Monday, 25 July 2011

The Mayo Clinic Diet

Welcome to the Mayo Clinic Diet that doesn’t come from the Mayo Clinic. This
diet is a strange idea that has been floating around for a long time, despite
the fact that it is not endorsed by the Mayo Clinic. Once again dieters are face
to face with the misleading idea that somehow grapefruit burns fat, which leaves
the dieter free to indulge in high fat food like ham and eggs for breakfast and
meat, vegetables and salad dressing for lunch and dinner. This is not a diet,
but a dream come true! Or, at least, it would be a dream if it actually worked.
Right from the start this diet sounds too good to be true. Any kind of meat and
any amount of it at every lunch and dinner? With any amount of vegetables? And
salad dressing on top? So where does the weight loss part come in? This must be
every fast food lover’s dream. Unfortunately, half of grapefruit and half a
glass of grapefruit juice cannot burn away fat in any circumstances, much less
when the dieter is busy feasting on meat and vegetables. While it’s true that
this diet bans complex carbohydrates in order to help weight loss it is worth
remembering that these complex carbs are the main energy source for the body.
Even if the idea that grapefruit burns fat just like that was proved correct,
this diet is still too unbalanced to be a sound long-term eating plan. Fried
foods and fat foods are associated with increased risks of heart diseases and
cancer, which is not a good tradeoff for lower body weight. Eating large
portions of food on a regular basis is also not a very good idea and it
certainly does not square with a strict diet.
Basically, this seems to be one of those diets that count on using the names of
famous institutions or famous people in order to push silly ideas. What’s worse
is that some people are desperate enough to actually believe in this type of
eating plan, especially since they are attracted to the idea of a diet rich in
meat. This diet is unbalanced from the nutritional point of view and encourages
overeating. Avoid it and choose a better eating plan instead; one that doesn’t
sound as good, but which will help you lose weight.
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Friday, 22 July 2011

The Slim Fast Diet

Some diets advise dieters to eat large quantities of vegetables, others try to
make people eat a single food for a whole day. The Slim Fast Diet has the shake.
It sounds pretty much like what the folks at Herbalife are pushing, although it
may be the other way around. Diets are a dime a dozen these days and it’s hard
to keep track of who came with which idea and when. So let’s discuss instead the
basic features of this diet and the usual pros and cons. This is one of the
diets that people seem either to love or hate, as some claim that it works
wonders, while others speak of it as a rip-off.
The basic idea is to replace two daily meals with Slim Fast shakes, accompanied
by two pieces of fruit and a nutrition bar, and to have a sensible dinner at the
end of the day. A sensible dinner means that you are allowed to eat whatever you
want, as long as you keep the portions average. At least this is the theory. In
practice you will soon find out that dinner is the only time you can get some
actual nutritious food, aside from the vitamins and minerals-laden shakes, which
means that your food options are limited to those that can keep you on your feet
and thinking clearly.
Aside from the shakes, dieters have to drink between 6 and 8 glasses of water
per day in order to help the weight loss process along. Dieters should also
exercise during this diet, but I’m not so sure that a 1,200 calories a day
intake can support a program of exercises. On the other hand, the added
exercises should help you shed weight faster and spend less time on the diet.
Some people complained of having to buy all those shakes and bars, but I’d say
that trading two regular meals for two shakes tends to balance out the costs.
Actually, it seems that the biggest problem dieters face is the fact that every
one is on his own. There is no outside structure, there is no support. Just a
box of shakes and your own common sense. This is a good thing for some because
it helps build self-reliance and teach people to gain control of their own
eating process not just during the diet, but for the rest of their lives.
Nevertheless, many fail without outside support and this may be a big issue with
this diet.
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The South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet is one of the odd fishes swimming in the treacherous waters
of the international weight loss industry. Many people love it and are perfectly
willing to swear by the good name of M.D. Arthur Agatston, while others find it
hard to stick to the obligatory induction phase. The South Beach Diet belongs to
the low-carbohydrates group of diets and has been derided as a fad diet,
although its fans claim that it is not a fad diet and that it is, in any case,
much more responsible and healthy than Atkins.
Dieters who choose the South Beach Diet can expect to see their food intake
restricted to lean meat, seafood, eggs, low fat dairy products, nuts, vegetables
(most of them, anyway), artificial sweeteners and a couple of carbohydrates of
the low glycemic variety. During the first phase of this diet, the shock phase,
most fruit and vegetables are still on the banned list, just like the rest of
carbohydrates. Unfortunately, some people find it hard to cope with the low
energy level, the fatigue and sometimes nausea that accompany this phase.
However, it should be noted that not all dieters experience these symptoms. It’s
all in our genetic make-up.
The bets part of this diet is the focus on removing simple carbohydrates
(sweets, pasta, bread) from the diet and replacing them with the healthier
complex carbohydrates from wholegrains and vegetables. The worst part is the
marketing jargon that makes it sound like a fad diet and the tough first phase
of the diet, which sacrifices the long-term healthy eating approach for an
instant gratification technique based on the catch-all slogan “lose weight
fast”. Any such approach will have the dieter lose a lot of water and not that
much fat.
On the other hand, the second phase of the diet is a bunch of quite sensible
eating advice and the recipes provided by the author are very good. There are
also pre-packaged South Beach foods for those who lack the time or the
inclination to cook for themselves. All things considered, the South Beach Diet
is not a bad idea if one could clear away the hype and marketing lingo and focus
on the healthy eating part and the good food choices. This information is
something that should stay with you through the years if you’re looking to keep
that weight from returning.
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Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The Sugar Addict's Diet

