What the Diet Industry Isn’t Telling You About Weight Loss

At any given time, more than half of U.S. residents are trying to lose weight. With overall body weights increasing, along with the rates of diseases that have been correlated with higher weights, many people feel that dieting is their only option for good health. Unfortunately, not everyone who wants to reduce is doing it in a healthy way. Weight loss is an industry worth more than $60 billion dollars in the United States, and much of that industry is dedicated to selling products rather than keeping people healthy. Here’s a look at what you may not know about losing weight.

Types of Weight Loss Techniques

There are many methods available for trying to lose weight. Restrictive diets are among the best-publicized. These include calorie restriction, in an attempt to take in less energy than you expend, as well as diets that restrict food by type, such as low-fat, low-carbohydrate and low-sugar diets.

In addition to using restrictive diets, some people also attempt to significantly increase their activity. This has a similar effect to that of a calorie-restricting diet, but it increases the amount of energy spent rather than decreasing what goes in. Increased activity tends to require greater schedule and lifestyle changes than simply changing your eating habits, but it comes with added benefits such as increased strength and better cardiovascular health.

Last, and potentially more profitable for the weight loss industry, are devices, supplements and other products intended to produce weight loss. These include diet pills, natural weight loss supplements containing acai, African mango and a range of other substances, plus belts and other devices. The basic principle behind some of these products has been shown to help with reduction when it’s combined with other mainstream methods, but the majority of diet pills and other products don’t do much to help. They can even be harmful to your health.

Weight loss Effectiveness

With more than 50 percent of the population paying attention to weight, you’d expect the pounds to be coming off. Most people, however, are experiencing little to no weight change. Some people even find that their weight goes up after they attempt to reduce. Depending on the study, statistics show that between 30 and 60 percent of dieters not only regain all the weight they lose while dieting, they actually become even heavier than they were before they started the diet. These patterns hold true across a wide spectrum of weight-loss techniques. Only about 10 percent of all dieters are able to maintain their loss after several years, no matter how much weight was lost during the dieting period.

Out of people who do lose weight effectively, the most viable target is a loss of about 10 percent of their highest weight. That’s the number recommended by the National Institutes of Health for people who are obese or overweight. Losing more than this can be difficult and is rarely effective.

Many people attribute this lack of effectiveness to poor willpower on the part of the dieter, but recent research has shown that the problem is more complex than this. A 2011 study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that losing weight changes the way the body produces hormones associated with metabolism. This means that people who attempt to reduce are hungrier and suffer from higher appetite levels than they did before the loss. This lasts for at least one year after weight loss, making it far more difficult for someone who has dieted to maintain a lower weight than it is for someone who has never undergone a weight loss program.

Dangers of Dieting

It’s not just poor rates of effectiveness that make weight loss a complicated subject. Trying to get rid of fat can also be dangerous. This problem is greater with extreme diets that promise to take off a lot of weight very quickly. These diets can encourage loss of muscle instead of fat. They also increase the risk of heart disease, a slowed metabolism, and other health problems. Liquid diets, extreme calorie deprivation, and fad diets that eliminate whole categories of food are the most dangerous; but any kind of diet can be hazardous to your health if you repeatedly lose and gain weight, or “yo-yo.”

Diet pills can cause serious health problems, too. These weight loss supplements are usually made to be taken for only a short period of time and often contain large amounts of caffeine and other stimulants. This type of diet pill can increase anxiety and irritability, produce insomnia and other sleep problems, and even cause cardiovascular problems in people with existing heart weakness. Fat blockers can produce intestinal discomfort and other digestive problems. They can also produce malnutrition by blocking the body’s ability to absorb important vitamins and minerals. Diet pills that work as appetite suppressants can raise your heart rate and blood pressure. Even herbal weight loss supplements can have unpleasant side effects, especially in people who are allergic to some of their ingredients.

Weight Isn’t Everything

These questions about health and effectiveness are often met with the assertion that fatness is fundamentally unhealthy, so everyone should try to lose weight. In fact, while there are several diseases and conditions associated with higher weight, they aren’t necessarily a direct result of it. While fat people are much more likely to suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure and other metabolic problems, the correlation reduces significantly if those fat people are active and eat a good diet. Thin, sedentary people are actually at greater risk than people who are fat but otherwise in good physical condition. You may be fat and unhealthy, but your weight isn’t the biggest factor. However, that doesn’t mean that weight loss isn’t effective.

