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Compare the popular weight loss diets and aids with a permanent eating life-style change. You'll find information, helpful links and several other weight control pages on exercise, and eating disorders.

Balanced Diet Information Actually, you can lose weight on any diet. The questions are 1.  Can we sustain weight loss until we reach our goal?  2.  Is the diet enhancing or damaging our health?  3.  Can we maintain our weight without staying on the diet?  Many diets have actually caused serious health problems for the dieter.  Be careful!  Approach every diet offer with this in mind:

"There ain't no free lunch."

Diet Aids-Shakes, Pills, Bars, Etc: There are many varieties from many different companies.  Here are the most popular diet aids and foods  for you to consider.  The value people place in these products are usually due to convenience and ease of use.  If you follow their whole diet program, you can lose weight.  I've never been able to buy one of these products without printed instructions for the rest of their program, which always included dieting on all other foods and exercise.  In other words, you're not going to lose weight if you replace one meal with one of these and do nothing else.  Also, you should check the label to make sure these products contain enough nutrients and don't contain more than 25% of the calories from fat. 

Low Carb Diets-Atkins, South Beach, Etc: Low carb diets, like Atkins and South Beach diets are very effective at sustainable weight loss with little effect on health.  None of these diets recommend you continue the diet longer than is necessary to reach your health goals.  That's where the drawback is...when you get off of these diets and try to live normally.  They're very popular because they're fast, but the weight gain afterwards is fast, too.  The diets can't be safely sustained long-term.  I believe the South Beach Diet does a better job to try and transition you to a healthy lifestyle.  If you use one of these for weight loss, move to our balanced healthy diet as quickly as possible once you reach your weight goal.  

Low Fat Diets-Pritikin, Etc: Pritikin and other low fat diets are very effective and healthy long-term, but almost impossible to follow because we want to enjoy our food, too.  Reducing fat to 10-15% of our caloric intake leaves our food almost flavorless and reduces us to virtual vegetarians.  These diets, though, are extremely healthy, even proven to reverse some forms of cardio vascular disease. Low fat style diets are by far the best diet for such diseases but be sure to consult your doctor.  Because of the nature of this diet, a slow transition to a balanced, healthy diet after you reach your weight goal should result in no weight gain.

Balanced, Healthy Diet: Really, the most effective way to lose weight is with a balanced, healthy diet, composed of meat, vegetables, carbs (bread-grain-potatoes), fruits, fiber and water.   The goal of a balanced, healthy diet is not to stress your system into rapid weight loss.  A balanced, healthy diet is a lifestyle change from what and how we were eating to how we will eat from now on.  The balanced, healthy daily diet will be something like this:  5-6 servings (75-90 grams) of breads/grains (preferably high fiber), 5-6 servings of milk/cheese/lean meats, 3-4 servings of fresh vegetables (preferably high fiber), 1-3 servings of fresh fruit, 7-14, 8 oz glasses of water.  The idea is not to starve our system to lose weight but to lose weight by replacing unhealthy food choices with healthy ones.  You never have to "withdraw" from this diet because it's the right way to eat for optimum health.  The best version of this diet I've seen is the American Diabetes Association Diet, which allows us to eat any food we want as long as we hold to a certain number of proteins, carbs, fats and fiber. This "diabetic diet" is just the normal way everybody should eat.  Under this diet, I was allowed 3 meals and 3 snacks a day and I never felt hungry.  I lost 60 pounds in about 6 months, put my glucose into normal range and had significant drops in cholesterol, blood pressure and triglycerides.  I did so well I got lazy and thought I could do it halfway...that's when I started the Yo-Yo 15-pound cycle.  I'm changing my lifestyle back to this way of eating because I have important things to do and can't afford to be sick or tired. 

Here are some extra tips for your dieting program:  Get lots of water...3-5 quarts a day...more on hot days or when you do heavy physical work.  There are two battlefields where people win or lose the healthy food battle.  The first and most important battlefield is the supermarket.  If it doesn't get into your basket, it won't go home with you, it won't get into your house, so you can't eat it.  Always check product labels for fat, cholesterol, sodium and carbs per serving.  Avoid foods that seem high in any of these.  For instance, more than 500mg of sodium per serving is high.  Use more fresh foods and less processed food.  Focus on adding fresh vegetables and fruit to your diet.  The second battlefield is your plate.  If it doesn't get on your plate, you won't feel compelled to eat it.  Keep an eye on how much of everything you put on your plate.  If you want another serving of something, try to fill up on vegetables, rather than meats, fats or carbs.

If you feel you weight or fitness problems may be more than general diet and exercise can remedy, visit our Weight Problems pages for specific solutions.  If you have a challenge getting motivated to stay on a balanced, healthy diet, you may need more help.  I got that help from God.  If you want help from God to hold onto a healthy lifestyle, click on God help me.

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