Wednesday, September 29, 2010

6 Reasons Why We Don't Lose Weight

Doctors hear this complaint often: “I’m dieting all the time, but I can’t lose any weight.” For many people, losing weight
is a frustrating endeavor. No matter how hard they seem to be trying, nothing changes. What is going on? Identifying the problem is only part of the solution.

6 common reasons why we don’t lose weight

   1. Many of our social interactions include food.
   2. Restaurants portions have increased (particularly fast food).
   3. We are less active than in the past.
   4. We find it unacceptable to be hungry.
   5. We misunderstand how weight is maintained.
   6. We forget the extra food we eat everyday, or we think we ate less than we did.

It’s also important to remember that when we consume fewer calories, we have a tendency to be less active, which probably stems from our biological programming to preserve body weight for survival.

Simple truths about weight loss

Many people think weight loss is like emptying a bucket with a ladle. A scoop out of the bucket today, tomorrow, next week will eventually empty the bucket. Not so with our bodies. When we decrease our food intake, our bodies try to absorb and store more calories the next time we eat in excess of what our body needs. So, even though we are cutting down most of the time, we will not lose weight if we get extra calories part of the time.

The simple rule of weight loss is that you must consistently burn off more calories than you take in. Any type of weight loss diet can work as long as calorie intake is consistently reduced, every day. A diet that is balanced with small quantities of vegetables, fruit, grains and lean meat or fish is the healthiest. Exercise helps, but unless you are an athlete, you will have to cut calories, too. And remember, it’s OK to be hungry when losing weight. Once a goal is achieved, every day is for maintaining. If you go back to eating more and exercising less, the weight will go right back on.
Factoring exercise into your weight loss plan

You can exercise more to lose weight, but beware of this idea. Most people don’t realize how much exercise is needed to lose weight without cutting calories. Plus, exercise increases appetites. If a dieter can avoid eating any more than was consumed before the diet and can burn off an additional 500 calories every day, that person can lose a pound a week. One mile, walked or run, or five miles on a bike, burns 100 calories. If you can do five miles a day—every day—and not eat any more no matter where you are or what you are doing, you can lose a pound a week. Or, you can cut 250 calories per day and do two and a half miles to accomplish the same thing.

South Beach Diet

This hugely popular diet promises diligent followers an initial weight loss
of 8-13 pounds in the first two weeks. The emphasis is on avoiding highly processed carbohydrates, such as those found in baked goods, breads, snacks and soft drinks. Divided into three phases, the diet gradually reintroduces some initially forbidden foods. One premise of the diet is that low-fat prepared foods can be a bad idea except in the case of low-fat cheese, milk and yogurt. Exercise is not emphasized with this diet.

Overview of the South Beach Diet

Developed by cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston, the South Beach Diet is self-described as "neither low-fat nor low-carb," but rather a method that teaches followers to rely on the "right" carbs and the "right" fats.

Like the Atkins Diet, this plan is divided into phases: Phase One lasts 14 days, and is the strictest. Normal-sized portions of lean protein are allowed, as are vegetables, nuts, cheese and eggs. The goal of this phase is to eat three meals a day so that followers aren't left feeling hungry, and to eliminate cravings for starches and sweets. Phase Two lasts until dieters reach their weight-loss goal, and reintroduces some foods that were banned in Phase One, such as whole-grain breads and dairy foods. Phase Three is all about maintenance, and is less a phase than a "way of life."
What you can eat on the South Beach Diet?

South Beach is very specific about steering followers toward foods they can eat on the diet and away from the foods they should avoid. It promises followers that they don't have to give up delicious foods to lose weight, and points out that top restaurants in Miami cater to those following the South Beach credo, going so far as to promise that "now you can eat like a movie star - and look like one!" On the diet, eating out is allowed, snacks are required, and flexibility is emphasized. To compensate for the overall cut in carbohydrates, the South Beach diet allows ample fats and animal proteins in meals. Chicken, turkey, and fish are recommended, along with nuts, milk, cheeses and yogurt.
What you can't eat on the South Beach Diet?

South Beach advises those looking to lose weight to avoid the highly processed carbohydrates found in baked goods, breads, snacks and soft drinks. Followers are cautioned to avoid eating low-fat prepared foods, the logic being that the fats in these foods are replaced with carbohydrates, and are therefore still fattening.
Sonoma Diet eating options

South Beach is very specifically divided into three phases. During the first two weeks, carbohydrates are dramatically cut down from the diet. The theory is that once weight decreases, followers start to metabolize carbohydrates properly and the craving for carbs subsequently disappears. This phase is very strict and totally eliminates fruit, bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, sugar, alcohol, fast food and baked goods from the diet. The next phase allows gradual reintroductions of foods like pasta, bread, fruit and cereal to meals, although followers can't eat them all at once or to excess.
Exercise recommendations

Exercise is not a requirement for success in The South Beach Diet.  That said, a good exercise program would be a great supplement to the South Beach plan - for more information on exercise programs see the Diet Channel's Fitness: General Info.
Sonoma Diet: number of dieters

Anecdotal evidence suggests that this is among the top five diets in the country, although precise numbers are difficult to ascertain.
Success Rate One study of 40 overweight people showed that those who followed the South Beach Diet lost an average of 13.6 pounds, as compared to the 7.5-pound loss averaged by those on the "Step II" American Heart Association Diet. Clinical trials have shown that dieters see dramatic reductions in bad cholesterol and increases in good cholesterol when they follow the South Beach Diet.