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Why Your Diet May Not Be Working!

 

Jennifer, a middle-aged single mother with one six-year-old daughter, has been skipping sweets for a few weeks now. She’s also become a stickler for portion control. She feels as if she’s eating less than ever, and she’s been diligently exercising for an hour at a time at least four days a week. Yet, she hasn’t lost a single pound. The question is, “Why?”

This is a dilemma which affects dieters the world over. They think they are taking the steps necessary to lose weight, but nothing seems to be happening. In essence, they are trapped in a dieting rut and they don’t know how to free themselves. As a result, they become frustrated and depressed and may then engage in binge eating.

One of the problems with diets is that they are often standardized. As a result, they don’t take into consideration your individual physiology and metabolism. They provide a cookie-cutter approach to weight loss—an approach which may not work in your individual case. As a result, an increasing number of people are turning to dieticians to formulate a person weight loss strategy for them. This process has been made easier through the Internet, where you can correspond with a dietician any time of the day or night via e-mail. The dietician can also act as your personal coach, helping you through your dieting dilemmas.

Another reason that you may be failing at your diet is because of a lack of support. You may have family members who can eat whatever they want and seemingly not gain a pound. As a result, they may fill your refrigerator with junk food, leading you into temptation. Also, you may feel as if you have no one to turn to in order to discuss your weight problems. In order to solve this problem, many individuals look to psychotherapists to help them with their food-related issues. This can be particularly important if an individual has turned to purging in an effort to combat their weight problems. Bulimia is a serious disease which must be treated in order to ensure the good health of the patient. Thankfully, there are a number of treatment programs throughout the U.S. specifically focusing on bulimia.

Yet another reason for diet failure is hidden calories. You may literally be consuming calories and not even realize it. For instance, the frappucinos that are so popular today are loaded with calories—as many as 600 in a single serving! You may also be indulging in sugary sodas—another source of extra calories. By taking a few simple steps, such as eliminating the exotic coffee drinks from your diet and substituting skim milk for whole milk, you may be able to eliminate the hidden calories that are denying you dieting success.

Lack of consistency can also be a diet-killer. You might go on a diet for a while, then quit before you’ve made any measurable progress. It’s only natural to want to see quick results. The problem is that healthy weight loss involves losing only a couple of pounds a week. That means you’ll have to stay on your diet for months before you see appreciable weight loss. Discouraging? It can be, but if you keep a positive attitude you can achieve your ideal weight.

You may also be more successful in your dieting if you consider it to be a lifestyle change. Therefore, your diet becomes a meal plan for life. This means that you must change the way you look at food. It is designed to be fuel for your body, and nothing more. As a result, you should not turn to food to make you feel better or to provide you with a sense of comfort. A lifestyle change implies commitment; it means that you are prepared to follow the plan for the long haul. If you feel as if you cannot be on your diet for any appreciable length of time, perhaps it’s time to consider a different diet. Your aim ultimately should be not simply to lose weight, but to become healthier. A fad diet will not allow you to reach that milestone. Therefore, you must choose your diet carefully.

High-Fat, Low-Carbohydrate Diets - Millions of Americans have joined the low-carb craze and started high-fat, low-carb diets such as the Atkins Diet, and the Zone Diet. They are made up of about 60% fat, 10% carbohydrate, and 30% protein. These diets say you can eat high amounts of fat and protein while getting very low amounts of carbohydrates in the form of vegetables. The main premise of the low-carb diet is that a diet low in carbohydrates leads to a reduction in bodyÕs production of insulin. The end result is that fat and protein stores will be used for energy. So you stuff yourself full of unlimited amounts of meat, cheese, and butter, and only eat a small portion of carbohydrates.

People who start the diet usually lose a great amount of weight, but itÕs not permanent weight loss. Instead of burning fat, the lose water and precious muscle tissue. Furthermore, these diets are low in several nutrients and contain excess amounts of cholesterol and saturated fats, substances that increase the risk of heart disease. Plus, regardless of what they claim, the enormous amounts of protein put a strain on your kidneys.

