As the old year comes to a close and everyone begins to look forward to the beginning of a New Year, many people are also anticipating the beginning of their New Year’s resolutions. For numerous individuals, New Year’s resolutions will involve vows to cut back on their food intake, get on a diet and exercise regimen and drop at least a few pounds. The question that hangs in the air for those who are anticipating the start of a new diet lies in exactly which diet might happen to be right for them and which diet holds the key to helping them lose the most weight.

Certainly, there are numerous diets available and it seems like every few months a new diet or eating plan has emerged to become the new successful diet rage. Is it possible that all the popular diets can help you lose weight or are there certain diets that can help you lose more weight than others? 

This is the question that a group of researchers set out to answer recently. Over a period of two months, 160 individuals were monitored closely as they followed a supervised program. The varying factor among all 160 program participants was that they were allowed to choose whichever diet suited their fancy. Researchers waited and watched in anticipation to learn which diet or diets would prove to be most successful. 

What they learned at the conclusion of the study proved to be quite interesting. The data they collected not only helped them to learn more about which diet programs tend to be more successful in terms of total weight loss but also which diet programs more individuals were more likely to stick with for long term weight loss and maintenance. 

While the study participants were allowed to choose their favorite diet plan, most participants opted for one of the following: Atkins, Weight Loss, Ornish and the Zone. Even though initial data was conducted after just two months, researchers continued to study the remaining participants. They discovered that after a period of time more than half of those participants who opted for diet plans that focused on low carbs and high fat, such as the Atkins plan, dropped out. Additionally, approximately the same percentage of individuals who chose the Ornish plan, which focuses on low fat and high carb vegetarian foods, also quit their diets. Weight Watchers participants fared moderately better, with about two-thirds of that group participants sticking with it. The Zone participants showed similar results. 

So, which diet plans performed best overall in terms of total weight loss? Surprisingly, they all performed about the same. Those individuals participating in the Ornish plan who were able to stick with their diet for the entire year achieved a weight loss rate of about 6%; the highest of all groups. Atkins came in at about 4%, with Weight Watchers and the Zone performing at an average of 5% weight loss. Health risk factors related to obesity were an entirely different matter; however. In terms of heart disease risk, Weight Watchers participants decreased their risk by 15%, while other diet plans hovered in the 12% range. The Ornish diet plan participants, who showed a higher overall weight loss, showed a lower decrease in risk of heart disease, at just 7%. 

Overall; however, researchers concluded that in the end, there is no one magic diet. If you’re planning to resolve to lose weight in the New Year, your best strategy is still the same regardless of which diet plan you ultimately choose. Eat sensibly, cut back on portions, drink plenty of water, participate in a moderate exercise routine and find a diet buddy to support you in your weight loss goals.

Why Can’t I Lose Weight?

 

That’s the question many people ask when their weight loss plan isn’t working.

Asking yourself ‘Why can’t I lose weight?’ is actually one of the best things you can do for yourself. It says you know that what you’re currently doing isn’t working for you. 

You’re at the place where you’re ready to look at alternatives – try something different to get a result you want.

So why can’t you lose weight? Here are 3 possible reasons you may not be losing weight – and some suggestions on what you can do about it. 

1) Medical Reasons 

Now this is not the same as saying you’re genetically programmed to be overweight. That is hogwash. In fact scientists estimate that even if you do have a genetic propensity to gain weight, your genes only account for 15 – 25% of your current weight. So forget the genetics excuse. 

But there are medical reasons that some people can’t lose weight. Low thyroid, adrenal exhaustion, insulin resistance and other medical conditions can make losing weight near to impossible.

That’s why before starting any weight loss plan, you should talk to your doctor first. Have a full workup and make sure that you don’t have any health issues standing in the way of your weight loss. 

There’s nothing more frustrating that trying to lose weight, doing all the right things and not losing an inch – all because of a medical condition. Get the medical condition cleared up first and then address the weight (in fact, the weight may just go down on it’s own once you get the medical condition addressed).

2) Emotional Eating 

I recently read an article where a nutritionist estimated that 75% of overeating was due to emotions. 75%! Can you imagine what would happen if you learned to eliminate emotional eating and cut out all those calories? What a weight loss impact! The weight would be falling off.

Unfortunately, in today’s world, emotional eating is on the rise. Most people today are feeling the pressure of an increasingly hectic lifestyle. We hardly have time to tie our shoes, never mind deal with our emotions. 

Because of this, our emotions get stuffed down and ignored until finally they explode and we’re face-down in a bowl of Rocky-Road ice cream with extra chocolate sauce. 

Here’s the bottom line: you are human and you have emotions. Your emotional needs are important and need to be addressed properly with love. You need emotional nurturing and proper emotional care. 

If that means you take a 5 minute break every few hours at work to regain your emotional balance, do it. If that means you need to unwind by doing a mall walk and window shopping after work – don’t let anything stop you. 

Learn to nurture your emotional health and you’ll nip emotional eating in the bud – and start losing weight FAST.

3) Mismatched Weight Loss Plan 

There are many different ways to lose weight and dozens of weight loss programs to choose from. Some plans emphasize a change in diet, others emphasize a change in exercise, others focus on the inner reasons for overeating. 

Every person is different and will lose weight in their own unique way. If what you’re doing now isn’t currently working, it may be a simple case of personality-plan mismatch. 

Maybe instead of a diet-focused weight loss plan, you would feel better with a fitness-focused weight loss plan or a psychological weight loss plan. There are lots of plans to choose from and you deserve to take your time and find one that fits your personality and lifestyle best. 

