Monthly Archives: November 2017

Weight Loss – When Should You Take a Break From Your Diet?

It may seem contradictory to hear you should take a break from your weight loss diet. But an important distinction must be made. First, you must ask yourself how long it has been since you started dieting. If the answer is several months, you may be due for a break for reasons we are about to discuss.

If you have just started to lose weight recently for health reasons, then everything you are about to read will not be immediately relevant to you. But at some point in time, it will. Revisit these ideas when you hit an inevitable plateau or when you have been dieting for longer than six months.

So why, and more importantly, when should you take a break from your diet?Firstly, let us examine the two situations where a break from dieting and weight loss is warranted…

  • you have been in a significant caloric deficit, and
  • you have been dieting for weight loss for longer than six months.

Sometimes the caloric deficit is so steep a break is not only helpful but essential. The last thing you need during a weight loss journey is to crash your metabolism because you are eating too little. This is highly unlikely because your appetite will remind you dozens of times a day you should be eating more. But it does happen every so often.

Also, a massive caloric deficit may cause you to be due for a break earlier than six months in. It is not easy to know exactly when, but if you are feeling mental fatigue and an excessive burden from your weight loss efforts, it may be time to take it easy for a while.

If you have been losing weight consistently for longer than six months, you ought to take a short break anyway. For at least two weeks (not longer than a month), you should eat at a baseline level, and let your mind wander to any thought but those that concern weight loss. Eating at a baseline level means eating regular food – an amount that does not make you lose or gain weight.

The reason a break from your diet is necessary is because exhaustion sets in. It is overwhelmingly difficult to be on track for an extended period. With exercise, your muscles need rest so they can grow. It’s a similar principle here.

This is not to say you should abandon your plans if you have not reached your goal yet. It is just a reminder about the importance of respite. If it feels like you are taking a step back, remind yourself you have already taken two or three steps forward. It is a matter of pacing.

Mini-breaks are helpful too. Every eight weeks you could take a week off from dieting and achieve the same result. Taking a break when you are feeling overwhelmed will reinvigorate you.

If your motivation is ever tested with weight loss fatigue, you now know what to do.

Preventions for Cancer – Is There a Way?

One of my favorite days as a health expert has to be the first Saturday of every month. I break the boring monotony of my strict diet and dive in with a large glass of whole milk and 9 chocolate with white icing cupcakes stacked in a pyramid. Passersby look at me in shock, awe, and sometimes disgust as I scarf down my so-bad-it's-good lunch.

What these spectators do not know is that I am a strong advocate of preventions for cancer diets and 99% percent of the time, my normal day consists of extremely healthy meals, cardio exercise, and strength training. I am 6'00 ", 180 lbs, 4% body fat. My blood work? Immaculate.

I have listed 3 major preventions for cancer and guidelines set by the American Cancer Society and Center for Disease Control. My hope is that this awareness will encourage people to make better choices and influence others so we can all continue to live a long and healthy life.

A Healthy Diet

"You mean I can never have bacon again !?" No, that is not the case. Personally I LOVE bacon, and I will never stop eating bacon, but this is something I only eat on occasion and in low quantities. Three strips are enough for me!

It is important to regulate both the quantity and frequency of indulging in our favorite foods. A great way to begin this new cancer prevention lifestyle is to start eating more meals with whole grains, raw veggies, and fruits most of the time. It's also important to eat less red meat and fewer meals that are processed, fried, or that contain white flour.

To help prevent overeating, a good rule of thumb is to stay away from ingredients that increase your appetite like sodium (which most restaurants pack into their dishes) and eat more high fiber foods, which can easily satisfy your hunger with very few calories. High fiber foods like beans, peas, and raspberries are a great way to prevent colon cancer, the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Eating right coupled with regular exercise lets us taste our favorite forbidden fruits on occasion without much controversy. Just remember, quantity and frequency!

Adopt a Physical, Active Lifestyle

Poor diet and an inactive lifestyle are major avoidable factors for cancer, second only to smoking. Now, being physically active does not mean you need to run marathons. The key is to maintain a good steady heart rate that is appropriate for your age and health for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week.

