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Which diet plan is best for you? Here are the pros and cons of 4 popular options

There’s more than one way to eat your way to weight loss. Here are four approaches most often recommended by experts:

Calorie-focused diets

It’s generally the first principle of dieting for weight loss: take in fewer calories. But some diets overtly stress this.

We’ve seen many variants over the years. A recent, popular example is Volumetrics, which focuses on foods with low calorie density — such as fruits, vegetables and broth-based soups — and eating them to fullness.

Low-fat diets got their start as a means of lowering calories, since high-fat foods tend to be calorie-dense. But if fats are replaced with carbs, calorie intake can rise, as many low-fat dieters discovered in the 1980s and 1990s.

Weight Watchers has evolved over the years and found different ways to count calories and fat, but it’s never strayed far from this tried-and-true approach. Mobile apps have made it easier than ever to keep track, and successful calorie-focused dieters tend to be counters, measurers and trackers.

Low-carbohydrate diets

Dr. Robert C. Atkins proposed in the 1970s that dramatically driving down carbs and replacing them largely with high-protein foods would cause bodies to switch into fat-burning mode. That would prompt weight loss and body composition changes that favored lean muscle over fat.

Many variations followed: the Zone Diet, paleo diet, Sugar Busters and the South Beach diet all draw on the idea that cutting carbs is key. An emphasis on protein and a tolerance of fats keeps many dieters from feeling hungry. And the clear identification of foods to avoid — including anything with added sugars — makes low-carb diets easier for those who don’t want to count, don’t want to feel hungry, and don’t mind skipping sugary or carb-rich foods.

These diets also tend to be good for people with, or at risk for, diabetes, since they help keep blood sugar in check.

Intermittent fasting

There’s nothing new to the idea that periodic fasting can lead to renewal; it’s been central to many forms of religious observance for millennia.

But researchers are finding growing evidence that the body can be “tricked” to burn more calories — and fat — by eating foods at certain times of the day or by giving the digestive system a near-total break for a couple days each week. The Fast Diet, big in the U.K., and the Warrior Diet are examples of this new-old approach.

Scientists have turned up evidence in mice that limiting eating and drinking — except for water — to a 12-to-16-hour period during mainly daylight hours could correct a metabolism overwhelmed by 24/7 eating and aid in weight management. Now the idea is being tested in humans. It may not help people working graveyard shifts, or those who fear the sensation of hunger. But for dieters who would rather skimp on when they eat than what or how much, it might be just the thing.

Mediterranean diet

This really did start as a way of life. For eons, peoples living along the Mediterranean mostly ate foods that came from plants and the sea. Fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes and nuts were the backbone, often drenched in olive oil. Fish was a near-daily staple, washed down by a glass or so of red wine. Grains were whole, dairy and poultry were used sparingly, and red meat and sweets were almost absent.

Research quickly established that these eaters had low rates of cardiovascular or metabolic disease. A landmark 2013 clinical trial confirmed that for people in middle age or older, following elements of a Mediterranean diet drove down heart attacks and strokes in those with diabetes, obesity or other risk factors.

Though its principles could easily be adapted to weight loss, the Mediterranean diet isn’t designed for this. But it is powerful at protecting and enhancing health, and may mitigate some of the effects of extra weight. Given the difficulties of reversing established obesity, this way of eating is a no-brainer.

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Dr. Nishant Rao of Diet Doc Finds Unexpected Similarities Between the Sirtfood Diet and Doctor-Supervised Weight Loss

CHARLESTON, WV–(Marketwired – February 24, 2017) – The Sirtfood Diet focuses on consuming foods which may interact with a type of protein called, Sirtuins. The primary foods that contain this protein include chocolate, red wine, kale, blueberries, citrus, prawns, and salmon as well as green juices. The diet itself is limited to 1000 calories for each of the first three days, then the diet increases to 1500 calories per day. Dr. Nishant Rao — Medical Director of Diet Doc’s national medical weight loss program advises dieters who are looking to lose weight on the Sirtfood Diet that, “Most of the initial weight loss during the first three days is going to be glycogen weight (stored carbohydrates + water), not actual fat loss.” Dr. Rao continues, “Also, there is very little research on the actual impact that these foods have on weight loss when you take their calorie counts out of the equation.”

