Sunday, February 18, 2007

Weight Loss Fads that Dont Work

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Weight Loss Fads that Dont Work

No matter what the reason, successful weight loss and healthy weight management depend on sensible goals and expectations. If you set sensible goals for yourself, chances are you'll be more likely to meet them and have a better chance of keeping the weight off. In fact, losing even five to 10 percent of your weight is the kind of goal that can help improve your health.

Most overweight people should lose weight gradually. For safe and healthy weight loss, try not to exceed a rate of two pounds per week. Sometimes, people with serious health problems associated with obesity may have legitimate reasons for losing weight rapidly.

What you weigh is the result of several factors:

-how much and what kinds of food you eat

-whether your lifestyle includes regular physical activity

-whether you use food to respond to stress and other situations in your life

-your physiologic and genetic make-up

-your age and health status.

Successful weight loss and weight management should address all of these factors. And that's the reason to ignore products and programs that promise unrealistic quick and easy results, or that promise permanent results without permanent changes in your lifestyle. Any ad that says you can lose weight without lowering the calories you take in and/or increasing your physical activity is selling fantasy and false hope. In fact, some people would call it fraud.

Why Fad Diets Don't Work

The world has an unhealthy obsession with 'fad' diets. This is due to the American culture's need for a magic bullet or solution that provides immediate gratification. Technically a diet simply refers to what you eat any day. In the truest sense, we are all on a diet daily - the question is, is it healthy or not.

It can get pretty confusing because one is assaulted daily with claims from diet gurus. Also sky-high book sales from diet plans promoting diets that restrict certain foods or food combining tells us that these diets are healthy. This is not necessarily true. The diet may work for the short term but you could end up with a heart attack, problem skin, kidney failure and even malnutrition!

There is continuing controversy between the "diet" experts about which diet works best. One book advises to avoid all carbohydrates, yet another promotes carbohydrates. Some suggest that you consume a high fat, high protein diet consisting of no carbohydrates, while another may say that eating no fat is the key to weight loss success. Who do we believe, and what do we believe? Im not discred iting all weight-loss programs and products. Those few that focus on permanent lifestyle changes, correct information, and proper nutrition are the weight loss programs that are the most successful.

Fad diets don't work because they cause you to focus more on food than you would if you were not dieting. Most of them are based on self-deprivation. Depriving ones self of a craving usually doesn't last for more than a day. The next thing you know the person is breaking the diet, feeling the failure of that and then giving up altogether. The idea is to adopt a healthy eating and exercise plan to avoid this common dieter's pitfall.

Another drawback of fad diets is that many of them don't work at all. Some, such as those based on diuretic herbs simply cause a loss of water rather than fat. This water is simply regained back by the body and then retained with a vengeance after you are off the diet. This is known as rebound weight gain.

Diets fail because they offer no long-term solution. When people initially start dieting theyre highly motivated. They immediately stop eating fast food, stop-consuming alcohol, stop eating sweets, and start exercising. But as time passes, they fail to exercise, as often, they don't watch calories as closely as they once did, and they lose the motivation they once had. As a result, they fall back into old habits, patterns, and eventually a lifestyle. You can prevent this phenomenon by introducing changes at a gradual pace. Dont attempt to change your entire lifestyle overnight. For example, cut back on sugar consumption and add exercise to your daily routine two or three times a week. A few weeks later add another day of exercise and limit junk food consumption to once or twice a week; continue until a balance is reached and you feel in control.

The reason that most diet gurus sell a lot of books is because they are selling hope, not realistic expectations. Many people place all their trust in the book, and not themselves. As a result, they dont accomplish their weight-loss goal because the secret isnt found in a diet book. Succeeding at weight-loss requires far more than just reading a book, it requires the accumulation of knowledge, patience, planning, good choices, and of course, realistic expectations.

Its essential to make good choices. Once you make a choice, it then makes you. Choices feed habits, habits define lifestyle, and lifestyle determines your future. Learning to make good choices is an important step in establishing long-term weight loss goals.

