“Lose 10 pounds in 10 days!” As a nutrition professor, I know better than to believe the ultra-fast weight-loss claims that proliferate as bathing-suit season peaks. I admit, some of the ads sure sound compelling. I’ve long wondered if any of the products that promise to “zap fat like magic” might have a kernel of truth. My friend Jane nips weight gain in the bud with a once-a-year three-day juice fast; it seems to work for her—but what does the science say? Full of hopeful skepticism, I recently sorted through the more enticing claims.