Dr. Rao also takes issue with the way that the Sirtfood Diet’s research has been conducted, “The research that was put forth by the author of the book used paid participants and were also under the guidance of a personal trainer and nutritional expert.” This again blurs the lines between weight loss that would occur regardless, and any additional benefits of the sirtfoods. Ironically, sirtuins themselves are also produced via caloric restriction and exercise! While experts may disagree on whether sirtfoods actually cause weight loss, the fact that the creators of the diet enlisted personal trainers and nutritional experts does point to the fact that a combination of doctor supervision, diet planning and nutritional guidance and support plays a significant role in helping individuals reach their ideal weight. Diet Doc Medical Weight Loss offers unlimited guidance from certified doctors and nutritionists to clients nationwide and customizes the nutritional criteria for each of their clients based on their unique health history, body composition and current weight loss struggles.

New Diet Doc patients can call or easily and effortlessly visit https://www.dietdoc.com to complete an initial comprehensive, yet simple, health questionnaire and schedule an immediate personal, no-cost consultation. Diet Doc Physicians all received specialized training in nutritional science and fast weight loss. Diet Doc reviews each patient’s health history to create a personalized diet plan geared for fast weight loss, or that addresses life-long issues causing weight loss to slow down or stop. Nutritionists work personally with each patient and use their own algorithm to craft meal and snack plans that are compatible with each patient’s age, gender, activity level, food preferences, nutritional needs and medical conditions. They combine these state of the art diet plans with pure, prescription diet products that enable their patients to resist the temptation to reach for sugary snacks, eliminate fatigue and curb the appetite. Over 97% of Diet Doc patients report incredible weight loss results with the majority losing 20 or more pounds per month.

At Diet Doc, all patients gain unlimited access to the best minds in the business. Their staff of doctors, nurses, nutritionists and coaches are available 6 days per week to answer questions, offer suggestions, address concerns and lend their professional guidance and support. Because of this, more and more people are turning to Diet Doc for their weight management needs. Diet plans are tailored to be specific to the needs of those of any age, gender, shape or size and for those who are struggling to lose that final 10-20 pounds to those who must lose 100 pounds or more. Call today to request a private, confidential, no-cost online consultation.

About the Company:

Diet Doc Weight Loss is the nation’s leader in medical, weight loss offering a full line of prescription medication, doctor, nurse and nutritional coaching support. For over a decade, Diet Doc has produced a sophisticated, doctor designed weight loss program that addresses each individual specific health need to promote fast, safe and long term weight loss.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DietDocMedical

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DietDocMedicalWeightLoss/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/diet-doc-weight-loss?trk=biz-brand-tree-co-logo

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Looking for a heart healthy diet? First step: Add fish, walnuts – The Courier

Why is it so hard to make meaningful changes in your diet? Lots of reasons. A big one is, at a very early age we decide what we like to eat and what we don’t. This started a lifelong habit that most of us adhere to with remarkable consistency. In fact, although you may believe you have considerable variety in your diet, it’s more likely that your eating habits fall within a narrow range and you rarely venture far from it. If you are 60 years of age, you have a longtime habit to contend with when you try to change. That’s quite a challenge, and most give up despite good intentions.

Is restricting your food choices to a narrow range a problem? Yes, indeed, if your food choices are similar to those of most Americans, meaning high in processed foods loaded with fat and sugar. It’s no secret that such a diet destroys health in many ways. Even so, we persist on the same course.

As a registered dietitian, I have counseled countless people over the years to help them improve their diet. When I worked in the hospital, many were heart attack victims and those having coronary artery bypass surgery, people who very much needed to make changes to reduce the odds of future heart problems. Unfortunately, I found most people reluctant to change, and not only because they were so used to eating in a certain way. My suggestions often were viewed as punitive, because I was telling them they needed to quit eating so many of the foods they enjoyed.  And because there was a lack of understanding of basic dietary issues and the many ways diet can influence health, my suggestions often came across as too complicated and cumbersome, particularly for someone not highly motivated to change.

Today, I default to a more simplified approach to healthy eating, one that involves tiny steps that are easy to implement. For example, in a recent column, I emphasized the benefits of a higher protein diet as we get older to help counteract sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass). In that column, I provided an easy way to get more protein with a shake that works well as a nutritious lunch.

Here’s another easy suggestion that pays big dividends. Eat more fish.


Fish is lean and high in protein, the perfect combination. Red meat also provides protein, but it comes with a lot of baggage like saturated fat. Unfortunately, we are a nation of meat eaters and fewer than 20 percent of us consume fish at least twice a week, and half of us eat fish only occasionally or not at all. The American Heart Association strongly promotes regular fish consumption because results from many research studies have shown that eating fish substantially reduces the risk of dying from heart disease.

