Crash Course

January 1, 2008 by  
Filed under Edit

Fast fads are not always the smart way to lose weight

Here it is, the New Year. Resolutions have been made and some have already been broken. Every year, it seems one of the top resolutions is losing weight. The holiday season has ended and you ate a little bit more than you should have. In October it was candy, in November it was turkey and December was just a little bit of everything.

Rest assured, you are not alone. Most of us have trouble fitting into our jeans. Now, we have extra pounds we need to cram into our denim. We know how the pounds got there. Now we have to figure out how to lose them.

Crash dieting is a quick fix-me-upper. The wide-range of popular diets can account for that. Some guarantee weight loss, so why not? However, a pressing problem that people seem to overlook in these fad diets is that the weight may fall off, but it will not stay off.

World Class Fads
Some diet plans come in the form of pre-packaged meals while others tout fast results with little to no effort — even losing weight while you sleep. Then again, some weight-loss formulas come in the form of a little pill you see advertised during “Judge Judy” or a 3 a.m. infomercial. All promote easy, if not somewhat dangerous, methods of dropping those unwanted pounds.

After discovering heart illnesses and problems associated with the once-popular Atkins diet, dieters have replaced it with the newer and flashier South Beach Diet. The plan is simply divided into three phases. Phase one — lean meats, low glycemic foods and no carbohydrates; Phase two — gradually reintroduce some of the restricted foods; and Phase three — a healthy, balanced diet. Dieters can expect to lose anywhere from eight to 13 pounds during the first two weeks (phase one) and one to two pounds each of the following weeks until they reach their desired weight (phase two). The last phase is the trickiest; it’s a lifetime commitment to healthy eating. If the dieter slips and begins gaining weight, go back to phase one to get back on track.

One of the more popular diets is the cabbage-soup diet. The key to this diet is the delicious, never-ending supply of cabbage soup — whenever you crave it. Each day is broken into categories. For instance, day one consists of fruits and cabbage soup. Day two is all vegetables, with the exception of the soup. Have as many bowls as you want — hope you like cabbage soup!

Money talks
Being paid millions of dollars to lose 20 pounds in two weeks was enough incentive for pop diva Beyonce Knowles. Dubbed as the “Beyonce Diet,” Stanley Burroughs actually created the Lemonade Diet, or Master Cleanse, more than 50 years ago. This liquid diet consists of lemon juice, real maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water. This concoction is the only thing you may consume for the 10- to 40-day period, depending on how long you can stomach it.

During the 1960s, supermodel Twiggy ruled over the fashion scene. Staying slim was challenging until she embraced the grapefruit diet. Promising 10 pounds of weight loss in 12 days, this diet is hard to ignore. The grapefruit acts as a stimulant in the fat-burning process. Breakfast, lunch and dinner consist of half a grapefruit — or eight ounces of unsweetened grapefruit juice — along with a strict intake of eggs, vegetables, meats and one cup of skim milk as a bedtime snack.

To indulge or not to indulge
The most appealing diet of all time is the pasta-popcorn-chocolate diet. What more could you ask for? This diet recognizes the inadequacy of complete abstinence, allowing you to semi-indulge in your favorites. It consists of pasta, salads, vegetables, fruit, unsalted/unbuttered popcorn and chocolate. The diet doesn’t specify its duration or expected weight loss, only restricted foods. That’s never been a good sign.

It’s up to you
Whichever diet is chosen, the most important tools the dieter has are will power, determination and conscience. They are the ones choosing to lose weight, they are the ones that must select a plan and see it through until goals are met.

Houston Texans’ dietician Roberta Anding says, “It didn’t take 15 minutes to gain that weight and it won’t take 15 minutes to lose it either.”

“We want to blame everyone for our weight issues, but it isn’t everyone that’s responsible.”

As hard as it is to take the blame, dieters have to learn and relearn how to control portions and build a healthy plate, Anding advises. She also stresses the importance of working out with healthy eating.

“People prioritize running home to catch “Grey’s Anatomy,” but you never hear people running to their exercise bike,” says Anding.

When it comes to making the choice to lose weight, dieters should consult their doctor about a healthy weight loss plan that includes foods and proper portions, exercise and other healthy lifestyle habits. The road to weight loss goals may not be easy, but the results can have a lifetime of benefits.

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