Engaging in activities like gardening, speed walking, bicycling, and virtually any sport are great ways to keep active without it feeling like you're actually exercising. This is important to understand because many people think exercise has to feel like work. This could not be further from the truth. Exercise can be fun, and do not be afraid to let it be!

Note: Men older than 40, women older than 50, and people with chronic illnesses or cardiovascular risk factors should speak to their doctors before engaging in a regular, vital physical activity program.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Food: Just because it's legal does not make it safe.

If you've tried more diets than you can remember, then a simple "Just stop eating as much and go to the gym" is not going to cut it.

For a lot of people, eating is a jumping skill or a transfer from another addiction, or both. This is why a simple diet just will not work. Therapy needs to be introduced by starting on the inside and changing the way we think about food, and then working our way out. Once we have control of our eating habits we can then engage in a healthy, low-calorie diet and a regular exercise program. Maintaining a healthy weight is important for overall physical and mental health.

Obesity shares to 20% of all cancer-related deaths, so it's time to take action. Please check out the body mass index to see guidelines for healthy weights at your height.

Fact: Excess weight is associated with an increased risk for cancer of the breast, colon, esophagus, and kidney.

I hope these preventions for cancer guidelines will encourage you to take action and start a new, healthy lifestyle. By following these guidelines, you will not only increase your longevity, but you will also begin to feel better about yourself and have a more positive outlook on your life. This article is available for reprint for your website and newsletter, provided that you maintain its copyright integrity and include the signature tag.

Treatment Of Diverticulitis With Diet Change

The cases of diverticulitis started to become visible after 1900s. From then on this condition has become more and more common.Thanks to the industrial revolution which made processed food available to most of us . Before 1900s the condition of diverticulitis was unknown to many . This was due to the simple diet of the people at that time. They took healthy diet which did not cause stomach problems like diverticulitis.

When we see the diet of people now , it consists of processed foods ,fast foods , junk foods , cool drinks , chocolates etc. Everyday some new thing is included for just tickling the taste buds. These things have a grave impact on your health. Diverticulitis is one result of this type of diet. The pain is like unbearable and people are getting several attacks which is making them weaker and weaker. The only effective treatment in the long run is a healthy diet. You have to understand that you are responsible for your health. Nobody else can do it for you. I know that the temptation to take tasty and delicious food will attract you but you have to fight it. If you observe in Eastern countries the condition doesn’t exist. It is very rare. It’s because of the diet. The people in East do not consume much of junk food. They eat fruits, vegetables, rice, pulses etc., which prevents this condition to develop. If it works for people in East then it will definitely work for people in the West.

In addition to the diet change , regular exercises like jogging, skipping, swimming etc., will also help your body by making it strong. It is also good for your brain which is the most important part of your body. If you just got a diverticulitis then take a good rest , be on a liquid diet for some time and after a week or two you can shift slowly to a fiber rich diet which is very important.

Weight Loss Diets for Men – Important Facts You Need to Know

Diets were never a man's thing. The word "diet" almost has a feminine claim to it that men do not like to consider themselves as being "on a diet", even if they are trying to cut their portions so they can lose the extra pounds. They were better off using exercise to lose those extra pounds. Lifting weights, running, bicycling – all these were more masculine and hence had more appeal. If you are closely looked at weight loss programs, you'll notice that a lot of them use female models, utilize female facts and paraded female success stories.

You could possibly blow it on man's physiological makeup. By nature, men could burn off fat easily because their metabolisms work faster. They also lead more active lifestyles, especially where sports are concerned. And because of this, they need more calories. Here, they can never live on the tightly controlled, thinly-sliced ​​portions on women's weight loss diets.

But times are changing. Whether you have Hollywood to thank for that by showing extremely ripped bodies of Brad Pitt in Troy or the growing vanity thought about by the steady commercialization of the multibillion dollar fitness industry, the truth of the matter is that men are now, hold on to your seats, dieting! Even if they do not like to admit that what they're doing is dieting, they are now very conscious about buying smaller plates, eating smaller meals and weighing themselves on the bathroom every now and then.