Moderate Fat Diets - Next, there are the moderate fat diets. Moderate fat diets include diets like Weight Watchers, the USDA Food Guide Pyramid, and Jenny Craig. These diets are made up of about 25% fat, 60% carbohydrate, and 15% protein. They encourage the intake of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and essential fatty acids found in foods like olive oil and salmon. These diets are usually nutritionally balanced if the dieter eats a variety of foods from all categories. For example, Weight Watchers operates on a point system where foods get a number of points based on calorie, fiber, and fat content. Dieters get a specific amount of points they can use for the day. While itÕs not encouraged, they may choose to spend most of their points on carbohydrates instead of balancing it out. This could lead to deficiencies in nutrients such as calcium, iron, and zinc. However, if followed properly, these diets are probably the most successful for losing weight and keeping it off.

Low and Very Low-Fat Diets - Finally, you have your low-fat and very low-fat diets. Diets in this category include the Dr. Dean OrnishÕs Diet and the Pritkin Plan, among others. They are made up of about 13% fat, 70% carbohydrates, and 16% protein. These diets are mostly vegetarian diets and donÕt recommend eating a lot of meat. Like the low-carb diets, you can eat unlimited amounts of certain foods. Because you canÕt eat a lot of meat, these diets are deficient in zinc, vitamin B12, and essential fatty acids. Also, it is so restrictive that people find a hard time staying on it for life and end up gaining their weight back.

About the author:
Kirsten Hawkins is a nutrition and health expert from Nashville, TN. Visit http://www.popular-diets.com/for more great nutrition, well-being, and vitamin tips as well as reviews and comments on popular diets.

Protein is an essential nutrient necessary for maintaining good health. In its basic form protein consists of amino acid chains. Of the 22 amino acids that are capable of creating protein, 8 of these can only be obtained through a protein diet. Because these amino acids are utilized by the body a low protein diet can affect a host of very important functions. The building of our skin, hair, nails and internals organs all depend on amino acids and are maintained trough a protein diet.
Muscle tissue as well as new tissue growth need protein for their activities and can receive adequate levels with a protein diet. Protein intake from a high protein diet helps to transport nutrients and oxygen to our cells. The valuable protein diet aids and maintains antibody production.
The protein sources available to us for inclusion in a high protein diet include animal and plant based proteins. Animal proteins are found in meat, fish, cheese eggs and milk. Plant protein sources include soy, spirulina and organic whey protein diet products. While it is certainly important that we include a balanced intake of protein in our diet, many people eat too much animal based protein.
This type of high protein diet could have adverse health effects, which appear as disease and obesity. Many individuals who follow an excessively high animal based protein diet are overweight and often unhealthy. People on an animal based high protein diet often have elevated bad cholesterol levels.
Heart disease, strokes and osteoporosis are often the result of an excessive animal based high protein diet. It is therefore important that a well-balanced protein diet is maintained. By replacing part or all of our animal protein diet with plant proteins we can be assured that our body requirements are being met. A plant protein diet can help us to avoid the health problems associated with an excessive animal protein diet.
Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats when on a plant protein diet can improve health tremendously. This plant protein diet can also aid with weight control. A plant protein diet does away with the saturated fat accumulation thus limiting unwanted weight gain. Regular exercise combined with a high protein diet including plant proteins will be beneficial to individuals wanting a healthier lifestyle.
Plant proteins have many benefits of their own when included in the high protein diet. These protein diet improvements include the ability to raise good cholesterol levels while reducing bad cholesterol. This important protein diet function aids in preventing the arterial plaque build up, which could cause artery hardening and blockages.
Protein from plant sources like soy and spirulina, when included in a protein diet, are able to reduce the risk of strokes, heart attacks and heart disease. A vegetable high protein diet improves the ability to retain calcium in the body.
Because less calcium is excreted in the urine while on a plant protein diet, problems such as kidney stones are lessened. Therefore it is important to consider exactly which type of high protein diet you are currently following. Due to the high levels of saturated fats and additives found in red meat, a plant protein diet is superior to an animal protein diet and is the healthier alternative.

