Saturday, August 15, 2009

Why Diets Don't Work

You see the infomercials - drop a dress size in 6 weeks, lose up to 30lbs in a month, eat all you want and still lose weight. There is a tremendous flaw with all of this - the long term accomplishes nothing. I am not a diet guru but I do know that most diets teach you nothing. Take Jenny Craig for example.

Jenny Craig works, and it works well. If you follow the plan accordingly, you will lose a ton of weigh - will you keep it off though... nope. The reason is because Jenny Craig (and about 90% of commercial diets) teach bad habits. They have you running for your freezer and microwave and are not teaching you how to feed yourself.

If you go to the doctor and ask, "What is the best way to lose weight?" A doctor won't tell you to call up NutraSystem or Atkins, he'll tell you to decrease your calorie count - plain and simple.

This diet has opened my eyes to how poorly I was eating before, and how poorly most Americans eat. I remember there would be weeks in a row where I would only be eating take-out. Sure, I got salads all the time but even salads from take-out places are upwards of 1,000 calories. One salad could be half of what your body needs to maintain weight!

The average person should be eating 5 "meals" per day. Each "meal" should be, on average, 200 to 400 calories with an optional snack at the end of the evening (something until 100 calories). Now tell me where, at any normal take-out, fast food or sit-down dining place you can find a meal for 200-400 calories? It's nearly impossible.

I hate it, I really don't think it's any fun but counting calories is the very best way to lose weight. I think Weight Watchers does a pretty good job with this, though counting calories is something anyone can do without need for points or conversions. The best thing is that it gets easier with time. The more you count calories, the more you learn.

I am not all high and mighty about diets. I don't think everyone needs to go on a diet, even if they are considered overweight, I just think I've learned my lesson with the gimmicks and the fad diets. And, like I said, my eyes are now open to what I should and shouldn't be consuming.

One month on this diet and I've lost 10lbs. Sure, it's sort of a slow weight loss, but it is weight I will keep off. I've also been doing the Couch to 5K program, and I'm running about a mile a day. Everyday that goes by, I feel better and better. I am starting to really love running and the feeling I get from it afterwards. Soon, I'll be able to fit in some of my clothes again and then I will do a little happy dance!

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