You can not blame them. After all, men are not spared the bulging midsections thought about by sedentary lifestyles and overeating. Hypertension, diabetes and other cardiovascular conditions are also enough reasons to get them to be concerned about what they eat. But do weight loss diets for men really exist?

It's really a difficult question to answer. The most common diets practiced today (Atkins, South Beach, GI Diets) were not specifically tailored for men. South Beach was originally developed by Dr. Agatston for his heart patients. GI Diets are based on the glycemic value of foods rather than on gender considerations. And while Atkins seem like the ideal diet for men because it allows lots of room for mayo, red meat and butter creams, the high-protein low fat content of the diet still poses a lot of unresolved health issues.

Losing weight, whether for health or aesthetic reasons, is always a worthy goal. Thus, the more important issue is whether there is a particular weight loss diet for men. For men, any diet that focuses on eating a well-balanced meal from a variety of food sources, drinking lots of water and spreading out the meals taken everyday, is the weight loss diet. It does not mean severely limiting portions to the point of hunger, but it means cutting down a bit. If the voracious eater in you used to eat one big slab of steak at dinner, dieting means halving it down gradually until you get used to only one of the sizes of a deck of cards. If you were used to eating 3 main meals a day all with huge portions, dieting means spreading out your meals 6 times with smaller servings. If you usually snack on a box of donuts, dieting means snacking on half the box, then a fourth, until you get used to only one donut or none at all. While you do have to quit on the soda if you really want to lose weight, dieting consuming smaller portions while replacing it with healthier alternatives (like fruit smoothies) until you do not crave for it anymore.

That's the real weight loss diet for men.

A Senior Dog Health Management – Rich Diet, Exercise, Vet Checkups & Supplements

As humans, your dog too ages and it is relatively earlier than a humans age. With age, numerous health issues arise in your dog such as deterioration of skin and coat, loss of muscle mass, digestion issues, obesity, arthritis, dental problems and decreased ability to fight back infections. However, large size dogs experience age-related changes earlier compared to smaller dogs who live longer. This gives us the hint to estimate when it is a time to feed your canine a senior diet food based on the size.

A standard guideline to follow to determine how dogs age related to their size is:

  • Small breeds or dogs weighing less than 20 pounds – 7 years of age.
  • Medium breeds and dogs weighing 21 to 50 pounds – 7 years of age.
  • Large breeds and dogs weighing 51 to 90 pounds – 6 years of age.
  • Giant breeds and dogs weighing 91 pounds or more – 5 years of age.

Say no to diets that have low level of proteins

Normally, it is believed that as dogs age, they require less amount of proteins. This is far behind the real fact. Senior dogs require as much protein as they were taking previously. Studies have proven that older dogs need to be facilitated with proper level of proteins, and this does not open gateways to the development or progress of renal failures. It is even crucial to feed senior dogs with optimal levels of easily digestible proteins to help retain good muscle mass.

Ensure to Provide Low-Calorie Diet

Senior dogs have been recorded to attain an extra body fat in spite of consuming fewer calories. Due to the age, this change in a body is unstoppable and may be triggered due to reduced energy spending or a sudden change in metabolism. Whatever the reason is, it is paramount to feed a low-calorie diet to avoid every possible weight gain and the problems arising due to obesity. However, meeting the proper protein level is important to support in retaining muscle mass.

Talk to your vet regarding the change of diet of your older dog

Aging can directly affect a dog's intestinal function. It can hamper intestinal bacteria, which can surface the symptoms of gastrointestinal infections. When selecting a senior dog diet, ensure it contains FOS (fructooligosaccharides) that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria, this invariably helps in proper digestion, preventing any digestive issues.

Pick foods with high ratio of vitamin E and Beta-carotene

Antioxidants such as vitamin E and beta-carotene help in removing free radicals that can seriously damage the tissues of the body and can cause signs of aging. Senior dog diets should contain higher levels of these antioxidant compounds. Good amount of antioxidants is responsible for increasing the effectiveness of the immune power in older dogs.