One reason people avoid fish is the fear of pollutants and toxins, like mercury or pesticide residue. The Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration and other authoritative bodies have concluded from their studies that there is insufficient evidence to limit fish consumption in adults. However, if pollutants are a concern, an easy way to reduce risk is to eat a variety of fish and other seafood.


An additional benefit from fish besides being lean and high in protein is the rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help combat inflammation, a key contributing factor in atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries).

Walnuts also are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and they offer other healthful advantages as well.  A recent research study from the Prevention Research Center at Yale University asked participants to add 366 calories of walnuts to their diet every day for six months, then to avoid walnuts for the next six months. Researchers found that eating walnuts lowered total serum cholesterol and the “bad” LDL cholesterol significantly, thus reducing the risk of heart disease.

Another interesting finding was that despite adding 366 calories from walnuts, the weight of participants remained stable and they didn’t gain any body fat. How is that possible? When comparing the diet participants followed with and without the walnuts, their diet was healthier with walnuts.

So, two simple “tiny step” changes that can add up to considerable health benefits include substituting fish for red meat at least twice a week, and making walnuts your new snack.

Anita Miles Curpier is a registered dietitian and has considerable experience in hospital and clinically based nutrition therapy. Contact her at boomingcj@gmail.com.

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Exercise won’t necessarily help you lose weight, but it will help you …

Some people — about 15% of us — may even find that exercise makes them much hungrier, countering weight loss goals, says Dr. Tim Church , a professor of preventive medicine at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La.

But exercise does play a key role: It helps keep weight off once you’ve lost it. Since 1994, Hill has tracked more than 10,000 people in the National Weight Control Registry who shed an average of 66 pounds each and kept it off for more than five years. “Only 9% of them maintain their weight without significant exercise — so it’s possible, but it’s very rare,” Hill says.

For one thing, it’s hard to cut food calories over the long term. Exercise, on the other hand, burns added calories. It also improves metabolism, including how the body manages blood sugar and appetite. You’re giving yourself a “safety margin” for those days when you eat a bit too much.

But don’t overestimate that margin, Church warns. Taking the stairs does not earn you a cheeseburger.

In addition to keeping you trim, exercise is good for the heart, the liver and other essential organs, studies show. It even helps the brain by alleviating depression and anxiety, and by warding off cognitive decline later in life.

“You name it, exercise helps it,” Church says.

Hill says those who’ve lost a lot of weight and don’t want to regain it should exercise for 70 minutes a day. (People who were never obese can get away with less— yes, life is unfair.) That could include planned workouts like going to the gym, but also casual activities like walking around a mall or playing Pokemon Go.

“Figure out what works for you,” Church says.

Homemade baby food could provide increased diet diversity, studies show – Las Vegas Review

Babies who get homemade food may learn to like a wider variety of food types and be leaner than infants who eat store-bought products, a recent study suggests.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and then advises mothers to keep nursing while starting to introduce solid foods.

For the current study, researchers examined whether the source of food – homemade or commercial – influences variety, infant growth and weight. They found babies who only ate homemade foods had more diverse diets earlier in life and lower body fat mass when they were 1 year and 3 years old.

“The results could have implications for preventing obesity and chronic diseases associated with poor food choices,” said lead study author Dr. Elise Mok of the Research Institute at McGill University Health Centre and the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

“Given that food preferences begin early in life, are likely to persist and are difficult to change in adulthood, providing appropriate food choices during the complementary feeding period is of importance to facilitate food acceptance and ensure healthy growth and development,” Mok added by email.

WHO guidelines urge parents to feed babies a varied diet including meat, poultry, fish and eggs along with a range of fruits and vegetables starting at age 6 months.

Previous research suggests that commercially produced baby food can contain high amounts of sodium and sugar and be of a consistent texture and appearance that may limit children’s acceptance of new foods with different textures, researchers write in the International Journal of Obesity.

Homemade foods, by contrast, can provide a broader range of flavors and textures that might encourage children to eat a wider variety of things as they get older, the authors note.

For the current study, researchers examined dietary data on 65 infants and assessments of body fat from exams when infants were 6, 9, 12 and 36 months old.

By 9 months of age, 14 babies, or 22 percent, had exclusively received homemade food and another 14 infants ate only commercially produced food. Most babies got a combination of both types of food.

There weren’t any differences in the babies’ lengths or how much they weighed for their age based on what the infants ate. Calorie and nutrient intakes also didn’t differ by group over time.

