Friday, 1 August 2008

Diet Plans for Weight Loss

Diet Plans for Weight Loss

Ever since obesity has been termed as an epidemic, it has attracted attention throughout the world. In America weight loss has become an industry. The air is thick with discussions and counter-discussions about various diet plans being proposed by various people.

There is a 5-Factor Diet, Atkins Diet, Bob Greene's Best Life Diet, South Beach Diet, Cabbage Soup Diet, Carbohydrate Addict's Diet, Anne Collin’s diet and now you have DASH diet and Fat Smash Diet and Size Zero Diet and …. it goes on!

Proponents of each of these diet plans make claims of how much weight you will lose and how rapidly you will lose weight. Some go to the extent of claiming that you will lose up to 10-12 lbs in a week whereas medical experts warn that such claims are ridiculous and weight loss of such proportions can come about only by losing water which is detrimental to the system. Moreover there is always the danger of gaining weight just as rapidly when you stop working on the plan.

Essentially all these plans boil down to a few basics! The body weight is contributed by fat, muscles, bones and water. Excess calorie intake is responsible for increased weight and so cut down the excess intake of calories. Increase metabolism so that stored fat can be burnt off; burn off the fat that is stored in the body by exercises and fat burning food. But do not starve the body of the essential nutrients.

Basically diet plans fall into three broad categories: the “fad diets”, those that are based on specially processed food and those that can be called as “natural diet” plans.

There is no clear definition of “fad diet”; it is very subjective. Fad diet is popularly believed to be a poor weight loss diet. A fad diet generally becomes very popular very quickly and falls out of favor just as quickly. Fad diets quite often claim very quick weight loss. Their claims for efficacy are generally not confirmed by any legitimate scientific studies. Often promoted by parties that publish books about the diet or those that sell some supplements or ingredients that are part of the fad diet, a fad diet may not achieve anything at all or at times may have an adverse effect on health.

The natural diet plan is based on use of food constituents that are normally in your diet; it recommends some of the constituents as being helpful and some others as being harmful from the point of view of weight loss. For example, it may recommend certain fish such as Sardines, herrings, etc as providing beneficial Omega 3 fatty acids or may recommend use of lean meat but not others such as pork; it may recommend low-fat skimmed milk but not the normal fresh milk. Natural diet is based on very clearly understood and recognized scientific knowledge.

The third category of diet plans mentioned above are based on use of specially processed food ingredients or supplements; this category is so highly commercialized that even if it has scientific basis at times lies on the boundary of fad diet plans.

No comments: