How to Choose a Diet That’s Right For You

May 26, 2004 by  
Filed under Health & Hygiene

You know, dieting is a life-long hobby of mine, and I’m sure for some of you guys out there looking to lose a few pounds for the summer months, you can relate.

I found an article on About.com about how to choose a diet that’s right for you and your needs.  It’s a pretty simple article, but I think it’s pretty good, all things considered.

How to Choose a Diet That’s Right For You
From your Weight Loss Guide

No one diet works for everyone: you need to find a diet that fits for your needs. A detailed description of each is in the diet index linked below.

Here’s How:

1.  If you are sedentary, select a diet that emphasizes exercise.
2.  If you crave sweets, consider the Carbohydrate Addict diet.
3.  If you are insulin-resistant and not grossly overweight, consider the GO-diet.
4.  If you have blood sugar or cholesterol problems, consider the Dr. Atkins diet.
5.  If you do body building, check for the Targeted Ketogenic or Cycling Ketogenic diets.
6.  If you are a vegetarian and want a more stringent diet, or have liver or gallbladder problems, try one of the low-fat diets.
7.  If you want to adjust your taste preferences to enjoy simpler foods, try a short-term fast (no more than 3 days)  it will refresh your taste buds.
8.  If you tend to overindulge in tasty, high-sugar and fatty foods, try the Raw Food or Macrobiotics diets. Though these diets aren’t intended for that purpose, they can be very effective.
9.  If you feel that you need support, join an organized weight-loss program like Weight Watchers.
10.  If you are in search of a spirituality-based program, check into the Weigh Down diet.
11.  If you don’t like restrictive diets, try Suzanne Somers’ diet.
12.  If you would like to go on a low-carb diet but can’t give up fruits and unlimited vegetables, try the Protein Power diet.
13.  If you have heart or blood pressure problems, avoid Ephedrine-containing diet pills.
14.  If you have obesity-related health problems, ask you physician if you can benefit from one of the weight-loss prescription drugs.

Tips:
1.  Choose a diet that you know can be a part of your life style.
2.  Do not trust diets that promise fast weight loss without any effort.
3.  Do not trust diets that promise results without exercise and/or changes in eating behavior.

I’ve tried a lot of the diets listed above, and the Atkin’s Diet has consistently worked the best for me.  Anyone else out there have any experiences with the low carb stuff?

You can read the original article here.

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Comments

5 Responses to “How to Choose a Diet That’s Right For You”
  1. eek says:

    I’ve got good experiences with low-carb, but I’m not particularly happy about Dr Atkins. Aspects of his diet works (as a short time diet), but he had no clue about the biochemistry involved, and a lot of weird hypotheses.

    If you actually want to get slim and stay slim (and isn’t in it for the hobby of dieting), there are a few aspects to it:

    - Lose weight SLOWLY. There is a max limit of about half a pound (250 grams) per week. If you lose more than this, the body will usually up its defenses and start diverting whatever it can to fat-storage – so the food you eat gets turned into fat, while the body burns muscle. (This is not 100% true, but it is true to a larger degree than we like).

    - Remove sugar and other high-glycemic index food from your diet. They result in an insulin spike, which both result in getting hungry again fast, and in excess insuling which is converted to triglycerides by the liver – and these are pumped directly into fat storage.

    - Avoid fructose. This has a low GI, but it is shipped directly into fat storage. The massive obesity wave in the US match statistically when fructose started to be used in food – and not much else. (This is recent info)

    - Eat a multivitamin / mineral supplement. You get hungry because your body lack something – and it is extremely easy to end up lacking something, especially if you eat industrial food. The best is organically grown (the soil is rich in nutrients), the second best is just cooking from scratch using whatever you can get (raw as much as possible, except for tomatoes, where the nutrient are more easily absorbed if they are cooked), the worst is pre-processed and canned stuff. However, even with organic food it is hard to get everything – so get a supplement. I use LifePak (from Pharmanex), which is extremely good but expensive – there are others out there that are good, too, but 90% are crap. Check carefully.

