? ones that are whole grain and nutrient-rich.
2. Tricky addition and subtraction. "Net carbs" is another confusing term. As with other carb-related labels, there are no rules for how net carbs are calculated. Don't shell out the cash for a product based on its net-carb total ? you may be getting more than you bargained for.
3. "Magic" pills. No pill on the market can guarantee long-term weight loss. In fact, most diet pills offer nothing more than empty promises at a huge price. The Federal Trade Commission recently launched a campaign to root out companies marketing products with bogus weight-loss claims. Their "Big Fat Lie" program shows that the best way to lose weight is through healthy diet and exercise, and not through magic pills.