DYING TO DIET?
Are you someone who has been told by your doctor that you need to lose weight? You know it’s important to do – but what diet should you choose? Your choice should be the one that is right for YOU.
THE DIET INDUSTRY
Obesity is a significant health risk – and in the U.S. it is an especially wide-spread problem.
As a consequence, the weight loss industry is cashing in. Weight loss is big business. According to IBISWorld report, companies that focus on weight-loss (Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Medifast) raked in $6.3 billion in revenue in 2015. That does not include sales of supplements, which add billions more, plus the medical costs for surgeries such as bariatric surgery.
The big business diet players are not always legitimate. The Federal Trade
Commission has brought more than 80 law enforcement actions against companies
for making false or deceptive weight-loss claims in just the past 10 years.
WATCH OUT FOR CLAIMS THAT:
So what should you do instead? Choose a life-change rather than a diet change. And choose something that you can stick with.
- Make promises like losing 10 pounds in 10 days
- Use words like “guaranteed” or “scientific breakthrough”
- Seem too good to be true (they often are)
THE RIGHT DIET FOR YOU
The reason that so many diets work – and don’t work – is success depends upon the person. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to losing weight and eating healthy.
If you need to lose a significant amount weight – ask yourself these questions:
Remember - calories in (food and beverage) should be less than calories out (burned through activity).
- What is your budget? Even Oprah (with a relatively unlimited budget) struggles to maintain a healthy weight and she can afford a personal chef! Before you choose a weight loss plan, figure out what you can afford to spend. Shopping and cooking for yourself is the least expensive. Medically supervised plans could cost the most. And don’t forget to add fitness support into your budget.
- What are your health issues? If you have diabetes or have high blood pressure – this will impact your options. If you haven’t had a physical lately, it would be a good idea to have one before embarking on a weight loss plan.
- What is your time schedule like? For those who are employed full time, with children, and perhaps caring for an aging parent, shopping and cooking may seem too time-consuming. If you’re short on time, find a menu plan that will not include fast-food as one of the options. Pre-prepared does not need to mean high-calorie and low-nutrition.
- What support do you have? Do you have family support – or do you need to look for outside resources? Those close to you can be supportive – and so can strangers that are in a community center. Make sure you have some sort of support lined up before you set out on a new nutrition plan.
- What hasn’t worked before? If you look at what you’ve tried, that hasn’t worked, can you spot the reason why it failed? Was it the lack of support? Too few choices? Too many choices? Be honest with yourself and develop a strategy to tackle the issue head on.
In one enlightening experiment a professor of human nutrition ate nothing but convenience store junk (think Twinkies and soda) but limited it to 1800 calories. (An average man burns about 2,400 calories just existing.) In two months the professor lost 27 pounds and lowered his bad cholesterol by 20%.
This is NOT the recommended path to weight loss, but you get the idea.
Choose a diet that will work for you - and consume fewer calories that you burn.