Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Give up the Diet

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Give up the Diet

If you're thinking of going on a diet to lose those extra pounds think again. Long-term weight control through dieting is near impossible, for the simple reason is that diets promote only short term solutions not long term.

After dieting youll certainly look lighter on the scales, but in most cases this is because you've dumped a few pounds of body fluid and muscle, and not because you've lost any significant amounts of body fat.

One of the main reasons diets don't work is because they send the body into starvation mode - a survival mechanism for times when humans faced periods of famine. Cutting back on our energy intake causes the body to lower its metabolic rate, which reduces its ability to burn fat.

At the same time, hunger signals increase and we quickly start to crave high energy foods loaded with fats and sugars - the exact foods we are trying to do without!!!

Alarmingly, research has shown that repeated dieting actually makes it harder to lose weight and easier to put it on!!

This is because when you dump the diet and return to normal eating habits, the drop in metabolic rate caused by the diet means that your old eating habits actually represent an excess in calories. Not only do you regain the fat stores just lost, but you may even gain a bit extra.

"Five more reasons to stop dieting"

Diets sap energy - Too little food means not enough

energy for physical activity.

Diets lower your metabolism - Dieting causes your body

to conserve energy, making results harder to achieve.

Diets are unhealthy - A cycle of rapid weight loss

followed by weight gain can lead to a loss of lean tissue

from your body and calcium from your bones. It also

strips the body of essential vitamins and minerals.

Diets make food the enemy - Food provides nourishment

and comfort. Diets can make you afraid to eat, depriving

you of one of life's pleasures.

Diets cheat your confidence - Going from one failed diet to the next can leave you feeling depressed and create a cycle in which guilt battles against food.

Regular physical activity and a healthy, balanced diet aren't as glamorous as the quick fixes, but they do get better results.

Start with one extra exercise session and one less fatty takeaway meal per week, and gradually work towards a lifelong plan for achieving your best weight.

If you change the way you eat or exercise to lose weight, ask yourself this question. Can I see myself sticking to this routine for life!!

If the answer is "no" then its time to change what you're doing. Any healthy weight loss plan should include the following:

A wide variety of foods.

Regular and enjoyable exercise.

Enough filling foods to avoid constant hunger.

At least 1200 calories a day.

Flexibility for treat foods and social occasions.

A realistic goal of your best weight (not necessarily

your lowest weight.)


A realistic weight loss is around one to two pounds per week. Fast weight losses are not fat loss but glycogen and water. If you lose weight quickly then you will probable return back to the weight at which you started as quickly as it was lost.


Weight loss is quick and simple.

Exercise is not necessary.

Certain exercises can spot reduce.

Carbohydrates (for example, bread, potatoes, rice,

and pasta) are fattening.

So the way to lose body fat and maintain muscle or increase it is to have a food program for life and more energy output. Increase the amount of fruits, vegetables, non-fat dairy products, whole grains and beans that you eat.

Eliminate calorie-dense foods such as cookies, sugary desserts, chips, fries, pizza, candies, crackers etc. Research on people who have successfully lost a lot of weight and kept it off long term, shows that the vast majority succeeded by consuming a low fat diet high in fibre coupled with strength training and cardiovascular activity. These are the basics you'll need to aim for.

A sound weight loss eating plan should:

Be nutritionally sound, providing all the nutrients you need.

Never promise fast weight losses.

Offer an eating plan based on real food.

Allow you to eat out.

Avoid expensive meal plans, products and supplements.

Not avoid carbohydrate foods, e.g. bread, rice, pasta, cereals and potatoes.

Make gradual dietary changes.

Provide knowledge.

Allow you to eat all foods

Recommend physical activity.

Fat calories are more fattening than carbohydrate calories. Your body can easily convert the fat you eat in food into body fat, so to lose weight you need to cut down on fats and foods that contain it.

Consider the following steps to reduce fat in your diet.

Use skimmed or skimmed milk in drinks, cooking and on cereals.

Buy a non - stick frying pan.

Buy a cheese slicer

Cut the visible fat from meat.

Eat very little pastry.

Learn how to read a food label.

Substitute low fat yoghurt for cream.

Remove the skin from chicken and turkey.

Eat fruit as snacks rather than eating chocolate and biscuits.

Eat fewer burgers and sausages.

Gary Matthews is a fitness trainer from "down under" who has been coaching clients from athletes to bodybuilders for two decades. You may contact Gary directly at and visit his website at

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Fruit Diets: Facts For Fitness

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Diet Articles

Fruit Diets: Facts For Fitness

Without question, fruit has wonderful natural benefits for the human body. Fruit is packed with vitamins and fiber much like vegetables, but comes in a wide variety of sweeter, more palatable flavors.

Adding fruit to your diet is an excellent thing to do, but there are a few things that you need to keep in mind:

1. Eat fresh fruit instead of drinking fruit juice. Juice is often sweetened, but fresh fruits have natural sugars. Also, you dont receive all of the needed fiber and vitamins from fruit juice as you do from fresh fruit.

2. If you do have a craving for fruit juice, then go for fresh fruit juice instead of those that contain artificial flavors and colors. Or even better, try making your own fruit juice, taking care not to sweeten it with too many calories.

3. Choose fresh fruit over processed fruits. Again, processed and canned fruits do not have as much fiber or vitamins as fresh fruit, and processed and canned fruits are nearly always sweetened.

