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Weight Loss Basics - Diets

Sep 1, 2008
Dieting is the most popular method for weight loss. Successful weight loss management plan requires energy input to be less than energy output. In other words you need to take less calories than you spend in your daily activities. There are two main strategies to achieve negative calorie intake: reduce energy input (diets, bariatric surgery, appetite suppressants) or increase the energy output (exercises or non-exercise movements).

How much calories you need to cut?

There is great diversity of different diets, which vary according their calorie reducing capabilities. The recommended safe, but effective at the same time, energy deficit is 500 kcal daily. In other words you need to take 500 kcal less than you spend. Reducing your calorie intake by 500 kcal daily leads to weight loss of pound a week.

Some diets are designed to maintain even greater energy deficit - about 1000-1200 kcal daily. Such very low calorie diets are not suitable for everyone, they are harder to follow, have only short-term effect and can be very dangerous in the long-term. So if you start a diet be sure not choose very low calories plan.

Which diet is the best?

Numerous diets and diet plans have been advocated, but according to the studies none had advantage over another. In comparison between Atkins (low carbohydrate diet), Zone (high protein, low carbohydrate), Ornish (very low fats) and Weight Watchers no significant difference have been found in weigh loss at 1 year. However, it seems that low carbohydrate diets had the advantage to achieve greater weight loss at 3 month (but again the result was the same as the others at 1 year).

This comes to show that any diet plan you choose can be effective, if you are able to keep to it.

Reducing fat content

Maintaining low fat content in your diet is another strategy for successful weight loss plan. Typical American diet consist of about 37-40% fats. In low fat diets fats consist 25% of energy intake. This is achieved by the increased amount of fruits and vegetables in the menu and choosing foods that are low in fats (low fat alternatives). Reducing fats, without reducing calorie intake will not lead to weight loss.

Low fat diets have other health benefits, besides weight loss - they lower LDL-cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk from developing cardiovascular disease (ischemic heart disease, arterial hypertension, atherosclerosis).

Filling, but not fattening foods

This is another dieting method, that can be very successful for long-term weight loss. The main goal here is to reduce the energy density of the foods. Energy density is described as the calories provided by a food. Fats have high energy density, while fruits and vegetables are low energy density foods. In example a pound of carrots (low energy density) have the same amount of calories as an ounce of peanuts (high energy density). At the same time low energy density foods are bulky - they create feeling of fullness.

According some studies reducing energy density of food with 25% will lead to 20% reduction of the calorie intake. In a typical diet, which is about 2500 kcal, this means exactly 500 kcal reduction. What makes this approach easier to follow is the fact that portion size is not reduced and you don't need to suffer from the worst side effect of a diet - hunger.

This dieting method usually is naturally matched with low fat diet regimes, and also have its health benefits. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and micro-elements, fibers and antioxidants.

What to expect when following a diet?

One of the main problem, that comes with every dieting method and can prevent its effectiveness, is the hunger. One way to overcome food cravings is with the use of medications - appetite suppressants. Their use as a diet aid have shown to improve both the long-term results (greater weight loss compared to dieting without the aid of appetite suppressants) and the success from dieting. Compared to other methods to curb cravings appetite suppressants have shown much greater effectiveness.

In a summary, long-term weight loss is best achieved by reducing calorie intake. Which method to choose is entirely based on personnel preferences.
About the Author
To discover more about the natural and strong appetite suppressant Hoodia go to: http://freehoodia4you.com/ Free Hoodia For You website . Free samples are available. Cary Gardner has worked for several years in the health field. She is sharing her knowledge about the various weight loss methods, healthy eating and dieting at Easy Weight Loss Blog
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