Stick to Consistency

Never be inconsistent when it comes to a routine care of geriatric pets. Along with consistent daily routine, timely veterinary examinations should be involved to diagnose the presence or progress of a chronic disease. Stressful situations and abrupt changes in daily routines should be shunned. In case, you are looking to make a drastic change in your older pet's routine, remember to put it on a regular scale.

In a nutshell, senior dogs undergo a variety of physiological changes along with psychological changes. To tackle these changes, it is advisable to follow the right diet that is recommended for older dogs. Two things to care – their weight and agility. Your older dogs need not only proper diet and optimal weight but also regular health checkups at a vet office. Not limited to this, the care should be extended in adding the nutritional supplements to aid their physical health. Well, taking proper care of your older dog, you can help them pass their golden years happily.

The Big Picture of Permanent Weight Loss

Most people who read my articles and e-books know me as a science guy who likes to quote studies and apply research to everyday problems such as weight loss, bodybuilding, and other health / fitness related topics. However, sometimes you have to step back from the science and look at the big picture to help bring people back into focus, so they can see the forest for the trees, so to speak.

For most people reading this article, finding an effective diet that works most of the time must seem as complicated as nuclear physics. It's not, but there are a bewildering number of choices for diets out there. High fat or no fat? High carbohydrates or no carbohydrates? Low protein or high protein? To make matters worse, there are a million variations and combinations to the above diet scenes to add to the confusion. It seems endless and causes many people to throw up their hands in frustration and give up. In this article I will attempt to change all that.

There are some general guidelines, rules of thumb, and ways of viewing a diet program that will allow you to decide, once and for all, if it's the right diet for you. You may not always like what I have to say, and you should be under no illusions this is another quick fix, "lose 100 lbs. In 20 days," guide of some sort. However, if you are sick and tired of being confused, tired of taking the weight off only to put it back on, and tired of wondering how to take the first steps to deciding the right diet for you that will result in permanent weight loss, then this is the article that could change your life …

Does your diet pass "The Test"?
What is the number one reason diets fail long term; above all else? The number one reason is … drum roll … a lack of long term compliance. The numbers do not lie; the vast majority of people who lose weight will regain it – and often except what they lost. You knew that already did not you?

Yet, what are you doing to avoid it? Here's another reality check: actually any diet you pick which follows the basic concept of "burning" more calories then you consume – the well accepted "calories in calories out" mantra – will cause you to lose weight. To some degree, they all work: Atkins-style, no carb diets, low fat high carb diets, all manner of fad diets – it simply does not matter in the short term.

If your goal is to lose some weight quickly, then pick one and follow it. I guarantee you will lose some weight. Studies generally find any of the commercial weight loss diets will get approximately the same amount of weight off after 6 months to a year. For example, a recent study found the Atkins' Diet, Slim-Fast plan, Weight Watchers Pure Points program, and Rosemary Conley's Eat Yourself Slim diet, were all equally effective. (1)

Other studies comparing other popular diets have come to essentially the same conclusions. For example, a study that compared the Atkins diet, the Ornish diet, Weight Watchers, and The Zone Diet, found them to be essentially the same in their ability to take weight off after one year. (2)

Recall what I said about the number one reason diets fail, which is a lack of compliance. The lead researcher of this recent study stated:

"Our trial found that adherrence level rather than diet type was the primary predictor of weight loss" (3)

Translated, it's not which diet they chose per se, but their ability to actually stick to a diet that predicted their weight loss success. I can just see the hands going up now, "but Will, some diets must be better than others, right?" Are some diets better then others? Absolutely. Some diets are healthier then others, some diets are better at preserving lean body mass, some diets are better at suppressing appetite – there are many differences between diets. However, while most of the popular diets will work for taking weight off, what is abundantly clear is that adhering to the diet is the most important aspect for keeping the weight off long term.

What is a diet?
A diet is a short term strategy to lose weight. Long term weight loss is the result of an alteration in lifestyle. We are concerned with life long weight management, not quick fix weight loss here. I do not like the term diet, as it represents a short term attempt to lose weight vs. a change in lifestyle. Want to lose a bunch of weight quickly? Heck, I will give you the information on how to do that here and now for no charge.

