Next week you'll be making your annual New Year's
resolution that this will be the year that you finally
lose those extra pounds and keep them off!
The good news is that you will have lots of choices for
losing that weight.
The bad news is that most of those choices are bogus!
You see each diet book and Internet marketer will have
a "magic formula".
Sometimes it will be a "magic" diet composition - low
fat diets, low carb diets, high protein diets - or
don't eat protein and carbohydrates together.
Sometimes it will be a "magic" food - grapefruit,
cabbage soup, acai berries or chocolate.
All of these diets are hyped with a lot of scientific
sounding mumbo jumbo and many of them have short term
studies that seem to show that they work.
But whenever well designed scientific studies have been
performed that compare these diets at equal calorie
levels and look at weight loss over two years or more
there is not a dimes worth of difference between them.
Despite all of the hype that you will hear, weight loss
is solely dependent on the difference between calories
in and calories out.
There is no "magic diet formula", no "magic diet
composition" and no "magic diet food". Calories rule!
Did you really think that someone had repealed the laws
Once you understand and accept that the difference
between calories in and calories out is the most
important determinant of successful weight loss, you
can start to understand the key principles of
successful weight loss.
Principle #1: The diet doesn't have to be weird to be
In fact the diet is most likely to succeed if it
includes foods that are familiar to you.
If you're a "meat and potatoes" guy, a vegetarian diet
is not likely to be successful for you (Some of my
friends refer to that kind of diet as "rabbit food").
Plus, we are all different. Some of us will lose weight
successfully on one diet. Other people will be more
successful on a different diet.
That means that the diet that worked so well for your
friend might not work at all for you. You will need to
experiment a bit to find the best diet for you
And, before you ask me, your body type or blood type
has absolutely nothing to do with which diet is going
to work best for you.
I do want to add a caveat, however: You do need to make
some changes to your diet. You will want to drop some
foods from your diet and include some foods and diet
drinks that are new to you.
You will want to think about what you are eating and
make conscious choices about which foods are helping
you fulfill your goals of losing weight and which are
Principle #2: The diet should be one that is healthy in
the long run.
I'm particularly talking about the popular high fat,
low carbohydrate diets here. It is clear that diets
high in fat - particularly saturated and trans fats -
are associated with increased risk of heart disease,
diabetes, cancer and inflammatory diseases.
Plus, high fat diets just don't work well for long term
weight control. Fat has more calories than
carbohydrate. This is not rocket science!
Just in case you don't believe me you just need to
consult the National Weight Control Registry. The
National Weight Control Registry was established in
1994 and has tracked the weight loss strategies of over
5000 people who have been successful at keeping their
weight off long term.
While those people lost weight using every diet in the
books, the vast majority of them that were successful
at keeping their weight off long term followed a low
calorie, low-fat diet to maintain their weight loss.
Principle #3. Don't forget the other part of the
That's right, I'm talking about exercise.
While you burn some calories every time you exercise,
the real value of exercise is that it increases lean
muscle mass - and lean muscle mass burns more calories
Again, if you consult the National Weight Control
Registry, you will find that virtually everyone who has
been successful at keeping the weight off exercises on
an almost daily basis.
Principle #4: Don't start if you can't finish.
Once again, the National Weight Control Registry puts
that in perfect perspective.
Almost everyone who was successful at keeping the
weight off long term had stopped thinking of it as a
diet. It was just a way of life.
It was how they ate. It was the exercise that they
liked to do on a daily basis. It no longer required any
conscious effort. It no longer required any will power.
This is perhaps the most important weight control
principle of all.
When you make your resolutions this New Year, don't
make a resolution to change your weight.
Make a resolution to change your life!
To Your Health!
Dr. Stephen Chaney
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food
and Drug Administration. This information is not
intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any
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