If you think this is the case, take some time to review different diet or weight loss plans. Find one that you can get excited about, one that makes sense to you and that fits your belief system and personality. That’s when you’ll make real weight loss progress!

So those are 3 possible reasons for your weight loss plateau. You don’t have to stay stuck in a weight loss rut. You don’t have to keep asking yourself the frustrating question: Why Can’t I Lose Weight? Keep believing in yourself and in your dreams. Don’t give up and you will get there!

Why Do We Gain Weight?

 

There are many factors that cause us to increase body weight, yet three stand out from the rest.

Our genetic make up:

Every cell in our body has a central control panel, that is a nucleus that contains our genes and chromosomes. This is the instruction manual for your body and this is inherited from your parents. It is this instruction manual that is largely responsible for how your body, and even your mind, behaves.

The environment in which we live:

Our personal environment may also contribute or cue you to adopt poor eating or exercise habits. This is especially true in today’s society, which is dominated by speed and convenience. For example, escalators, elevators and remote-control appliances make us less physically active. Also, greater availability and the constant marketing of foods that are high in calories, fat and added sugars, and larger portion sizes promote unhealthy eating behaviors.

There may also be personal reasons why you are consuming too many kilojoules from food and drinks, or not being physically active enough. For example, when feeling down or bored you may eat more than you need, or if you are feeling depressed it is more difficult to get active.

Knowing the reason why you may be consuming excess kilojoules or not participating in physical activity, is an important first step in changing your lifestyle habits to help you reach a healthy weight.

Our lifestyle:

What we eat and drink and how active we are. This is the gradual gain in weight as a result of eating food and not exercising enough.

The extent to which we can affect our genetic make up and our environment are limited. However, lifestyle is the area in which we can significantly manage and if need be, improve our body weight to ensure we maintain a healthy weight for our height, age and gender. This is why learning a healthy nutritious eating pattern and adopting it for life, that is, lifestyle changes has a significant impact on our ability to reach and maintain a healthy weight.

Gaining and losing weight works according to some a simple biological principle. When you consume more energy in the form of food and drinks that your body uses each day you will gain weight. When you consume less energy in the form of food and drinks that your body requires each day you will lose weight.

Despite what some advertisers would have use believe, weight loss does not occur as a result of any of the following:

* Supplements that will melt the fat while you sleep or while you wash

* Exercises that don’t take any effort and cause no sweat

* Unique food combinations that will allow you to eat what you want and still lose weight

In order to lose weight you will need to know approximately your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). Your RMR is the number of calories your body burns at rest in a 24 hour period. When your body gets about 500 less calories than it needs each day as a result of eating less or exercising more, you will lose one pound of weight per week. To illustrate how efficient the human body is in motion, the average female would need to go for a brisk walk for 1.5 to 2.0 hours in order to burn 500 calories.

When you consume 500 calories a day more than your body’s requirements, you will gain approximately one pound a week! To illustrate how easy it is to gain weight, one 7oz bag of corn chips has approximately 1000 calories. If you ate a bag of corn chips every day in addition to three square meals its possible you could gain 2 pounds in a week!

Which Weight Loss Program Is Right For You?

 

Your body weight is really controlled by the number of calories you eat and the number of calories you use each day through things like exercise and physical activity. This means that to lose weight, you actually need to take in fewer calories each day than you use so that there is deficit in calories consumed. There are two ways to do this – by becoming more physically active or by eating less each day. Following a weight loss program that helps you to become more physically active and also decrease the amount of calories that you eat, is the best way to achieve successful weight loss.

To lose weight and keep it off, you should be aware of the different types of programs that are available. You should also look at what makes up a good program. Knowing this information can help you select a weight loss program that will really work. The four types of weight loss programs include:

Do-It-Yourself Programs

1. Any effort to lose weight by yourself or with a support group either on or offline, fits in the “do-it-yourself” category. People using a do-it-yourself program rely on group support, and products such as diet books, for advice.

Non-Clinical Programs

2. These programs tend to be commercially operated, such as privately-owned, weight loss chains. They often use books and pamphlets that are prepared by healthcare providers but use counselors who are not usually trained healthcare providers. Some of these programs require participants to use the program’s food or supplements.

Clinical Programs

3. This type of program is usually provided in a healthcare setting, such as a hospital, by licensed health professionals, including physicians, nurses, dietitians, and/or psychologists. In some clinical programs, a health professional works alone; in others, a group of health professionals works together to provide services to patients. These clinical programs offer services such as nutrition education, medical care, behavior change therapy, and physical activity. Clinical programs may also use other weight loss methods, such as very low calorie diets, weight loss drugs, and surgery, to treat severely overweight patients. All of these programs would be carefully supervised during implementation.

Surgery

4. Gastric bypass surgeries are combination procedures that use both restriction and malabsorption to achieve weight loss. Because it is a combination approach, it tends to be more successful for weight loss than purely restrictive surgeries. Gastric bypass surgery may be an option if you are significantly obese and have tried unsuccessfully to lose weight on diet and exercise programs and are unlikely to lose weight successfully with non-surgical methods.

If you are considering a weight-loss program and you have medical problems, or if you are severely overweight, then programs or surgery run or conducted by trained health professionals are probably your best option. These professionals are more likely to monitor you for possible side effects of weight loss and will help you to lose weight successfully and safely.

Whether you decide to use the do-it-yourself, non-clinical, or clinical approach, the program you opt for should help you lose weight and help you to keep it off by teaching you healthy eating and exercise habits that you will be able to use for years to come.