Sugar seems to be addictive to a certain degree. The human body learns fast that
sugar means energy and that a lot of energy running through the system
translates into a good overall mood. Unfortunately, the good mood lasts just as
long as the amount of sugar in your blood stays above a certain level. Once the
amount of sugar drops below that particular level, the mood changes and the body
starts craving the next sugar fix that will make everything look good once more.
In this respect, sugar seems to operate just like any other psychoactive
substance or like adrenaline. You can learn to get high on all these substances.
The Sugar Addicts’ Diet focuses on breaking the addiction to sugar in order to
prevent the mood swings that prompt the addict to reach out for one more sugary
treat. These mood swings are hard to resist and the promise of the next fix is
so tempting that many people have no idea they’re hooked on something that is
not healthy. Truth be known, most addicts don’t want to face reality and
understand the truth about their addiction and many people hooked on sugar or
adrenalin have absolutely no idea that they’re using a substance to prop up
their moods.
This diet is largely based on the Glycemic Index approach because its purpose is
to weed out the sugary foods and replace them with foods belonging to a lower
Glycemic Index that release their sugar content slowly into the bloodstream and
do not trigger the rush. The basic idea is to identify hidden sugar in the foods
you eat. Many people don’t know that it’s not just sweets or soft drinks that
contain sugar, but also a lot of sauces, dips, yogurts and ready-to-eat foods
have enough sugar in them to cause the mood swings.
It’s pretty easy to figure that this diet is more of a lifestyle choice than a
proper diet. Of course you will lose weight by avoiding the foods rich in sugar,
but we cannot be sure if this is the best way to go for a committed user. If you
want to lose a certain number of pounds in a certain number of weeks, then
you’re probably better off choosing another eating plan because nobody knows how
fast you can lose weight under this one. Still, as a long-term maintenance
solution, this eating plan is a good idea, especially for those who are used to
eating a lot of sweets and are afraid that all those lost pounds will come back.
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Saturday, 16 July 2011

