=Phenq=Most people who read my articles and e-books know me being a science guy who likes to quote studies and apply research to everyday problems for example weight loss, bodybuilding, and other health/fitness related topics. However, sometimes you need to step back from the science and consider the big picture to help you bring people back to focus, so they can understand the forest for the trees, as it were.
For most people reading this article, finding a highly effective diet that works quite often must seem as complicated as nuclear physics. It isn't, but there are a bewildering variety of choices for diets on the market. High fat or no fat? High carbohydrate or no carbohydrate? Low protein or high protein? To make matters worse, there are a million variations and combinations for the above diet scenarios to enhance the confusion. It seems like endless and causes lots of people to throw up their hands in frustration and quit. In this article I will try to change all that.
There are many general guidelines, rules of thumb, and ways of viewing an eating plan program that will allow you decide, once and for all, if it's good nutrition for you. You may not always like some tips i have to say, and you should be under no illusions that is another quick fix, "lose 100 lbs. in 20 days," guide of some type. However, if you are sick of being confused, sick and tired of taking the weight off just to put it back on, and tired of wondering how to take the initial steps to deciding the right diet for you that will cause permanent weight loss, then this is the article which could change your life...
Does what you eat pass "The Test"?
What is the number one reason diets fail long term; above all else? The number one reason is...drum roll...a lack of long term compliance. The numbers don't lie; the vast majority of people who lose weight will regain it - and often exceed what they lost. You knew that already didn't you?
Yet, what are you doing to avoid it? Here's another reality check: virtually any diet you pick which follows the fundamental concept of "burning" more calories then you definitely consume - the received well "calories in calories out" mantra - can cause you to lose weight. To some degree, they all work: Atkins-style, no carb diets, zero fat high carb diets, various fad diets - it does not matter in the short term.
In case your goal is to lose some weight quickly, then make a choice and follow it. I promise will lose some weight. Studies generally find any of the commercial weight loss diets will get approximately the same quantity of weight off after Six months to a year. As an example, a recent study found the Atkins' Diet, Slim-Fast plan, Dieters Pure Points program, and Rosemary Conley's Eat Yourself Slim diet, counseled me equally effective. (1)
Other studies comparing other popular diets have come to essentially the same conclusions. By way of example, a study that compared the Atkins diet, the Ornish diet, Weight Watchers, and The Zone Diet, found these to be essentially the same in their ability to take weight off after 12 months. (2)
Recall what I said about the biggest reason diets fail, that is a lack of compliance. Charge researcher of this recent study stated:
"Our trial found that adherence level instead of diet type was the key predictor of weight loss"(3)
Translated, it isn't which diet they chose by itself, but their ability to actually follow a diet that predicted how much loss success. I'm able to just see the hands increasing now, "but Will, some diets must be better than others, right?" Are some diets better then others? Absolutely. Some diets are healthier then others, some diets be more effective at preserving lean body mass, some diets be more effective at suppressing appetite - there are numerous differences between diets. However, while most of the popular diets will last taking weight off, what is abundantly clear is adhering to the diet is a vital aspect for keeping the body weight off long term.
Exactly what is a diet?
A diet is really a short term strategy to lose weight. Long term weight loss is the result of an alteration in lifestyle. We are concerned with life long weight-loss, not quick fix weight reduction here. I don't just like the term diet, because it represents a short term try to lose weight vs. changing your lifestyle. Want to lose a number of weight quickly? Heck, I am going to give you the information on how to do this here and now for no charge.
For the following 90 to 120 days eat 12 scrambled egg-whites, one whole grapefruit, along with a gallon of water twice each a day. You will lose a lot of weight. Will it be healthy? Nope. Will the load stay off once you are done with this diet and so are then forced to go back to your "normal" way of eating? Not a chance. Will the weight you lose come from fat or might it be muscle, water, bone, and (hopefully!) some fat? The actual being, there are many diets around that are perfectly able to uncover weight off you, when considering any diet program designed to lose weight, you have to ask yourself:
"Is this a strategy for eating I can follow lasting?"
Which brings me to my test: I refer to it the "Can I eat like that for the rest of my life?" Test. I know, it does not exactly roll off your tongue, nevertheless it gets the point across.
The lesson the following is: any nutritional plan you choose to lose weight must be section of a lifestyle change you'll be able to follow - in a form or another - forever. That is, if it's not a way of eating you'll be able to comply with indefinitely, despite you get to your target weight, it's worthless.
Thus, many dietary fads you see out there are immediately eliminated, and you don't have to worry about them. The question is not whether the dishes are effective in the short term, but if the diet can be followed indefinitely like a lifelong way of eating. Going from "their" method of eating back to "your" way of eating after you reach your target weight can be a recipe for disaster and the source of the well established yo-yo dieting syndrome. Net profit: there are no short cuts, there is absolutely no free lunch, and just a commitment to a life style change is going to keep the fat off long lasting. I realize that's not what a lot of people want to hear, yet it's the truth, like it or otherwise.
