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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Whats's the matter with my new diet?

You would have had to have your head under a rock the past hew weeks to not notice the new wave of whizz bang diet programs being advertised as the ultimate answers to weight loss. Even I am shocked at the number of these programs being flogged on TV and in print media. The reason that dietitians get so frustrated with these money making weight loss programs is that we are often the ones who have to see the clients after they have tried nearly all of them but are still fat. And there is nothing harder than trying to get a persons metabolism on track again after they have tried numerous low carb, low calorie shake, soup and water based diets (think lemon detox!).

Generally speaking all of these diets are low calorie (<5000kJ per day) and low in carbohydrate (<100g each day). Yes, they will work but few are sustainable, and fewer teach any of the lifestyle skills necessary for long term habit and behaviour change which are ultimately the variables which result in long term weight control. So, if you want to spend more of your hard earned $ on these programs, go right ahead but basically you can do one yourself if you want to eat this way for a week or for as long as you like.

For example, if you would like to try the Lemon Detox Diet, all you need to do it add a teaspoon of sugar to a glass of water and drink one of these 6-8 times a day (see for more info on this one. Or if you prefer a low carb plan just eat an omelet for breakfast, tuna and salad for lunch and 100g steak and green veges for dinner and you have your own low carb diet for free.

So, this year, stop making money hungry businessmen richer and don't be sucked into paying more money on expensive and generally unsuccessful weight loss programs. Instead, get serious, change the way you think about food, your body and your health and simply start to make some positive changes to your lifestyle. Eat less, eat more vegetables, cut out the alcohol for a few weeks and walk each day. You may not lose as much weight as you would on a low carb diet but these are habits you can maintain and build on to get your weight off slowly, but for good.

Remember the truth is that:

"Diets aim at the wrong target - the belly, not the brain. They focus on a symptom rather than the underlying causes. the key to permanent weight loss is changing the attitudes and habits that determine what, why, when, how much and how often you eat" (Parade Magazine, 2005)