4. Wherever possible eating locally produced seasonal fruits and vegetable fresh from the garden or grove is preferred.

5. Fresh fruit makes the absolute perfect dessert for any meal. Throw out the cake and add a fresh fruit bowl to the dining table.

6. Fresh fruit also makes the perfect snack. Its far better to grab a banana or apple when hunger pangs strike, than a bag of greasy potato chips. Plus, fresh fruit just tastes better.

7. Its interesting to note that nature produces several varieties of fruits resembling the shapes of the organs of our body, which are useful and beneficial to that specific organ. Here are some examples:

Apricot - Brain
Mango-Papaya - Stomach
Almonds - Eyes
Apple - Heart
Grapes - Lungs
Cashew nuts - Kidney

8. Fruits and vegetables have in them a natural storage of the suns energy. If we make a daily practice of having fresh fruit and vegetables, or one glass of real fruit juice and two or three cups of green juice of vegetables, our requirement for food will be reduced to a minimum. We will have enough energy to maintain the body in a healthy condition.

Overall, just remember that fresh fruit is better for you than canned fruit, fruit juice, processed fruit, or cooked fruit. Eat as much fresh fruit as you like.

Another benefit of adding fruit to your diet is the added water intake. Water is a simple, yet effective tool in the fight against the scale and the emergency room, and is often overlooked by most people.

But that is a whole other subject...

To learn more about the tremendous benefits of water in your dietary routine visit: . Steve Shannon is webmaster at

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Foods and Diets Litigations

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Foods and Diets Litigations

Why is that food processing and commerce are not strictly regulated by law so as to prevent health problems generated by an inadequate diet? Unhealthy products encourage an unhealthy diet, appealing the consumer by their availability within reach and the invading advertising. If the food producers are controlled by health officials, then it must be that the regulations are too lax in as far as marketed foods are concerned.

Everyone knows that, for instance, hydrogenated oils and partially hydrogenated oils are highly unhealthy. Tons of studies and informative material have been published, yet there is a population segment that still falls into traps saying that margarine is a "healthier alternative for butter, full of vitamins", when in fact the trans-fatty acids it contains surpass the "healthy benefits" it offers. For this particular case, all foods containing hydrogentated oils (if the law allows their production, though it shouldn't) should have a health hazard warning (like those on the cigarette packs), saying something like "This product contains trans-fatty acids that increase the risk of heart disease". Thus, people would be constantly reminded of the bad effects of such products on health.

Generally, when it comes to foods and dieting, people should be advised of the potential inconvenience that might occur due to some ingredients or the way the food is prepared.

Take for instance the case of the release of so many diets that are not documented, not officially controlled and approved, promissing great things but not being explicit about the great problems they generate. Such as the very popular Atkins, for instance, which is a real danger to health.

I wondered why such anti-health practices are not forbidden? Oh, pardon me! Why should I wonder? It's obvious: in an ever growing pragmatic course of events, the industrial interests have overpassed the interest for the health of people.

At this point, the role of the well-informed consumer is decisive for his own health. And if people are not fully convinced by so many scientific studies, informative articles and materials, then they surely become when finding out of the multitude of lawsuits against food producers (such as Kraft Foods Inc, the producers of Oreo cookies), fast food chains (McDonald's) or promoters of diets (such as the Atkins diet).

The producers of the popular Oreo cookies, Kraft Foods Inc were sued in 2003 by the attorney Stephen Joseph, who based his accusations on a provision of the civil code of California saying that manufacturers are liable for products if the consumer is not advised of the products' unsafety. He rightfully claimed that the public was not aware of the high content of trans-fats in Oreos. He declared that he sued out of concern for the public health and that no money was requested in the lawsuit, which he finally withdrew, explaining that the publicity on this case had made people aware of the health risks enhanced by the product. Anyway, if the lawsuit was intented as bad publicity for the Oreos, the aim was not reached, as Kraft Foods Inc will continue to produce Oreos in a trans-fat free version.

Another famous case of litigation is the suit from 2002 against McDonald's. The lawsuit was filed by the lawyer Samuel Hirsch on behalf of some obese children. The lawer sustained that the fast food producer mislead the consumers into believing that the products were healthy and safe and claimed that the children developed health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity because of eating McDonald's products. The suit was dismissed on the grounds that no one is forced to eat at McDonald's and that the law has not the role to moderate individuals' excesses.

A recent date "diet trial" is going on in Florida. The suit was filed by 53-year-old Jody Gorran against Atkins Nutritionals on May 26, 2004. The plaintiff claims that after going on Atkins diet his cholesterol level increased so much that he needed angioplasty in order to unblock an artery. In addition to financial damages, there is also the request that the company warns the public of the potential dangers of a diet favoring meats, cheeses and other high-fat proteins by labeling their products. The sequel is yet to come.

Even if some of these lawsuits started out of reasons beyond humanitarian, (as for instance the chase for money from damages that such important companies would pay) they have a positive result, namely, the publicity around such cases arises questionning, gives people the idea of doubt, the "assumption of guilt".

About The Author

Laura Ciocan writes for where you can find more information about diets.

Please feel free to use this article in your Newsletter or on your website. If you use this article, please include the resource box and send a brief message to let me know where it appeared:

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