The Traffic Light Diet

The Traffic Light Diet relies on what may probably be the best-known color code
around to teach the user which foods should be avoided and which should be
consumed in greater proportions. This diet focuses on cutting down the amount of
calories contained in the daily food, instead of carbohydrates. Nothing new
here, for that matter; a lot of diets are based on low-calorie foods. The
cabbage soup diet, the Cambridge diet or the Ann Collins 14-day Diet come to
mind when discussing this issue.
According to the Traffic Light principle, the foods are split into three
categories. Red Light foods are high-calorie foods which contain few nutrients
and should be avoided. Yellow Light foods are high in calories, but also high in
nutrients, which makes them good to have around in moderate quantities. Green
Light foods, of course, have plenty of nutrients for only a low amount of
The basic idea is to eat as much Green Light food as you like, eat some Yellow
Light foods and only touch Red Light foods once in a while, when the urge
becomes unbearable. The less Red Light foods you eat, the more successful your
weight loss process is going to be. We all know that sticking to a diet is hard,
but if you really want to lose weight, then there are ways of motivating
yourself and going through the whole diet. Not to mention that Red Light foods
are not banned outright, but accepted in small amounts. This means that, yes,
it’s OK to have some cake once in a while.
The list of Green Light foods includes vegetables, fruits, fish (white meat
only), seafood, yogurt and low-fat milk. Yellow Light foods are potatoes, cheese
(the low-fat version), oily fish, lean meat, bread and cereals (high-fiber),
pasta, rice, seeds, nuts, beans and poultry. Red Light foods are everything
else. Buying the book describing the diet will get you some helpful 7-day eating
plans grouped according to lifestyles and information on portion sizes for many
of the foods listed in the three categories. There’s also a large section of
answers to frequent questions, recipes and exercising advice.
The best thing about this diet is the fact that it’s easy to understand and also
easy to follow. It’s not based on any kind of complex reasoning that requires
the help of a trained professional every step of the way and it’s not based on
foods that no store from your neighborhood has ever thought to market. If you
manage to stick to the diet’s principles you can expect to lose at least 1 pound
a week, which means that you will probably shed the actual fat and not the water
stored in your body. Don’t overdo it, though, because trying for 2 pounds a week
can prove to be a major health risk.
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Saturday, 9 July 2011

The X-Factor Diet

Well, it seems that people who cannot come up with an original idea, can at
least think of a trendy name containing the eye-catching and product selling
letter “X” and maybe even a reference to the popular X-Files series. I know that
the X-Files series is now ancient history, but so are the glory days of the
Atkins diet and of many other low carbs diets. However, this doesn’t mean that
low-carbs diets have stopped working. You just have to be very careful when
choosing one, because you might end up depriving yourself of vital minerals or
So, what else is it to this X-Factor Diet beside the rather out of place use of
the letter X? Well, not much. The same old idea that cutting off the carbs will
help bring blood sugar levels under control and reduce the amount of insulin
released into the cardiovascular system. This will, of course, prompt the body
to start burning up the energy stored as fat in order to make up for the
difference in energy levels. By controlling insulin levels, the user can prevent
or even treat the condition known as Syndrome X (hence the book title) or
insulin resistance, which diminishes the effect of insulin on fat and promotes
The diet features two programs to choose from, depending on how much fat you’re
planning to shed, but both of them are basically the same low-carbs,
high-protein diet. The biggest difference between the X-Factor and Atkins is the
fact that X-Factor avoids the fried foods and butter promoted by Atkins and
focuses instead on healthier fats obtained from lean meat, chicken, eggs and
fish. Bread, pasta, wholegrains, rice, beans and most fruit and vegetables are
out. However, the Insulin Balance eating plan allows a bit more vegetables and
fruits than the Ketogenics plan.
Following the stricter plan women can expect to shed between 4 and 12 pounds in
the first two weeks, followed by 1 to 2 pounds later on. Men are likely to lose
between 8 and 16 pounds during the first phase of the diet. Overall, this diet
is a little better than the Atkins diet, but still not very healthy for users.
Healthy eating requires you to split the intake of calories between carbs (50
percent), fat (35 percent) and protein (15 percent). A diet that replaces carbs
with proteins is likely to mean trouble later on, especially since no studies
have managed to prove that low-carbs diets are better than low-calorie diets.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

