There are many different types of diets that people use for achieving weight loss. There is not any one single correct way to lose weight. The ways are as varied as the foods people put into their mouths. But some diets work better for some people than others. They suit their lifestyle better than other approaches.
A fad diet is not necessarily a bad thing. The term "fad diet" is usually associated with a weight loss formula that becomes very popular very quickly and then may fall out of popularity just as quickly.
Some of the most popular fad diets in recent years have been: the acai berry diet, Atkins, the cabbage soup diet, low fat diet, low carb diet, the zone diet, the South Beach diet, the Beverly Hills diet and others.
Usually a fad diet will promise a quick fix and have lists of good versus bad foods. A fad diet may also eliminate one or more of the five food groups.
Most dietitians take a conservative approach to weight loss, encouraging people to make healthy lifestyle changes rather than pursuing a fad diet for a quick fix. Dietitians prefer that people learn proper eating habits and portion control, while also incorporating exercise into their daily routine.
Weight loss can be achieved without total deprivation, if people are willing to modify their eating habits in small ways and stick with a change over a long period of time.
Obesity is a huge problem in America and new fad diets are constantly being developed and pitched to the public. However, 95 percent of people who lose weight gain it back within five years.
People should beware of fad diets that claim big, quick weight loss. Diets that cause people to lose 10 pounds or more in a week are usually not effective in the long term. Most quick weight loss is simply fluid not fat. Gradual weight loss is usually much more permanent. Plans should aim for a loss of no more than one or two pounds per week.
Weight loss without exercise is also not as effective for long-term success and for keeping the pounds off. Walking, biking or other physical activities should be incorporated into a person's routine.
Instead of picking up on a fad diet, people should look for a plan that can be followed for an entire lifetime, not just a week or month. There is little value in losing weight if it's going to just be regained when the diet ends. Repeated dieting that results in failure can lead to frustration, greater weight gain and loss of self-esteem.
The best plan for success is to reduce caloric intake while increasing levels of physical activity. A diet should be high in vegetables, fruits, complex carbohydrates (such as grains and legumes) and low-fat dairy products. A proper diet should also be convenient and inexpensive to follow.
Be a Planner
According to Gilmore Memorial Regional Medical Center dietitian Charlotte Baker, it's best to not try to re-invent the wheel when it comes to healthy eating. "Take advantage of those who have learned how to lose weight and keep it off," she said. "Let's take a look at some of the 'winning ways' of these successful dieters."
Baker says that people who are successful at weight loss are planners. Of course they are just as busy as everyone else, but they manage to take time to plan for the next day. Think about where your meals will be. Will you need to prepare a meal or snack to take with you? If meal times include eating out, use the internet to find nutritional info about your favorite restaurant. There are lots of good websites to help you plan your meals and keep track of your caloric intake. By keeping a log or food diary, you can pinpoint problem areas and develop an action plan to get past the "boulders" in your path.
Your chances of success increase when you have a good support system. Find someone who will encourage your weight control efforts. This could be a family member, co-worker or online support group. You may find this gives you the motivation you need to carry out your plans. Weight control is a tough battle for most people and having a "buddy" can make a world of difference. Focusing on short term goals will keep from you from feeling overwhelmed.
Learn more about the food you eat. If you are craving certain high calorie restaurant foods, why not learn to make them yourself using healthier cooking options? There are lots of good cookbooks and cooking classes that focus on quick, healthful meals. This will keep you from feeling deprived and will give you skills needed to maintain your weight loss. Be sure you have a set of measuring cups in your kitchen. Measuring your food at home for a few days will help you judge portion sizes when you eat out. Plan on bringing most of your restaurant meal home for later or sharing it with a friend. This will make eating out much more economical!
Slow, steady weight loss is preferable, as your ultimate goal is to keep the weight off long term. There may be a week when you are not losing. This is normal and you should continue your eating/exercise plan. Remember to let your support group know when you are having a tough week; they can help you get through it. Using all your resources will increase your chances of success!