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Selecting a New Diet Plan: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Victoria’s Secret supermodel Martha Hunt. (Getty)

No matter how much weight you lose you will probably never look like Victoria’s Secret supermodel Martha Hunt. Few people do. That shouldn’t be your goal. Instead, focus on picking a diet plan that will help you slim down to a better, healthier weight and then stay there. Picking the right plan is the most important part of your new diet. Here are some pitfalls to avoid.



1. Beware of Wild Claims

Flickr/Sean

(Flickr/Sean)

You cannot lose more than a pound or two per week over the long run and expect to keep it off. Many diets will advertise wild and inflated claims of success. They will have testimonials touting the benefits of the plan.

But the science on this is clear.

It is virtually impossible to maintain a consistent weight loss of more than a few pounds per week and expect to keep it off when you are done. Don’t try for the impossible, quick fix. Be practical.


2. Avoid Celebrity Diets

Jennifer Lopez performs at the iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party in Miami Beach on June 28, 2014 . (Getty)

Celebrities make news when they go on diets. That’s because they are celebrities.

But that doesn’t mean they know what they are talking about nor that their diet makes sense. In fact, they go to such great lengths to hold onto their sexy appearance that they will do just about anything. Cayenne pepper cleanses, apple cider binging, cabbage soup and even baby food are among the stranger ideas they have touted.

Furthermore, some of their choices may be too pricey. For example, a celebrity favorite is a company called Freshology. They provide calorie-controlled all-natural meals conveniently delivered right to your door. BUT you’d have to be as wealthy as J-Lo to afford the nearly $50-per-day tab.


3. Run Away From Diets That Promote Fasting

The health benefits of fasting are at best controversial and at worst, non-existent. Most medical experts are against fasting while some pseudo-scientists promote it. However, almost everyone agrees that fasting is not a desirable weight loss tool.

Why?

Because the calories you save and modest fat reserves you burn on your fast day are quickly replaced as you catch up on the other six days. Yo-yo’ing is worse than obesity as a health risk.


4. Make Sure You Like the Food

(Flickr/Romel Sanchez)

We all know that eating salads, taro burgers, tofu, and steamed or raw vegetables will lead to rapid and efficient weight loss. Avoiding or minimizing carbs, fats and processed foods are critical for many popular diet plans. But do you like broccoli, kidney beans, acorn squash, edamame and fiber-rich oats so much that you can eat them for a long time?

If not, you won’t be able to stay on the diet after you have lost the amount of weight you want. When you revert to your old foods, if you are not super-careful, the pounds will come rolling back.

Solution: Find a diet that permits you to eat things you like and teaches you how to moderate your intake.


5. Always Check with Your Doctor Before Starting

As always, you should check with your doctor before starting a serious diet plan. Especially if you have other health risks such as diabetes, kidney disease, heart trouble or high blood pressure. Some diets that seem healthy are contraindicated in the presence of some medical conditions and your physician is well-equipped to offer sound advice.

A nutritionist can sometimes be helpful to steer you along and motivate you as you begin. However, some people, especially heavier ones, tend to disregard the advice in a short amount of time. If you want a nutritionist, get a recommendation from a friend. They can tell you how realistic their approach is.


Michael Pickert MD
Dr. Michael Pickert is a physician in New Jersey and author of “I’m Michael and I WAS Fat..Eating Less and Loving It.” Available at Amazon and on his website http://www.ImLosingToWin.com

March 10, 2015 1:19 pm

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