Weight Loss That Works

More than 30 percent of American adults deal with obesity. While many of these people will try the latest fad diet to lose their excess weight, weight loss rarely comes easy. Unrealistic expectations, ridiculous dieting and, at times, a lack of will power can all interrupt people’s efforts to lose weight.

Avoid Fad Diets

In past decades, fad diets haven’t had the best track record with helping people lose weight. While some can help people quickly shed pounds, most fad diets severely restrict the foods you eat, rather than helping you establish healthy, maintainable eating habits. As a result, many people end up reverting back to their unhealthy eating habits, which, in most cases, causes them to regain the weight they lost while on the fad diet.

Some of the most popular fad diets on the market include:

  • Atkins Diet: Popularized within recent decades, the Atkins Diet calls you to eat a diet based on meats and proteins. Fruit and fruit juices, as well as sugars, starches and carbohydrates, are no longer allowed. After a few weeks on this diet, you can add certain foods back in. While many have lost weight on the Atkins Diet, far fewer have kept the weight off or maintained their health by sticking to this fad diet. Because Atkins is meat-rich, your intake of meat fat soars and can raise cholesterol levels. Overtime, this can cause problems with kidney function in certain individuals.
  • Calorie Counting: Jenny Craig, NutriSystem and Weight Watchers have proved successful for some. Portion control is the key practice with these diets. Unfortunately, the price of specific foods or membership fees is high. Many men and women give up these programs because they cannot afford to continue.
  • Slim Fast Diet: Instead of eating breakfast and lunch, this fad diet calls for you to replace these meals with a sugary milkshake. Like calorie counting diets, the Slim Fast Diet can be difficult to maintain because of the high cost associated with constantly buying these milkshakes. Similarly, because this fad diet doesn’t teach you moderation or healthy eating habits, it’s difficult to sustain weight loss on it.
  • South Beach Diet: The South Beach Diet is considered one of the better fad diets because it balances your protein and vegetable intake. Problems with this diet include the cost of purchasing the exotic vegetables (artichokes, asparagus etc.) and the strict limitations it places on allowable foods.
  • Vegetarian Diets: While eating vegetables is great, if you do not consume protein, your body will suffer. Another problem with the new fad diet trend of vegetarianism is that many call for organic vegetables only. Your grocery budget can easily triple on this regiment, causing some to stray from this fad diet quickly.
  • Weight Loss Drugs: Using over-the-counter weight loss remedies is extremely dangerous. These remedies are not regulated by the government and can come with serious side effects that damage the heart. For example, Ephedra, a popular weight loss drug of the past, caused dieters to suffer from a number of health problems, many of which ended in death.

Exercise Speeds Weight Loss

Dieting is one way to shed pounds, but exercise is an important component. For example, going for a brisk walk every day can help you double your weight loss. While walking rarely stresses the joints, it also helps relieve stress and improve your overall wellbeing. Other suitable exercise options include:

  • aerobics
  • dancing
  • pilates
  • speed walking
  • swimming
  • tai chi
  • yoga
  • weight training.

Dieting Tips

For many, portion control is key. Simply serving yourself what you feel is a normal-sized dinner, removing half the food from your plate and then eating what remains can work.

Restaurants serve three times what is considered a true portion, so many people have forgotten how much they should be eating.

Quite simply, the best way to diet is by talking to your doctor or nutritionist. Your life may depend on the dieting regimen you choose, so it makes sense to visit an expert. A nutritionist will teach you to monitor your food intake and make healthy choices. (S)he can also design a realistic, maintainable diet specific to your nutritional needs.