For the next 90 to 120 days eat 12 scrambled egg whites, one whole grapefruit, and a gallon of water twice aa day. You will lose plenty of weight. Will it be healthy? Nope. Will the weight stay off once you are done with this diet and are then forced to go back to your "normal" way of eating? Not a chance. Will the weight you lose come from fat or will it be muscle, water, bone, and (hopefully!) Some fat? The point being, there are many diets out there that are perfectly capable of getting weight off you, but when considering any eating plan designed to lose weight, you must ask yourself:

"Is this a way of eating I can follow long term?"
Which brings me to my test: I call it the "Can I eat that way for the rest of my life?" Test. I know, it does not exactly roll off your tongue, but it gets the point across.

The lesson here is: any nutritional plan you pick to lose weight must be part of a lifestyle change you will be able to follow – in one form or another – forever. That is, if it's not a way of eating you can complain with indefinitely, even after you get to your target weight, then it's worthless.

So, many fad diets you see out there are immediately eliminated, and you do not have to worry about them. The question is not whether the diet is effective in the short term, but if the diet can be followed indefinitely as a lifelong way of eating. Going from "their" way of eating back to "your" way of eating after you reach your target weight is a recipe for disaster and the cause of the well established yo-yo dieting syndrome. Bottom line: there are no short cuts, there is no free lunch, and only a commitment to a lifestyle change is going to keep the fat off long term. I realize that's not what most people want to hear, but it's the truth, like it or not.

The statistics do not lie: getting the weight off is not the hardest part, keeping the weight off is! If you take a close look at the many well known fad / commercial diets out there, and you are honest with yourself, and apply my test above, you will find most of them no longer appealing to you as they once did. It also brings me to an example that adds additional clarity: If you have diet A that will cause the most weight loss in the shortest amount of time but is unbalanced and essentially impossible to follow long term vs. diet B, which will take the weight off at a slower pace, but is easier to follow, balanced, healthy, and something you can comply with year after year, which is superior? If diet A gets 30 lbs off you in 30 days, but by next year you have earned back all 30 lbs, but diet B gets 20 lbs off you in the next 3 months with another 20 lbs 3 months after that and the weight takes off by the end of that year, which is the better diet?

If you do not know the answer to those questions, you have totally missed the point of this article and the lesson it's trying to teach you, and are set up for failure. Go back and read this section again … By default, diet B is superior.

Teach a man to Fish …
A well known Chinese Proverb is – Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

This expression fits perfectly with the next essential step in how to decide what eating plan you should follow to lose weight permanently. Will the diet plan you are considering teaching you how to eat long term, or does it spoon-feed you information? Will the diet rely on special bars, shakes, supplements or pre-made foods they supply?

Let's do another diet A vs. diet B comparison. Diet A is going to supply you with their foods, as well as their special drink or bars to eat, and tell you exactly when to eat them. You will lose – say – 30 lbs in two months. Diet B is going to attempt to help you learn which foods you should eat, how many calories you need to eat, why you need to eat them, and generally attempt to help teach you how to eat as part of a total lifestyle change that will allow you to make informed decisions about your nutrition. Diet B causes a slow steady weight loss of 8 -10 lbs per month for the next 6 months and the weight places off because you now know how to eat properly.

Recall the Chinese proverb. Both diets will assist you to lose weight. Only one diet, however, will teach you how to be self-reliant after your experience is over. Diet A is easier, to be sure, and causes faster weight loss than diet B, and diet B takes longer and requires some thinking and learning on your part. However, when diet A is over, you are right back where you started and have been given no skills to fish. Diet companies do not make their profits by teaching you to fish, they make their money by handing you a fish so you must rely on them indefinitely or come back to them after you gain all the weight back.

Thus, diet B is superior for preventing you to succeed where other cases failed, with knowledge gained that you can apply long term. Diet programs that attempt to spoon feed you a diet without any attempt to teach you how to eat without their help and / or rely on their shakes, bars, cookies, or pre-made foods, is another diet you can eliminate from your list of choices.