However, when researchers scored babies’ diets based on how many of seven different food groups they consumed, the infants getting only homemade food achieved scores almost a full point higher than babies getting only store-bought foods.

At one year of age, babies who ate only homemade food had a lower percentage of body fat than the other infants in the study.

Beyond its small size, other limitations of the study include its reliance on parents to accurately recall and report how babies were fed, the authors note. The study also included families that may be more affluent and educated than the general population and focused on breastfed babies, which may mean the results wouldn’t apply to all infants.

The study wasn’t a controlled experiment designed to prove how infant food choices directly impact children’s eating habits as they grow up.

“Although the observed association cannot confirm a cause and effect relationship, parents should be informed about the provision of home-prepared meat, fruit and vegetables during a baby’s transition to solid food is linked with increased diet diversity in the first year of life,” Mok said.

Diet Doc Reminds Consumers that the hCG Diet is not a Viable …

WESTON, WV–(Marketwired – February 23, 2017) – The physicians and researchers at Diet Doc medical weight loss are urging consumers to choose wisely when it comes to weight loss strategies this year. Certain diets are gaining popularity due to an enormous internet presence, which leaves little room for proven, researched based weight loss strategies. This can lead many individuals to make unsafe dietary choices simply because a fad has allegedly produced satisfactory results for other dieters. The hGG diet is a prime example of this. Produced during pregnancy, the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (hCG) is purported to stimulate weight loss in conjunction with a calorie restrictive diet plan (only 500 calories per day are to be consumed). Supporters claim that HCG injections, drops or tablets target and eliminate long-stored fat reserves within the body. Over the past few years, the marketing and promotion of the hCG diet for weight loss have grown astronomically on the internet and the vast majority of the information on hCG and its corresponding products offered online are designed to confuse and make profit from an unknowing public. The truth, is that the medical industry has never supported the hCG diet. In fact, since its emergence in the 1950s, it still has yet to be deemed effective, or safe by any reputable medical organization.

Consuming a mere 500 calories per day can lead to health problems and since hCG isn’t FDA regulated, most online retailers are selling products that contain little to no hCG. Therefore, any quick weight loss that occurs from the hCG diet is due to starvation dieting. There are claims that hCG is a permanent cure for obesity and that patients who on the hCG diet are losing two pounds of fat per day. However, any legitimate weight loss expert knows that starvation dieting is dangerous and can cause more harm than good. Rapid muscle loss, excessive bloating, binge eating, weight rebounds, poor nutrition and low-energy are just a few of the potentially negative side effects of such diets. Lastly, many existing websites claim that hCG permanently resets the metabolism. But experts suggest that any method one utilizes to lose weight, whether it be diet, exercise or gastric bypass surgery, once the weight is off long-term, a consistent weight maintenance regimen must be implemented to keep the weight and health in check.

Diet Doc wants consumers to know that there are in fact, many other safer dieting strategies for weight loss which are more effective than the severely restricted diet. The best options will be those which offer nutritional support and doctor supervision throughout the process. Dr. Rao, Medical Director of Diet Doc states that, “Weight loss goals can be met by the development of specific nutrition plans, dietary supplements and guidance to ensure that body composition changes are optimal for each individual.” Diet Doc also offers their clients unlimited access to nutritional coaches and weight loss experts by phone, which means no traveling to weight loss centers for weigh-ins and prescription pickups. Dedicated patients can follow Diet Doc’s guidance and start safely losing up to 20 pounds per month.

New patients can get started immediately, with materials shipped directly to their home or office. They can also maintain weight loss in the long-term through weekly consultations, customized diet plans, motivational coaches and a powerful prescription program. With Diet Doc, the doctor is only a short phone call away and a fully dedicated team of qualified professionals is available six days per week to answer questions, address concerns and support patients.

Getting started with Diet Doc is very simple and affordable. New patients can easily visit https://www.dietdoc.com to quickly complete a health questionnaire and schedule an immediate, free online consultation.

About the Company:

Diet Doc Weight Loss is the nation’s leader in medical, weight loss offering a full line of prescription medication, doctor, nurse and nutritional coaching support. For over a decade, Diet Doc has produced a sophisticated, doctor designed weight loss program that addresses each individual specific health need to promote fast, safe and long term weight loss.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DietDocMedical

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DietDocMedicalWeightLoss/

LinkedIn: https://www.LinkedIn.com/company/diet-doc-weight-loss?trk=biz-brand-tree-co-logo

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