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The Hidden Truth About Diet

May 13, 2008
About 8 million Americans a year enroll in a weight loss program. All in all, we spend about $30 billion a year on diet products and programs, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. So why can't we keep the weight off?

Well the truth is that there are way too many diet traps out there, convincing people to severe, unpromising, brainless diets which are not healthy, and neither do they help keep the weight off for long.

The recent diet marketed as eat all you want and still lose weight diet, is also hogwash. Your extra weight is energy stored up as fat. To lose weight, more energy has to come out than goes in. Energy is measured in calories. When you move your body, you burn calories. When you eat or drink anything other than noncaloric beverages like water or tea, you take in calories. If you burn more than you take in, you lose weight.

Many people believe that they have to starve themselves to lose weight. Very low-calorie diets are dangerous. This should be done only with medical supervision, and only when there is a medical need to lose a lot of weight as fast as possible.

Gradual weight loss is much healthier and much easier. The recommended weight loss per week is only 1-2 pounds. This means eating 500 fewer calories a day. This can be done by learning and practicing healthy eating habits.

People also believe that they have to diet in order to lose weight. One diet after another isn't the answer. A consistent plan for a healthier lifestyle lays the groundwork for lasting weight loss.

People will get false impression and believe that a fad diet worked for their friends so they have to do that. We all know someone who went on a diet and swears by it. These diets rarely work for long. A sudden change in your eating habits can lead to a pattern of quick weight loss followed by rebound weight gain once you go back to a normal diet.

How about diets that say, Lose 20 pounds in two weeks. As noted before any health professional will tell you that healthy weight-lose is 1 to 2 pounds a week. Therefore, diets that promise you can lose 20 pounds a week are extremely unhealthy, and even if they manage to help you lose that much weight, it is guarantied that you will gain all that weight back soon as you go off the diet. Early weight loss from fad diets is usually from water loss. The bathroom scale may show that you lost weight, but it is not fat weight.

Individuals also have the impression that dieting has to be all or nothing. It may feel virtuous to turn down chocolate cake, french fries, and every other treat that crosses your path, but in time, the temptation is likely to wear you down. And if you've been deprived of treats for a long time, you're all the more likely to load them on when you do cave in. therefore, Make sure you indulge in the occasional treat. But make sure it's in moderation and only splurge on foods you really love.

Also, remember the road to weight loss isn't always smooth, and you are bound to encounter some pitfalls along the way. Whether you've gone on vacation or just had a heavy restaurant meal, going off the plan can make you feel like you've blown your whole diet. But you've really only blown it if you decide to give up altogether rather than resume your healthy eating habits at your next meal.

Pick yourself up and get right back on the plan. It's normal to feel disappointed in yourself if you slip up. But in the long run, one little slip-up doesn't make a difference if you get right back on the plan. Don't wait until tomorrow or after the weekend - do it at your next meal.

Some people when counting their calories think that food doesnt count if its fat free. While this belief was popularized with the invasion of fat-free products in the 1990s, it couldn't be further from the truth. The amount of weight you gain or lose is determined by the number of calories you eat compared to the number you burn.

Still, few of your calories should come from fat. Instead, focus on getting your calories from foods that will fill you up and help you gain muscle. If you're trying to lose weight, keep an eye on your overall caloric intake, and try to get your energy from foods rich in fiber, protein, and other important nutrients.

Dieters believe that food eaten at night always ends up turning into fat. Well guess what, food you eat after dinner doesn't automatically land on your thighs, but if you've already had your fill of calories for the day, the extra snack could get the scales tipping in the wrong direction. But it's the extra calories that cause the problem, not the timing.

If you really enjoy a bedtime snack, then budget for the extra calories after dinner. But if you find you are getting hungry despite already having had your fill, consider adding a bowl of soup or some salad to your dinner, or swapping pasta or bread products for the whole-wheat version to help you fill up.
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