Diet plans that offer weight loss by drinking their product for several meals followed by a "sensible dinner;" diets that allow you to eat their special cookies for most meals along with their pre-planned menu; or diets that attempt to have you eating their bars, drink, or pre-made meals, are of the diet A variety covered above. They're easy to follow but destined for failure, long term. They all fail the "Can I eat that way for the rest of my life?" test, unless you really think you can eat cookies and shakes for the rest of your life … Bottom line here is, if the nutritional approach you use to lose weight, be it from a book, a class, a clinic, or an e-book, does not teach you how to eat, it's a loser for long term weight loss and it should be avoided.

The missing link for long term weight loss
We now make our way to another test to help you choose a nutrition program for long term weight loss, and it does not actually involve nutrition. The missing link for long term weight loss is exercise. Exercise is the essential component of long term weight loss. Many diet programs do not contain an exercise component, which means they are losers for long term weight loss from the very start. Any program that has its focus on weight loss but does not include a comprehensive exercise plan is like buying a car without tires, or a plane without wings. People who have successfully kicked the weight off overwhelmingly have incorporated exercise into their lives, and the studies that look at people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off invariably find these people were consistent with their diet and exercise plans. (4)

I am not going to list all the benefits of regular exercise here, but regular exercise has positive effects on your metabolism, allowing you to eat more calories yet still in a calorie deficiency, and can help preserve lean body mass (LBM) which is essential to your health and metabolism. The many health benefits of regular exercise are well known, so I will not bother adding them here. The bottom line here is, (a) if you have any intentions of getting the most from your goal of losing weight and (b) plan to keep it off long term, regular exercise must be an integral part of the weight loss strategy. So, you can eliminate any program, be it book, e-book, clinic, etc. that does not offer you direction and help with this essential part of long term weight loss.

Side Bar: A quick note on exercise:
Any exercise is better than no exercise. However, like diet plans, not all exercise is created equal, and many people often choose the wrong form of exercise to maximize their efforts to lose weight. For example, they will do aerobics exclusively and ignore resistance training. Resistance training is an essential component of fat loss, as it builds muscle essential to your metabolism, increases 24 hour energy expenditure, and has health benefits beyond aerobics.

The reader will also note I said fat loss above not weight loss. Although I use the term 'weight loss' throughout this article, I do so only because it is a familiar term most people understand. However, the true focus and goal of a properly set up nutrition and exercise plan should be on fat loss, not weight loss. A focus on losing weight, which may include a loss essential muscle, water, and even bone, as well as fat, is the wrong approach. Losing the fat and keeping the all important lean body mass (LBM), is the goal, and the method for achieving that can be found in my ebook (s) on the topic, and is beyond the scope of this article. Bottom line: the type of exercise, intensity of that exercise, length of time doing that exercise, etc., are essential variables here when attempting to lose FAT while retaining (LBM).

Psychology 101 of long term weight loss
Many diet programs out there do not address the psychological aspect of why people fail to be successful with long term weight loss. However, quite a few studies exist that have looked at just that. In many respects, the psychological aspect is the most important for long term weight loss, and probably the most underappreciated component.

Studies that compare the psychological characteristics of people who have successfully set the weight off to people who have regained the weight, see clear differences between these two groups. For example, one study that looked at 28 obese women who had lost weight but regained the weight that they had lost, compared to 28 previously obese women who had lost weight and maintained their weight for at least one year and 20 women with a stable weight in the healthy range, found the women who regained the weight:

o Had a tendency to evaluate self-worth in terms of weight and shape
o Had a lack of vigilance with regard to weight control
o had a dichotomous (black-and-white) thinking style
o Had the tendency to use eating to regulate mood.

The researchers concluded:

"The results suggest that psychological factors may provide some explanation as to why many people with obesity regain weight following successful weight loss."