    - Get enough Omega 3.
    Most people are deficient in Omega 3. Without Omega 3 (and Omega 6, but that’s generally easily available), the body cannot burn fat. Good supplements are flaxseed oil (can be expensive; a couple of tablespoons per day should give you an OK leve), Udo’s Choice (even more expensive, mix of the best you can get), or fish oils (price depends on where you live – fairly cheap where I live, expensive generally). The good part-of-diet source for this is fish.

    - Practice tapering
    Start with the largest meal of the day, and then eat less as the day progresses. Avoid carbohydrates late in the day. (Background: Your body’s sensitivity to insulin is at the maximum level at the start of the day. This means the body produce less insulin in response to the same food early in the day. There also seems to be other aspects of body food processing that turns towards storing stuff as fat instead of lean body mass as the day progresses, but that is less well-documented than the insulin path. I generally stick to not eating anything with carbohydrates in it after 6 pm. Overall, this way of eating maximize your burn rate.

    - Eat 6 meals a day
    Yes, really. Keeps your burn rate high.

    - Do some exercise
    Weight-bearing exercise is much better than aerobics at burning fat. MUCH better. If you want to maximize fat burning, do one set of 20 to 25 repeats. As always: Exercise a muscle to exhaustion per set. (You can trade to more muscle building , less fat-burning by going two reps of 12 to 15, or max muscle minimum fat burning by three sets of 5 to 6 reps.)

    - Do it as a lifestyle change
    Avoid thinking of “diets”. Think of life style changes; just change the sides of your lifestyle that injury your shape.

    A couple of side notes:
    Your muscles have a multi-step burning system. The primary thing they burn glycogen (which is made from glucose), and after that again fat. In order to burn fat efficiently through aerobic exercise, you need to (A) be out of glycogen, (B) have available Omega 3 for fat burning to work, (C) have bodyfat (this is NEVER an issue, actually), and (D) exercise. The glycogen stores are empty in the morning (after sleep) and after weight-bearing exercise (as described above).

    You can safely get short carbs right after weight-bearing exercise, BTW – for the first half-hour or so, carbs are directed towards re-filling the glycogen stores, and do not trigger insulin. Re-filling the glycogen stores after exercise is actually a very good idea, because otherwise your body will notice that you have a low level of stored glycogen, and that will make you feel hungry. And when you re-fill the glycogen storage, about half the food will go to fat storage (due to partitioning in the body.)

    There IS a trick you can add to sort-of turn this into a diet: Do so called “Z-dieting” (or at least that’s how I’ve heard it described). This basically means that you add tapering over time in addition to the tapering inside each day. Then reset occasionally. As an example, let’s say you do Z with an interval of a week, with Friday as your restart day. Then you eat a lot on friday, a little less on saturday, then less, less, less until you get to least on thursday, and then you reset to eating a lot on the next friday. This fools your body into thinking you have a lot of calories available, and thus makes it increase burn rate. (It is AFAIR best done with intervals ranging from one to two weeks.)

    I personally practice a hack over Z – I just eat a lot SOME days, between once a week and once every second week. This gives a bit of the effect, but not quite as much as a pure Z. On the other hand, it is something I can fit in as a lifestyle change, and Z is too restrictive for that.

    – Eek

  2. Shark says:

    In highschool I was in great shape…there was an icecream and donut vendor and in 4 years I newer bought anything while the hotties ate that junk and tought I was a weirdo. Also I didnt drink coke for 10 years probably….ofcourse the hotties laughed but I didnt care, and I newer will,
    In my WHOLE life when it is summed I drank 2 liters of beek, actually a bit less I can say precesly when….
    I have the discipleine and discipline always brings results!! no atkins or whatever
    Shark

  3. shark says:

    Thundercat here s me again: discipline,discipline, dont read that comercial crap…go by a book written by sport coaches on diet and pay for it cause it will cost…free articles are bullshit, no mainstram bullshit and there you will see all

  4. Dave Iserman says:

    I agree with Shark for the most part, but I really like Atkins and have been on Atkins and his protein diet for years. I’m an athlete by nature, and I stay away from beer, coke, and desserts. I’ve always been the belle of the ball.

  5. Caco says:

    Atkins, convincing mom, discipline, and nodding to all the well meaning fools who dont know shit. This combo works like magic :-)

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