Publisher & author: Roy Barker. Roy has an indepth and long established background with the vitamins, minerals and health industry and has researched and experimented with many diets over a thirty year period. Roy is also the author of Safe and Easy Weightloss, a downloadable e-book based on the famous Mediterranean Diet and often used by those with heart conditions and those who seek a safe way to shed weight. It can be viewed at Further articles, and related health and weightloss sites can be found at

The information on this and any adjoining pages may be reprinted and used on other sites providing this information remains on the article and all pages and credits remain as they are found here in its current compilation with all links in tact.

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Weight Loss Diets with Negative Calorie Foods

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Weight Loss Diets with Negative Calorie Foods

Negative calorie foods are said to use more calories to digest than the calorie content of the foods themselves, resulting in a negative calorie balance. It is therefore natural to consider a diet containing these foods for weight loss.

A diet is a combination of a balanced selection of foods designed for medical or nutritional reasons. A good diet should include all major food groups. The weight loss diets (with or without negative calorie foods) are made to reduce body fat and weight. Some of the popular weight loss diets are: Atkin's diet, cabbage soup diet, grapefruit diet, Hollywood diet, negative calorie foods diet, Pritikin diet, the South beach diet and the zone diet.

Most of the weight loss diets promote to eat a particular food group and restrict other food groups. Such diets may show temporary results. If you follow these restricted diets for a long time, you may develop some health problems at later stage as these diets do not contain all the necessary nutrients needed for your body.

The secret to losing weight is to eat and drink the right kind of foods until you are satisfied. Skipping of meals is not the answer for weight loss, it can rather deteriorate your health. A healthy weight loss diet plan should include vegetables, fruits, grains, lentils and beans in your diet. Following is a sample daily diet plan that is good for keeping healthy weight and good health, irrespective of whether you follow a diet plan with negative calorie foods or not.

- Skim milk and skim yogurt.
- Salads or boiled vegetables or vegetable soup as starter.
- Whole-wheat bread/tortila, whole grain cereal and rice.
- Whole grains like kidney beans, chick peas and lentils.
- Lightly cooked green vegetables.
- Any dessert with minimum sugar.
- Lean variety of meat (it is better to avoid).
- The dinner should be light. If you had bread for lunch then have rice for dinner.

Include as much negative calorie foods as possible in the above diet plan. If you are meat eater, choose from a lean variety and restrict to one serving in a day.

A diet with negative calorie foods as main ingredients can include foods that are loaded with carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals and dietary fibers necessary for keeping you fit. The diet with negative calorie foods can be tailored for fast or gradual weight loss. The fast weight loss diet that can lower the weight up to two pounds per day, is not recommended for long term. The gradual weight loss diet can reduce one pound in a week and can be followed until desired weight is achieved. The diet can be made according to ones needs. The negative calorie foods will not give you much benefit if you are eating foods loaded with fats and sugars. If you eat a serving of potato fries, don't think that you can reduce the calories gained from fries by simply eating some negative calorie celery.

Copyright 2004,

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For more information on negative calorie foods, negative calorie recipes and diets, visit the web site: Negative Calorie Foods, Recipes, Diet.


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Weight Loss: Carbs? Or No Carbs?

Dietitians just plain don't like low-carb or high-protein diets.

Whether it's The Atkins Diet, The Stillman Diet, The Scarsdale Diet or Eat Yourself Thin Like I Did by Nancy Moshier, a popular, new book that recommends a low-carb regimen, medical experts say these diets are not part of long-term weight maintenance.

"All of these diets, they are warmed-over versions of The Atkins Diet," says Heather Holden, RD, LDN, clinical dietitian at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. "Low-carb, high-protein, it doesn't matter what you call them, they don't work in the long run."

But some aspects of Eat Yourself Thin are useful, says Holden. In particular, the book's focus on calorie counting can be useful.

How Many Calories Do You Need?

"The best thing about the book is that it teaches people how to calculate an approximate basal metabolic rate," says Holden. "That's the number of calories your body needs every day to maintain a constant weight. The number is different for everyone."