This particular study was done on women, so it reflects some of the specific psychological issues women have – but make no mistake here – men also have their own psychological issues that can sabotage their long term weight loss efforts. (6)

Additional studies on men and women find psychological characteristics such as "having unrealistic weight goals, poor coping or problem-solving skills and low self-efficiency" often predict failure with long term weight loss. (7) On the other hand, psychological training common to people who experienced successful long term weight loss include "… an internal motivation to lose weight, social support, better coping strategies and ability to handle life stress, self-efficacy, autonomy , assuming responsibility in life, and overall more psychological strength and stability. " (8)

The main point of this section is to illustrate that psychology plays a major role in determining if people are successful with long term weight loss. If it's not addressed as part of the overall plan, it can be the factor that makes or breaks your success. This, however, is not an area most nutrition programs can adequately be tackled and should not be expected to. However, the better programs do generally attempt to help with motivation, goal setting, and support. If you see yourself in the above lists from the groups that failed to maintain their weight long term, then know you will need to address those issues via counseling, support groups, etc. Do not expect any weight loss program to cover this topic adequately but do look for programs that attempt to offer support, goal setting, and resources that will keep you on track.

"There's a sucker born every minute"
So why do not you see this type of honest information about the realities of long term weight loss more often? Let's be honest here, telling the truth is not the best way to sell bars, shakes, books, supplements, and programs. Hell, if by some miracle everyone who read this article actually followed it, and sent it on to millions of other people who actually followed it, makers of said products could be in financial trouble quickly. However, they also know – as the man said – "there's a sucker born every minute," so I doubt they will be kept up at night worrying about the effects that I will have on their business.

So let's recap what has been learned here: the big picture realities of permanent weight loss and how you can look at a weight loss program and decide for yourself if it's for you based on what has been covered above:

o Permanent weight loss is not about finding a quick fix diet, but making a commitment to life style changes that include nutrition and exercise

o Any weight loss program you choose must pass the "Can I eat that way for the rest of my life?" test,

o The weight loss program you choose should absolutely teach you how to eat and be self reliant so you can make informed long term choices about your nutrition.

o The weight loss program you choose should not leave you reliant on commercial bars, shakes, supplements, or pre-made foods, for your long term success.

o The weight loss program you choose must have an effective exercise component.

o The weight loss program you choose should attempt to help with motivation, goal setting, and support, but can not be a replacement for psychological counseling if needed.

Conclusion
I want to take this final section to add some additional points and clarity. For starters, the above advice is not for everyone. It's not intended for those who really have their nutrition dialed in, such as competitive bodybuilders and other athletes who benefit from fairly dramatic changes in their nutrition, such as 'off season' and 'pre-contest' and so on.

The article is also not intended for those with medical issues who may be on a specific diet to treat or manage a specific medical condition. The article is intended for the average person who wants to get off the Yo-Yo diet merry-go-round once and for all. As that's probably 99% of the population, it will cover millions of people.

People should also not be scared off by my "you have to eat this way forever" advice. This does not mean you will be dieting for the rest of your life and have nothing but starvation to look forward to. What it does mean, however, is you will have to learn to eat properly even after you reach your target weight and that way of eating should not be a huge departure from how you ate to lose the weight in the first place. Once you get to your target weight – and or your target bodyfat levels – you will go onto a maintenance phase which generally has more calories and choices of food, even the occasional treatment, like a slice of pizza or whatever.

Maintenance diets are a logical extension of the diet you used to lose the weight, but they are not based on the diet you followed that put the weight on in the first place!

Regardless of which program you choose, use the above 'big picture' approach which will keep you on track for long term weight loss. See you in the gym!

References

1 Truby H, et al. Randomised controlled trial of four commercial weight loss programs in the UK: initial findings from the BBC "diet trials" BMJ 2006; 332: 1309-1314 (3 June)

2 Michael D., et al, Comparison of the Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers, and Zone Diets for Weight Loss and Heart Disease Risk Reduction. A Randomized Trial. JAMA. 2005; 293: 43-53.

(3) Comparison of Diets for Weight Loss and Heart Disease Risk Reduction-Reply. Michael Dansinger. JAMA. 2005; 293: 1590-1591.