The Zone Diet

The celebrity diet par excellence. It’s trendy to be in the Zone and it’s nice
to be in the company of stars, to go through what they have gone. The Zone is
also a nice sounding name, good for all kinds of marketing purposes. One of the
things that have made this diet a success among celebrities is the fact that a
lot of diet food delivery companies have included Zone foods in their menus.
Those who can afford this kind of expenses are probably glad that they don’t
have to go through the whole shopping and cooking experience.
The Zone Diet is built around the classic mix of low-far foods, such as chicken
and fish, low-fat cheese, small amounts of fruits and vegetables and some olive
oil. The Zone itself is a fancy term for achieving a state of hormonal balance
(especially in insulin and glucagon) that allows the body to expend the energy
intake in an efficient manner and to avoid storing calories as fat. Therefore,
dieters are encouraged to eat a lot of non-starchy raw vegetables, a small
amount of protein, a smaller amount of carbohydrates and enough monosaturated
oils to keep the feeling of hunger away.
The good side of the diet is the restriction of refined carbohydrates, which are
low in nutrition, and the focus on low-starch vegetables and fruits.
Nevertheless, the American Heart Association does not recommend the Zone Diet
because of the lack of essential nutrients, high-protein content and the general
lack of information about its long-term effects. Since the diet is quite low on
the daily intake of calories, it does not seem to be designed for the long term,
but rather as a quick fix. Exercising is pretty much out of the question with
such a low amount of calories.
Another problem that dieters are bound to face, except for those who pay for
food deliveries, is that meals have to be calculated to include the exact amount
of fat, protein and carbohydrates required by the diet. This is not always easy
for the average dieter and it has every chance of becoming a bigger problem over
extended periods of time. Also, dieters have traditionally found it hard to stay
on a diet that is very low in carbohydrates because the feeling of hunger is
almost always present.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Too Many Calories

How many calories do you need? Well, that depends on a lot of things. Your age,
sex, type of work, physical activity, all come into play. There is no one answer
for this type of thing. I have to warn you, I don't believe the general ideas on
how many calories a person should have. If you have a 2,000 calorie diet, you
are starving yourself. I know that some people live and die by this number, but
I just throw it to the wind. Why don't I pay attention to a number such as
2,000? Only because it is stupid. Yes, you heard me right, stupid. How is a
person who is very active going to live off of 2,000 calories? I mean, you would
end up looking like those dying skinny kids in the 3rd world countries.
I think you get the drift though. I think those numbers are put in place by
people who are so focused on health, that they are blinded by it. I mean, if you
have 3,000 calories in one day, it won't kill you. Though, they might want to
make you believe that it will.
I'm not saying that you should throw all of this stuff to the wind. That would
be foolish. What I am saying is, you should take it with a grain of salt. There
is no reason why you should get bent out of shape if you go a few hundred or
even a thousand over this limit. I mean, if you are going over by 5,000 then you
should be worried. Some people do need to be concerned with such a thing. For
example, people who are on a diet because of heart problems. You should be very
focused on your diet. Also people with sugar problems would fall into this
category as well.
If you don't have some sort of health problem, I wouldn't get too bent out of
shape. Though, if you are eating from the drive through lane every day, then you
might have a problem. What am I saying? Use common sense. Understand where your
calories are coming from. If you are eating 3,500 calories and they are mostly
from things that are good for you, don't go ape shit on yourself. If on the
other hand if it is all from candy and deep fried foods, I would be concerned.
You should be more concerned about where the calories are coming from.

Ahhh, now I think you see what I mean. If you are eating 1,500 calories alone of fruits
and veggies, that is better than eating that in fat. Isn't it all the same? Not
really. I would say that it isn't the same. I know that some of you will argue
with that. It isn't the same because the calories are coming from a good source.
They are coming from things that are good for you. The fruits and veggies will
help you out in many ways. They will also help you fight off cancer and heart
disease. This isn't true if you are over eating on fats and sweets.

What to do? Well, all I know is what I have stated above. If you are eating over
2,000 calories and you are eating things that are good for you, I wouldn't be
too concerned. As always, you should talk to your doctor. That is the best
advice I can give you. You should always talk to him before you go and do
something new. You might have a health condition that will require you to go on
a diet that he tells you to go on.
If you are healthy, base most of your diet on raw fruits and veggies. That is
where the action is. That is where you will get the most bang for your calorie.
Happy eating.