All Those Diets – Which Ones Work?

It seems like there are always new diets coming out or diets that just about everyone you know is on. The South Beach diet. Atkins. Weight Watchers. The Zone. The cabbage soup diet. What really works?

Realistically speaking, any of these can work. What you need to figure out is which one is right for how you want to live your life. The best diet isn’t one you go on then forget about after you’ve lost the weight; it’s one you’ll be comfortable with for years.

When you’re thinking about dieting, whether it’s to get into that cute swimsuit for summer or because you’re just tired of carrying that extra weight around, you need to be realistic about what you can do. Yo-yo dieting is terrible for your body and may even encourage weight gain over the long term, as the body stores fat to prepare for those times when you are eating less.

Take a look at your habits, both in terms of exercise and eating. The simple key to weight loss is to burn more calories than you take in.

If your eating habits aren’t bad, you may want to consider adding an exercise program rather than dieting.

On the other hand, if your eating habits are terrible, consider switching to healthier and lower calorie foods. Don’t cut out the junk entirely unless you are sure you can cope with that or you are setting yourself up for failure. Instead, have small treats on hand for rewards. One of my sisters used this tactic with great success. She bought boxes of what she called “diet chocolate” and allowed herself a single piece if she stayed beneath a certain number of calories for that day. It helped control the urge to sneak snacks and let her enjoy something she loved to eat.

Of course, dieting can often be vital to your overall health. If you are having trouble with your cholesterol, it’s time to look at lowering your fat and cholesterol intake. That means cooking healthier, using less oil and eating more fruits and vegetables.

What about low carb diets? The Atkins Diet is a very popular low carb diet which works by lowering your carbohydrate intake far enough that your body starts ketosis, or consuming the energy stored in your fat cells. Meat is a major part of this plan, so if you aren’t a big meat eater, it isn’t for you. There is some concern about the safety of losing weight as fast as it can go with Atkins.

Any good diet plan will include exercise. This will encourage your body to burn more fat and build up muscle, which burns more energy than fat does. If you’re aiming for that swimsuit, it’s a nice way to tone up as well!

There are plenty of resources both online and off to help the serious dieter.

 

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Copyright © 2003-2017 Stephanie Foster unless otherwise indicated

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