Choose the Right Diet For You

Choosing the right diet that will suit your personality and lifestyle can be the most crucial decision you make when you decide to lose weight.

Go to any bookstore, and you will see a plethora of diet books, all of them advocating their methods of losing weight, including the popular Atkins low carb diet, low calories, and low fat. How do you choose the one that will remove those excess pounds from your body?

First of all, you must grasp the basic facts that calories are the fuel we take from food to power our bodies to perform the myriad of functions we ask of them. It is everything from keeping our hearts beating to walking upstairs. Each of us has a certain number of calories each day for our bodies to do all these things. The required calories vary from person to person, depending on how active we are. A keen athlete needs more calories than somebody who spends their day sitting in an office.

If we eat more calories than we need, we will put on weight. Just an extra 500 calories a day for a week will deposit one pound of fat on our bodies. What do 500 calories look like? Take a look at two jellies (jam) doughnuts or two cups of chocolate chip ice cream, and you will see around 500 calories. It’s not much.

The good news is that if we eat 500 calories a day less than we need, we will lose one pound in weight a week.

One of the essential points to remember is that for the overwhelming majority of people, it is terrible eating habits piled on the pounds. It is no good going on to diets that do nothing to reform these habits and teach us to enjoy a healthier way of eating.

Now we have got the basic facts of weight loss out of the way; let’s look at the diets, all of which work by restricting food intake and so, to be successful, also restrict calorie intake no matter what they claim.

Low carb diets, like the Atkins Diet, have helped people to lose weight—there is no doubt about it. They haven’t worked for everybody, though, and research indicates that, although people might lose weight in the first six months, after this period, the advantage is lost. After one year, low carb diets hold no significant advantage over low-calorie ones. It might be that they work for people who tend to overeat carbohydrates, the ones who eat lots of bread, cakes, cookies, and pasta, and so removing these foods from the menu entirely facilitates weightloss.

The downside to this is that eliminating entire food groups from the diet makes people feel deprived, and at some point, most people will eat the forbidden foods. After all, forbidden fruit tasted sweetest, producing feelings of deprivation and doing nothing to reform lousy eating habits.

Low calories diets are the kind that I favor because you really can eat whatever you like as long as you don’t exceed your calorie allowance for the day. With this diet, you can eat reasonably regularly but should watch portion size. Of course, you can’t freely eat cakes, cookies, and other high-calorie food. You can build in an occasional cookie or taste of some delicious cake that the rest of the family is eating, counting the calories and cutting down on something else when you do. It is the diet that gives you a chance to reform your eating habits.

Low-fat diets are another popular method of losing weight. By cutting out fat, you cut out a very calorie-rich food group so you can lose weight. The problem can be, for many dieters, that they replace fat with high-calorie carbohydrates so that their total calorie intake does not decrease so they won’t lose weight. Although we should all cut down on saturated fats, it has been shown that some fats, like omega-three oils, are, in fact, beneficial and essential for good health. It means that a low-fat diet may not be the most healthy in the long term, nor does it reform lousy eating habits.

Meal replacement diets: on these, you replace one or more meals a day with a so-called slimming drink or bar. Not only do they do nothing to replace bad eating habits with good ones. It is also a strict diet to tolerate for any length of time, especially as they might leave you ravenously hungry in the evening, leading to overeating.

Only you can decide which diet suits your temperament and lifestyle. These diets may give you initial weight loss, but it is only by examining your regular pattern of eating and making changes to it that you can avoid putting all the weight back on as soon as you come off the diet.

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