Diet Scams and Truths
A Quick Review of the North American Weight Loss Obsession
Diet Scams and Truths
Typically for women, the quest for fitness is accompanied by a desire to lose weight, or maybe it's the other way around.
The truth is, weight loss has become a North American obsession.
Television advertising is full of it (literally). New gadgets, pills, diets, books and programs endorsed by celebrities fill the airwaves. All offering easy term credit card payment plans. They are happy to take your money, and they do it in large amounts.
Unfortunately the fitness results are not proportionate to the money spent.
Many of you have no doubt tried any number of diets in the past without ever reaching your desired goals. Fad diets and commercial weight loss programs can definitely take off some pounds initially but this is usually just water weight and not fat loss.
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Calorie reduced diets will work, but this involves complex calorie counting and denial of many of the foods you love. It becomes a torturous game of will power vs. guilt and can be successful in the short term.
A reduction in calorie intake though will cause the body to think it is being starved with the result that the metabolism slows and fuel burning process slows. The initial rate of weight loss will also slow. The lack of progress in the face of what seems like starvation throws motivation out the window. Who can starve themselves forever? These programs are famous for the yo-yo effect which is initial weight loss followed by an even larger weight gain.
I won't discount calorie reduced diets or commercial weight loss programs entirely because it is hard to deny that programs such as Weight Watchers are successful. Its proponents do lose weight. After all, eating fewer calories than you burn in a day should result in lost weight. However, from my viewpoint it appears that Weight Watchers operates with a similar support system to alcoholics anonymous. As long as you stick with the program, count your points faithfully and attend the meetings with other like-minded supportive people, you can lose weight and maintain it. If you can make it a habit, it can work for you. But once you sign off and try to live independently, you have not learned a sustainable lifestyle and the pounds come back on. I have seen this happen with several friends and relatives.
The now popular high-protein, low carb diets -ie- Atkins and others like it, will probably help you lose weight, in fact they are pretty good at this for many people. In some cases the weight drops off very quickly which can be an exhilarating experience and the main reason the plans are so popular.
The Atkins Diet actually consists of four phases, rather than just one. It starts with The Induction Phase, which lasts for two weeks. The daily intake of carbohydrate is restricted to 20 grams or less. After the first two weeks, you move on to phase two - Ongoing Weight Loss. During this second phase, you're able to eat more carbohydrate. Studies have shown that this program does in fact restrict calories but the types of foods you eat (and the menu does include veggies) will make you feel fuller longer.
The Atkins method, like any way of eating, will not work for everyone. It has strengths and weaknesses. Eating high fat foods such as bacon and steak and restricting carbs is simply not sustainable long term. Your body requires the missing ingredients for good health and you don't learn anything about long term healthy maintenance of your new weight. You also need to incorporate a fitness program for long term success.
We have found a few top sites that combine the best of eating plans (including the Atkins Plan) along with a decent fitness program so you get the complete package.
See our review of top online weight loss programs.
The programs reviewed are designed to be a long lasting by actually teaching you a new, maintainable lifestyle.
Traditional diets, however, may allow you to drop a bunch of weight and look great for a while, but because you are starving your body of the nutrients it needs, you cannot stay on it forever and you go back to the way you were eating before.
You gain it all back of course!
Maybe even more than you lost!
What to do?
Why not try some of those expensive and massively advertised fat-burner products?
Are these so-called miracles in a bottle the real deal?
My recommendation?... Save your money.
Well The only pills that might have some effect on your weight are the ones containing dangerous drugs such as ephedrine.
But ephedrine is a natural substance!... isn't it therefore safe?
Arsenic is a natural substance too but I wouldn't recommend it.
Ephedrine, Ma Huang and ephedra products stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, causing constriction of the blood vessels in the lining of the nose. They also dilate the bronchial tubes and stimulate the heart. The stimulant effect can cause a thermogenic effect, ie- fat burning. But this stimulant effect can be detrimental (even fatal) in the case of someone with a heart condition. It tends to make the user jittery (like an overdose of caffeine) and also makes it difficult to sleep.
Obviously fat burners are no long-term solution, not if you value your health.
And the ones without stimulant drugs? I've never seen any proof of their effectiveness outside of the claims made by the manufacturers. So again I recommend you save your money.
"Won't liposuction take away the fat and weight permanently?"
While surgery may seem to be a radical approach to weight loss, cellulite can be nearly impossible to get rid of. Liposuction can help you lose excess weight but it is a decision you should not make lightly or without knowing all the facts. It is not a shortcut and is recommended only for healthy people within 10 t0 20 pounds of their ideal weight.
So now what?
If you have worked your way down the list this far you probably already know the answer in your heart.
You do it the natural way with regular exercise and proper nutrition.
Don't get me wrong, I came down heavy on diets, but any diet plan that can help you learn better eating habits such as eating smaller, more frequent meals, eating in moderation and eating healthier foods along with getting enough real exercise is going to be a positive experience. You will be better off for these programs.
Several small changes in your habits can make all the difference.
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