The statistics don't lie: getting the weight off is not hardest part, keeping the weight off is! If you take a close look at the many well-known fad/commercial diets out there, and you're simply honest with yourself, and apply my test above, you'll find most of them no longer work for you as they once did. What's more, it brings me to an example that adds additional clarity: When you have diet A that can cause the most weight loss in the shortest amount of time but is unbalanced and essentially impossible to follow along with long term vs. diet B, that may take the weight off with a slower pace, but is a lot easier to follow, balanced, healthy, and another you can comply with every single year, which is superior? If diet A gets 30 lbs off you in 30 days, but by the coming year you have gained back all 30 lbs, but diet B gets 20 lbs off you in the next 3 months with another 20 lbs Three months after that and the weight stays off after that year, the better diet?
Unless you know the answer to those questions, you've totally missed the aim of this article and the lesson it's attempting to teach you, and are build for failure. Go back and read this section again...Automagically, diet B is superior.
Teach a male to Fish...
A trendy Chinese Proverb is - Give you a man a fish and also you feed him for the day. Teach a male to fish and you also feed him forever.
This expression fits perfectly together with the next essential step in how to decide what eating plan you should follow to shed pounds permanently. Will the dietary plan you are considering teach you the way to eat long term, or should it spoon-feed you information? Will the diet plan rely on special bars, shakes, supplements or pre-made foods they supply?
Let's do another diet A vs. diet B comparison. Diet A will probably supply you with their foods, and special drink or bars to nibble on, and tell you exactly when you ought to eat them. You may lose - say - 30 lbs by 50 % months. Diet B will almost certainly attempt to help you learn which foods you need to eat, how many calories you have to eat, why you need to eat them, and generally attempt to help teach you how to eat as part of a total lifestyle change that will allow you to make informed decisions concerning your nutrition. Diet B leads to a slow steady weight reduction of 8 -10 lbs per month for the next 6 months and also the weight stays off since you now know how to eat properly.
Can remember the Chinese proverb. Both diets will aid you to lose weight. Only one diet, however, will coach you on how to be self-reliant after your experience is finished. Diet A is easier, to be sure, and causes faster weight loss than diet B, and diet B takes longer and requires some thinking and learning from you. However, when diet A is over, you are right back in places you started and have been given no skills to fish. Diet companies don't make their profits by with instructions on to fish, they've created their money by handing that you simply fish so you must have used them indefinitely or get back to them after you gain each of the weight back.
Thus, diet B is superior for enabling you to succeed where other diets failed, with knowledge gained that you can apply long term. Diet programs that attempt to spoon feed which you diet without any try and teach you how to eat without their help and/or rely on their shakes, bars, cookies, or pre-made foods, is yet another diet you can eliminate from a list of choices.
Diet programs that offer weight loss by drinking their product for a number of meals followed by a "sensible dinner;" diets that permit you to eat their special cookies for many meals along with their pre-planned menu; or diets that try and have you eating their bars, drink, or pre-made meals, are of the diet A variety covered above. They're simple to follow but destined for failure, long term. They all fail the "Can I eat like that for the rest of my life?" test, unless you really think you can eat cookies and shakes for the remainder of your life...Bottom line this is, if the nutritional approach you use to lose weight, be it from your book, a class, a clinic, or even an e-book, does not teach you how you can eat, it's a loser for too long term weight loss plus it should be avoided.
The missing link for too long term weight loss
We now make our method to another test that will help you choose a nutrition program for too long term weight loss, also it does not actually involve nutrition. The missing link for long term weight loss is exercise. Being active is the essential component of long term weight loss. Many diet programs do not contain an exercise component, which means they're losers for long term weight-loss from the very start. Any program that has its focus on weight reduction but does not will include a comprehensive exercise plan is similar to buying a car without tires, or perhaps a plane without wings. Those who have successfully kept the extra weight off overwhelmingly have incorporated exercise to their lives, and the studies that appear to be at people who have successfully dropped excess weight and kept it well invariably find they will were consistent with their diet program and exercise plans. (4)
That's not me going to list each of the benefits of regular exercise here, but routine workouts has positive effects on your own metabolism, allows you to eat more calories but still be in a calorie deficit, which enable it to help preserve lean muscle mass (LBM) which is essential to your health and metabolism. The numerous health benefits of regular exercise are very well known, so I won't bother adding them here. The conclusion here is, (a) if you have any intentions of getting the most from your goal of slimming down and (b) intend to keep it off long term, physical exercise must be an integral part of the weight loss strategy. So, you are able to eliminate any program, whether it's book, e-book, clinic, etc. that doesn't offer you direction that assist with this essential a part of long term weight loss.
Side Bar: A fast note on exercise:
Any being active is better than no exercise. However, like fat loss programs, not all exercise is made the same, and many people often choose the wrong form of exercise to optimize their efforts to shed weight. For example, they will do aerobics exclusively and ignore strength training. Resistance training is an essential element of fat loss, as it builds muscle vital to your metabolism, increases Round the clock energy expenditure, and has health benefits beyond aerobics.