WHAT EXACTLY IS A DIET?

Most people believe that a diet is something that involves pain, suffering, and giving up foods we enjoy. Some of the symptoms of "being on a diet" usually include being hungry and cranky all the time. But this is not really the true meaning of the word and if you get hung up on all the negative stuff, you'll miss the entire concept.

Webster's dictionary defines a "Diet" as:

a : food and drink regularly provided or consumed;
b : habitual nourishment;
c : the kind and amount of food prescribed for a person for a special reason.

In other words, it's what we regularly or habitually eat and drink to nourish our bodies. That's not so bad. But here's the hidden truth that will turn your understanding of diets on its head and practically guarantee that you'll reach whatever weight goal you desire: Being "on a diet" really means having a plan for your eating instead of eating according to any spur-of-the-moment mood or habit. That's it!

This is so simple. But then most basic truths are. However, it's extremely powerful if you take the time to think about it and fully understand what it means. Let me say it again so that you don't miss it: Being on a diet really means having what you eat controlled by a PLAN instead of by your moods or habits.

WHY MOST DIETS DON'T WORK

The reason most diets don't work is because of the extreme measures most of them require. Some force you to give up everything except cabbage soup, or everything except meat and meat products, or everything except salads. This is not only monotonous, it's also pretty harsh -- not only harsh to stick with, but harsh on your physical wellbeing as well.

True, a monotonous diet is often effective at losing weight over the short term (ie: the Atkins Diet) but you have to wonder if you aren't giving up a part of your health in the process (ie: ketosis, acidosis, etc). Many conventional diets put the body in a highly acidic state which can create a number of health problems.

Our bodies are designed to absorb vitamins, nutrients, and minerals from a wide variety of foods and a monotonous diet runs directly counter to that. It simply isn't natural, and is the main reason most conventional diets just don't work in the long run.

THE RIGHT WAY TO DIET

The right way to diet is to think of dieting as a system of correct eating. Your diet should include a balanced plan for a variety of foods, taken in moderate amounts, and in the proper combination. You should also eat only when you're hungry, not when the clock says it's lunch or dinner time.

So forget the fad diets that don't work and get started on planning a diet that you can stick with over the long term. This is the balanced approach to good health and nutrition, and it's an approach that you can live with for the rest of your life.

A Daily Blog for Dieter's

Any weight loss or diet plan, including low-carb plans like the induction phase of the Atkins Diet will result in water loss during the first week or two. However, one of the real beauties of following a low carbohydrate eating plan is that most of the weight loss than extends beyond the initial induction phase of the diet is really from a drop in fat pounds.

How can this be? Well, when you follow a controlled carbohydrate eating plan like Atkins or the South Beach Diet, your body soon switches from burning carbohydrates (which the diet deprives the body of) to burning fat for energy. In other words, the majority of the weight loss that occurs beyond the initial induction phase is really loss of fat that has been stored in your body.

Contrary to what many skeptics and misinformed persons may report or say, even if your body sheds water during the first few days of a controlled carbohydrate diet plan like the South Beach Diet or Atkins, the body’s water balance soon returns to normal and the weight loss that follows is the depletion of fat pounds. This loss of fat reveals itself to one and all in the form declines in inches (your body measurements) and pounds – regardless which low-carb diet you follow.


About the author:
Craig Whitley is the Senior Editor of “Diets and Weight Loss Plans” – a daily blog for dieters. Visit his website daily to read the latest news and articles on diets, dieting, weight loss and obesity. The URL address for Diets and Weight Loss Plans is http://weightloss.blogdiets.com/blogYou have permission to publish this article electronically on your website or in print, free of charge, as long as this resource box with all links and author attribution are kept intact.

 

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