Should you go on a diet? What kind of diet? Fruits? Vegetables? Rice? Powdered shakes? Prepackaged diet food? High protein or low protein? High carbohydrate or low? And what about those fat grams?
It’s enough to make you wish you’d never started. There is so much “advice” out there; it seems impossible to know what to do. Often what is right for one person is not so right for another. Each person is unique. Despite the high confusion index, the facts are:
Counting calories doesn’t work
Counting fat grams doesn’t work
Going “on a diet” doesn’t work, shakes, powders, prepackaged diet food, “diet” candy bars, and all other like methods are worse than ineffective—they’re bad for your health, provide only temporary results, and will worsen your weight problem in the long run
Fat formulas don’t work
Mono diets, where you are restricted to only one or a handful of foods until you lose the weight you want to lose, do not work.
By now, many studies have shown that diets simply don’t work. Since all “diets” are temporary changes of eating habits for the purpose of losing weight, what can you expect to happen when you go back to your normal eating routine? You'll probably gain back the weight you lost plus gain a little more. If you make a permanent change, then you can expect to see permanent results.
The solution to the “diet” dilemma lays in these few simple, important principles:
Don’t go on any more diets.
Any adjustment you make to the way you eat must be a permanent one. This will limit you to making changes you can live with.
Avoid all added fats and oils. This is a key principle. Added fats and oils are what cause cancer, heart disease and obesity. For example, mayonnaise, margarine, butter, fried foods, baked goods made with oil, high-fat cheese, cream, etc., should be eliminated from a diet. If you feel you can’t make this permanent change, then you will probably never be able to permanently lose weight.
Avoid highly concentrated carbohydrate foods like those made with white flour, white rice and sugar.
Eat real, recognizable food. If you can’t tell what something is and where it came from, think twice about eating it.
Read labels—not the number of fat grams or the percentage of calories from fat, but the ingredients.
Be as active as you can be within the parameters of your life. The best activities are the ones that can be incorporated into your daily life (e.g., walking instead of driving, or climbing stairs instead of taking the elevator).
Be sure to provide your body with the full range of nutrients it requires, especially chromium, magnesium, zinc and the B vitamins. A good multivitamin should provide the basics.
If you still have trouble, try cutting out carbohydrates more aggressively: Reduce bread and other grains, as well as all sugars. If this causes you to lose weight, you will know that you are carbohydrate sensitive, and you must adjust your life accordingly.
Finally, make sure you don’t suffer from any medical causes of obesity (e.g., hypothyroidism, certain medications, anemia and diabetes mellititus).
If you suspect you suffer from any medical problem, you should seek professional help in analyzing and dealing with it. In the end, it is health that matters, not merely weight loss. Weight loss achieved through optimized health is the only right way.
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