Your reader will also note I said fat loss above not weight-loss. Though I use the word 'weight loss' throughout this article, I really do so only since it is a familiar term most people understand. However, the true focus and objective of a properly set up nutrition and use plan should be on fat loss, not weight loss. An importance on losing weight, which might include a loss essential muscle, water, as well as bone, as well as fat, could be the wrong approach. Losing body fat and keeping the valuable lean body mass (LBM), is the goal, and the method for achieving available in my ebook(s) on trading, and is beyond the scope informed. Bottom line: the type of exercise, power of that exercise, period of time doing that exercise, etc., are crucial variables here an internet to lose FAT while retaining (LBM).
Psychology 101 of long lasting weight loss
Many diet programs out there don't address the psychological part of why people neglect to be successful with lasting weight loss. However, quite a few studies exist that have looked at just that. People, the psychological aspect is the central for long term fat loss, and probably the most underappreciated component.
Studies that compare the psychological characteristics of people who have successfully kept the load off to people who have regained the extra weight, see clear differences between these groups. For example, one study that looked over 28 obese girls that had lost weight but regained the weight that they had lost, when compared with 28 formerly obese females who had lost weight and maintained how much they weigh for at least one year and 20 women using a stable weight inside the healthy range, found the girls who regained the weight:
o Had a tendency to judge self-worth in terms of weight and shape
o Were built with a lack of vigilance regarding weight control
o a dichotomous (black-and-white) thinking style
o Had the tendency to make use of eating to regulate mood.
The study concluded:
"The results claim that psychological factors may provide some explanation that explains why many people with obesity regain weight following diet and lifestyle .."
This particular study was done on women, in order that it reflects some of the specific psychological issues for women who live - but make no mistake here - men likewise have their own psychological conditions that can sabotage their long lasting weight loss efforts. (6)
Additional studies on people find psychological characteristics like "having unrealistic weight goals, poor coping or problem-solving skills and low self-efficacy" often predict failure with lasting weight loss. (7) However, psychological traits usual to people who experienced successful long term weight loss include "...an enclosed motivation to lose weight, social support, better coping strategies and talent to handle life stress, self-efficacy, autonomy, assuming responsibility in life, and overall more psychological strength and stability." (8)
The primary point of this section would be to illustrate that psychology plays an important role in determining if everyone is successful with lasting weight loss. If it's not addressed as part of the overall plan, it can be the factor that makes or breaks your ability to succeed. This, however, is not an area most nutrition programs can adequately tackle and should not be expected to. However, better programs do generally attempt to help with motivation, setting goals, and support. You may notice yourself in the above lists in the groups that failed to maintain their weight long-term, then know you simply must address those issues via counseling, support groups, etc. Don't expect any weight loss program to cover this topic adequately but do seek out programs that make an effort to offer support, goal setting tips, and resources that will keep you on track.
"There's a sucker born every minute"
So just why don't you see this form of honest information about the realities of long lasting weight loss more often? To be honest here, telling the truth isn't the best way to sell bars, shakes, books, supplements, and programs. Hell, if by some miracle everyone who look at this article actually followed it, and sent it on to millions of other people who actually followed it, makers of said products could be in financial trouble quickly. However, additionally they know - because the man said - "there's a sucker born every minute," so I doubt they will be kept up at night worrying about the effects that I, or this article, will have on their business.
Let's quickly recap what has been learned here: the important picture realities of permanent weight reduction and how you can look at an appetite suppressant program and decide for yourself if it's for you determined by what has been covered above:
o Permanent fat loss is not about getting a quick fix diet, but making a commitment to life style changes offering nutrition and exercise
o Any weightloss program you choose must pass the "Can I eat like that for the rest of my life?" test,
o The weight loss program you choose should ultimately show you how to eat and be self reliant so you can make informed lasting choices about your nutrition.
o The body weight loss program you decide on should not leave you dependent on commercial bars, shakes, supplements, or pre-made foods, for your long term success.
o The load loss program you decide on must have an effective exercise component.
o The extra weight loss program you decide on should attempt to benefit motivation, goal setting, and support, but cannot be a replacement for psychological counseling if required.
I want to take this final section to provide some additional points and clarity. For starters, the above advice isn't for everyone. It's not created for those who really have their nutrition dialed in, such as competitive bodybuilders as well as other athletes who take advantage of fairly dramatic alterations in their nutrition, including 'off season' and 'pre-contest' and so on.
This content is also not designed for those with medical issues who might be on a specific diet to take care of or manage a specific problem. The article is intended for your average person who wants to log off the Yo-Yo diet merry-go-round forever. As that's probably 99% of people, it will cover huge numbers of people.
People should also stop scared off by my "you must eat this way forever" advice. This does not mean you will be dieting throughout your life and have only starvation to look to. What it does mean, however, is that you will have to learn to eat properly even after you reach your target weight and that way of eating should not be a huge departure from the way you ate to lose the extra weight in the first place. Once you get to your target weight - and or your target bodyfat levels - you are going to go onto a maintenance phase which usually has more calories and different amounts of food, even the occasional treat, being a slice of pizza or whatever.
Maintenance diets can be a logical extension from the diet you accustomed to lose the weight, but they are not using the diet you followed that put the weight on to start with!