4 Kruger J. et al. Dietary and physical activity behaviors among adults successful at weight loss maintenance. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2006, 3:17 doi: 10.1186 / 1479-5868-3-17

5 Byrne S, et al. Weight maintenance and relapse in obesity: a qualitative study. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2003 Aug; 27 (8): 955-62.

6 Borg P, et al. Food selection and eating behavior during weight maintenance intervention and 2-y follow-up in obese men.Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Dec; 28 (12): 1548-54.

(7) Byrne SM. Psychological aspects of weight maintenance and relapse in obesity. J Psychosom Res. 2002 Nov; 53 (5): 1029-36.

8 Elfhag K, et al. Who succeseds in maintaining weight loss? A conceptual review of factors associated with weight loss maintenance and weight regain. Obes Rev. 2005 Feb; 6 (1): 67-85

Will I Get Sick on a Detox Diet?

The many diet gurus who are popular today are really pushing doing a detox before trying to lose weight. Any good weight loss program will start with a detox program. Why? The simple answer is so that your body can start working right. A major cause of weight gain is that the mechanisms in the body that metabolize foods into the nutrients that cause the body to function as it should not work properly because of a toxic build up. When toxins are pulling the body down, it is concentrating on handling the toxins rather than functioning as it should in ridding the body of wastes and digesting the minerals and other materials needed for healthy daily functioning.

Since detox means getting rid of toxins, it stands to reason that the toxins that have been in the way of proper body function are going to be stirred up and moved out. This process will more than likely cause some disturbance in the body. What can you expect? You may feel more tired than normal for a few days. You may feel nauseated. You may have a breakout of acne, or a radical change in bowel functions. Much will depend on how toxic your body is. If you are doing a commercial cleanse, relying on herbal combinations to detox your body, you must modify your diet. Going on a mild food diet consisting of clear soups, fruits and lightly steamed vegetables will help ease the discomfort. If an herbal cleansse is causing diarrhea, cut back on the recommended dosages for a while. If a full dosage makes you sick …. slow up on the dosage. If it recommends taking the herbs three times a day, drop back to two or even one a day. Every couple of days, up the dosage until your body is acclimated to the cleansing process in a more comfortable way. Do not eat junk food while on a cleanse. This would be comparable to sweeping the floor with your door opened to a wind storm.

When doing a detox program for the first time, it is recommended that you do it at a time when you are not obliged to perform in public. Do it on a weekend or when you are not working. While exercise is recommended during a cleanse, getting plenty of rest is also recommended. Drinking plenty of water is also recommended to help in the cleansing process of the body.

Some can do a detox program and do not feel sick at all, while most have some symptom of cleansing. The symptoms can be mild or ravaging …. but you do have control, so do not give up. Get advice from a health care physician and be prepared for what is to come. In the end, you will feel much better and be glad you "suffer" through it.

Apple and Coffee Diet – Can You Really Lose 15 Pounds in Just One Week?

No doubt already you think I’m crazy to suggest this diet. But did you know that top catwalk models the world over swear by this diet? For example, it is rumored that Giselle could be using this diet to keep herself looking amazing. Still not convinced? You can lose over 15 pounds in a single week on this diet – let’s find out how, in this article.

The Rules

Basically you can only drink black coffee and eat apples. Any kind of apples will do, as will any kind of coffee so long as it’s black i.e. no added milk or sugar. The idea is that you can drink or eat as much as you feel like.

Of course you can also drink water too because it contains zero calories. You’ll rely on the volume of water in your belly to stave off hunger pangs. I recommend drinking plenty of water also to accompany the coffee and keep your stomach healthy. Otherwise that amount of coffee alone could give you indigestion problems.

Does It Work?

Apples are well known for keeping away hunger pangs while coffee will raise your metabolism. You can lose a serious amount of weight this way. But the problem is that this extreme diet is extremely lacking in nutrition. You CAN take supplements but they are not the same as getting your nutrition from your food.

If you do decide to do this diet then I personally recommend no more than 48 hours. It is unlikely that you’ll have the willpower to tolerate any more than this anyway.