Dramatic Weight Loss is a diet center based in Atlanta that claims perfect adherence to their program will allow you to lose 15 pounds in 15 days. The program was designed by Dr. Donald Mansfield and is available to people nationwide, although an initial office visit is required. While a doctor-designed, medically supervised program sounds safe, the quick results advertised raise some doubts as to the safety of the methods used.
The cornerstone of the Dramatic Weight Loss program is a low-carb diet, which the center claims will encourage your body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates, resulting in weight loss. The Mayo Clinic agrees that weight loss may occur initially, because carbohydrates hold water. When your body burns through its carb stores, you can lose several pounds of water weight. As soon as you go back to eating normally, the weight comes right back. High-protein diets are often high in saturated fats, and can increase the risk of heart disease. The goal of Dramatic Weight Loss is for patients to achieve a state of ketosis, where your body produces ketones because of fat breakdown. According to the Mayo Clinic, this condition can be dangerous, causing weakness, nausea, dehydration and irritability. A low-carb diet also leaves you short on fiber, which may cause constipation.
Prescription Diet Pills
The second arm of the Dramatic Weight Loss program is the use of prescription diet pills, many of which are controlled substances. The drug you are prescribed may vary according to your current weight and your goal, but four of the most commonly-prescribed diet pills are not FDA-approved for weight loss. Of the four that are approved, three are only approved for use up to 12 weeks. These drugs have side effects including increased blood pressure and heart rate, headache, sleeplessness and nervousness. Only Orlistat is approved for use up a year, and includes side effects such as cramping, diarrhea, oily anal discharge and in rare cases, severe liver damage.
Proprietary Shakes and Bars
The final component of the Dramatic Weight Loss program is the use of special shakes and bars designed by Dr. Mansfield. The company discourages the use of shakes and bars other than their own, which they sell in their center and over the website. Ostensibly, this is because the doctor created the specific nutrient formula to fit perfectly within the diet plan, but in reality, may be nothing more than a marketing ploy.
The Dramatic Weight Loss program does not offer anything that your own doctor cannot do. Doctor-supervised diet programs are safest for the severely obese and those using prescription diet pills. Unless your health is being severely impacted by your weight, you can lose fat on your own by exercising and following a balanced diet. Losing 15 pounds in 15 days is an unreasonable, unsafe goal. The only weight you can lose that quickly is water weight and lean muscle tissue -- the water weight will come right back, and the lost lean muscle will actually slow your metabolism. Aim for a realistic one or two pounds per week to help ensure the weight lost is fat, and that it stays gone.