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So What is the Correct Weight Loss Plan for Me? Part 2

January 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog

Last week, I talked about some things to consider before starting a weight loss plan.   There are some other things that should be considered as well.

So what should you look for in a weight management system? 

1.  Avoid any “magic pills” that promise you a great deal of weight loss with no effort or lifestyle changes on your behalf.  There is no magic pill when it comes to weight loss – watching what you eat and exercise are the only correct ways to lose weight.  Yet there are many “miracle” products out there that promise you the moon, yet tell you that you don’t have to do anything different.  Beware of these too good to be true sounding products – chances are they are not what they are advertised to be. 

2.  Watch the celebrity endorsed meal replacement systems.  We have all seen the ads for the meal replacement systems that promise to send you all the meals you need and that you will lose the weight with no effort.  While there is evidence that they work, I am not a fan of these systems, mainly because they don’t give you the proper education on how to eat right.  What do you do when you are done with the one or two month set of meals?  What education do you have on how to cook for yourself so that you don’t gain the weight back, or do you have to be on these meals for the rest of your life?  In my opinion, they are gimmicks that provide a short term fix, without providing you the tools needed for long term success. 

3.  Beware of fad diets that tell you that you can only eat certain foods, and where you have to cut out certain classes of foods.  A few years ago, there was certain low carbohydrate diet that wanted you to cut out all carbohydrates, but you could eat all the meat you wanted to.  This diet, in my opinion, is a complete and total load of garbage!  While you would lose weight, you could not maintain this diet as it put a lot of stress on your liver and kidneys, and could make your blood more acidic.  This diet could not be followed long term.  I have seen other types of weight management systems like this as well where you needed to eat a lot of this, and none of that.  Your body needs carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, in order to survive.  Therefore cutting out certain food groups is not an acceptable way to lose weight. 

4.  Calorie restriction does not work!  A friend of mine recently had me review a diet that required you to eat only 500 calories a day every other day.  That was all I needed to see to tell him that this diet was a load of garbage.  Calorie restriction doesn’t work because it throws a metabolic switch in your brain that triggers the “feast or famine” response.  Our body will think it is starving and slow down its actual metabolism, making it harder to lose the weight.  Add to that the fact that our body stores fat preferentially.  This comes from our caveman genetics when it was common to have a feast or famine situation – they couldn’t go to the fast food restaurant on the corner when they were hungry, so they had to store fat.  And believe it or not, energetically fat is the most efficient form of energy storage in our bodies – i.e. we obtain more energy from fat burning that we do from carbohydrate burning.  Without getting to technical, if we stored energy in the form of glycogen over fat, we would all weight more than twice what we do now. 

5.  Check the science behind the plan.  Any good weight management system will have good solid science to back up its claims.  If it doesn’t beware – this particular “diet” would be a fad. 

So what types of weight management plans do I like?  I prefer the low/mixed Glycemic Index weight management system.  The Glycemic Index is a measurement of how much your blood sugar changes depending on the types of carbohydrates you eat.  There are several good educational resources where you can learn about low/mixed GI eating.  I would recommend South Beach, the Mediterranean Diet, or the Transitions Lifestyle Weight Management System, and there are many online resources that can help you research these programs.  Regardless of what you choose, make sure that you include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet, while cutting back on fatty foods and sweets.

Please contact me if you would like to discuss options for the weight loss plan that will work for you.

To Your Good Health!

Dr. Harvey

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