Before Choosing A Weight Loss Diet
The weight loss industry is a multi-million dollar market that increases its revenues each year. As the number of overweight consumers rises, there is a mad rush to purchase the latest and the greatest diet pill, book, video, or online program in an attempt to shed off those unwanted pounds.
Something is obviously wrong. If all of these weight loss methods were actually helping consumers to become slim and trim, there wouldn't be a plethora of new dieting products coming out each year. In the past few years, we have seen the Kimkins diet, the South Beach diet, the Atkins diet, the 3-Day diet, and the ice cream diet, to name just a few. Is the weight loss industry a complete scam? Should you place your wallet and credit cards in a safe deposit box and resign yourself to wearing a size twenty dress? Surprisingly, the answer is no. You don't need to lose hope on finding a weight loss solution. However, before opening up your wallet and paying another dime for another diet, keep the following facts in mind.
Any diet that eliminates entire food groups should be viewed with caution. Our bodies require a wide variety of nutrients to remain healthy. Cutting out fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, water, or proteins could have dangerous consequences. Pediatricians have often seen infants in their offices who have failed to thrive because their (usually) well-meaning parents drastically decreased the amount of fat in their children's diets! Although health issues may show up more quickly in children, adults too can develop problems when their diet is unbalanced. The long-term repercussions of low-carbohydrate diets such as Atkins and the Zone are not yet known. Not enough research has been conducted at this time, so health care professionals are uncertain about the safety of these diets. When looking at a new diet, ask yourself if it provides a balanced combination of all nutrients!
Be wary of diets that claim you can lose weight without physical activity. Although it is possible to lose weight simply by decreasing the number of calories you consume, low-calorie diets often leave a person feeling hungry and unsatisfied. In addition to this, lack of physical activity leads to a decrease in muscle mass. It is possible to be considered within the normal weight range yet still have too much body fat. It is the increased body fat that causes complications such as heart attacks, high blood pressure, diabetes, and strokes. Because physical activity can accelerate fat loss while maintaining muscle mass, it is important that any diet program contains, or at the very least, encourages, some form of physical activity.
Be wary of diet programs that make outlandish claims. Losing 20 pounds in 7 days might sound like a dream come true, but it is a very dangerous practice. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends no more than 1-2 pounds of weight loss per week. Any more than this is considered to be unsafe. Most diets that claim you can shed many pounds within a few days achieve this by dehydrating the dieter. Because the body is made up of nearly 70% water, it is very easy to shed the pounds. This, however, is quite deceiving and unsafe. Although it may be tempting to try a diet that makes magical claims, do not allow yourself to put your health at risk.
Be wary of diets that recommend a diet of less than 1,200 calories for women and 1,500 for men. Very low calorie diets such as Kimkins place the body into starvation mode. This may achieve weight loss, but you accomplish this by feeding off of your own organs, muscle, and fat stores. Not only is starvation detrimental to your health, but you can also ruin your metabolism. Because your body is fooled into believing that there is a shortage of food, it will adapt and cause you to burn fewer calories. This will slow down your weight loss until it comes to a halt.
If this all sounds too complicated, consider Medifast or Nutrisystem. These diet plans make healthy weight loss simple. These programs are designed to be effective while providing a balanced diet and good nutrition. Plus there is no tedious calorie counting or other complications.
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