The book, says Holden, tells readers to establish their ideal body weight and then multiply that number by 10 to arrive at the daily calorie intake. For example, if your ideal body weight was 130 pounds, you would multiply that 130 by 10 to get 1,300 calories per day.

"That is a very rough estimate of what you need to eat each day at your ideal weight," says Holden. "So that gives you a place to start. If you weigh 160 pounds, and your ideal weight is 130 pounds, then you start a calorie diary to see how much you're eating each day. Then you can get a better idea of how much you can eat every day to start working off weight to get closer to your ideal weight."

That much, she says, is useful. But the book goes on to tout the wonders of low-carb eating as the best way to maximize loss of body fat.

"That's the part you want to avoid," says Holden. "Low-carb diets provide quick weight loss but do not help you maintain weight loss."

The American Dietetic Association (ADA) says that both low-carb and high-protein diets are bad.

"These diets are not safe, they are not healthy, and they are not a good way to try to get healthy," says Leslie Bonci, RD, nutritionist with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Complex and a spokesperson for the ADA. "They provide short-term, rapid weight loss by causing the body to shed water weight and muscle. But that is no way to keep weight off for very long, and it's dangerous to your body chemistry."

Dangerous Process
According to the ADA, low-carb diets and others like it trigger short-term weight loss through a process called ketosis. This process kicks in when your body is in short supply of carbohydrates, a prime source of energy for the entire body, but especially for the brain, which operates exclusively on carbohydrates.

During ketosis, your carbohydrate-depleted body grabs other sources, including ketones from stored fat or protein, to satisfy daily energy needs. This leads to ketoacidosis, a state similar to that seen with type 1 diabetes. This type of diet can have a negative long-term impact on health.

"Next time you talk to someone on one of these diets, pay attention to their mental state, how alert they seem," says Holden. "The lack of carbohydrates tends to make them seem a bit fuzzy mentally because the brain is not getting enough fuel. Is that any way to diet?"

New Research Supports It
But a study in the July 2002 issue of the American Journal of Medicine showed that the most famous of low-carb diets, the Atkins diet, does work.

Study participants lost an average of 20 pounds while on the Atkins diet for six months, but they were not followed longer to see if they kept the weight off. Most people also had improved cholesterol levels at the end of the study, even though the eating plan permits unlimited quantities of cholesterol-rich foods such as eggs and meat.

The study was funded by a grant from the Robert Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine. Duke researcher Eric Westman, MD, says he became interested in studying the Atkins diet after several of his patients lost large amounts of weight on it.

But though researchers were impressed by the weight loss, they say more study is needed to pronounce the carbohydrate-restricting diet safe.

Safe Dieting
Here's how the American Heart Association says to take weight off, and keep it off.

Be active: try walking 30 minutes a day most days of the week.

To lose weight, most women should eat 1,200-1,500 calories per day.

To lose weight, most men should eat 1,500-1,800 calories a day.

A loss of one to two pounds per week is considered a healthy weight loss.

People who lose weight gradually are more likely to keep the weight off.

Eat no more than 30% of your total calories from fat.

Include at least five servings of fruit and vegetables in your diet each day.

Examine your eating habits -- keep a written journal of what and when you eat.

Weigh yourself only once a week.

Eat breakfast to curb binge eating.

"There are still a lot of things we don't know about food and nutrition," says Holden. "Nutrition is a relatively young science, but we do know that you can trick the body's mechanisms in the short run. In the long run, however, those short cuts catch up with you in the form of weight gain."

Source: WebMD

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Original URL (The Web version of the article)
Weight Loss: Carbs? Or No Carbs?

About The Author
Michael Lewis has been collecting articles and information on Weight Loss and HGH (Human Growth Hormone and related health benefits. He has created and edits numerous web sites about this subject. Michael is a staff writer for and several otherwebsites. If you would like to contact Michael you can e-mail him at If you would like to know more about Weight Loss, HGH (Human Growth Hormone) and related health topics please visit us at

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