Who Should Reduce?

Studies show that if you have diabetes, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, your condition will probably improve if you lose about 10 percent of your body weight. Losing more weight than this doesn’t seem to provide additional benefit, though it could help you wear smaller clothes. If you have any of these conditions, it’s important to be careful how you lose the weight and to do it only in conjunction with good diet and regular exercise. These seem to be the most important parts of staying healthy, no matter how much weight you carry.

The Healthiest Option

What the diet industry doesn’t want you to know is that most diet pills, weight loss supplements, and diet programs don’t work very well and can even hurt your health more than being fat. If you’re interested in being truly healthy, your best option for weight loss is to look at your activity level and the nutritional content of your diet. Work on making fresh vegetables at least half of your diet and take up moderate exercise at about a half hour per day. That’s what the U.S. government recommends for optimum health.

If you do decide to reduce your caloric intake, use a balanced diet that doesn’t cut out any important food groups, and look for weight loss of no more than one to two pounds per week. This rate is more likely to produce permanent loss without serious health side effects because it’s so slow that your body has the ability to adjust more effectively. You may not be able to drop a dress size in a month, but you’ll feel better and stay a whole lot healthier in the long run.

The Guaranteed Best Weight Loss Program

If you want to lose weight, selecting the right weight loss program is absolutely essential to your success. There are a seemingly unlimited number of weight loss programs available on the market today so how can you decide which one is right for you? This is a question I see a lot from both men and women looking for the right program to follow. It’s a confusing situation to be in I can imagine; wanting to lose weight but not knowing which program best serves your needs. So what do you do?

Well, the purpose of this article is to discuss various aspects and concepts surrounding weight loss programs in hopes that it will help you be able to select the appropriate program for you. First things first!

1. Identify what you REALLY want

What do you really want from your physical body? My online fitness coaching clients hear this from me all the time. At first it may seem like a pretty silly question, but it’s not. I’ve learned that the vast majority of people seeking weight loss really aren’t really that interested in losing weight at all. It’s true! In my considerable professional experience, the majority of people seeking professional fitness coaching aren’t looking to lose weight as much as they’d simply like to feel good about themselves and avoid the pain associated with the social pressures of being overweight. Weight loss isn’t their true desire, it simply provides them with the things they are really wanting. In fact, I will go as far to say that most people really want to eat whatever they want to eat, do whatever they want to do and live their life as they deem appropriate. I’m not pointing fingers here, that’s what I’d like to do too. However, being human means we have social pressures and expectations. At this point in history we are told that a lean, toned physique is sexy, attractive and desirable. I believe that this is the reason most people seek weight loss programs, not because of a true desire to be lean, but an intense desire to be wanted, to be sexy, to be considered attractive and to feel good about their body when surrounded by people who’s opinions they consider important.

It’s perfectly alright to seek weight loss for any reason at all; because you want to feel attractive, feel confident in your body or to attract prospective love interests. Whatever your reason for seeking weight loss, it’s very important that you identify your REAL reason for this pursuit. Once you’ve accurately identified this reason/reasons, motivating yourself toward that goal/goals is a much more enjoyable process. Once this happens, the weight loss process is not so much about the weight as much as it’s all about you! And that is exactly how it should be.

2. Determine commitment boundaries

This concept is perhaps the most important of all. I have seen people spend thousands of dollars on weight loss programs only to abandon that effort just days into the program. They over-committed themselves and were not able to follow through. Every weight loss program has a few things in common. Each of these things will vary from program to program, but the basic components remain:

Frequency – how often you must workout
Intensity – how much effort and intensity you must put into your program
Time – how much time you must exercise each workout
Type – the type of exercise(s) you will be doing during a program

This actually has a common name. We in the fitness industry call this the F.I.T.T principle. Beyond these basics which are usually associated with the exercise components of your program there will also be nutritional requirements to any quality weight loss program that fit perfectly into the same acronym:

Frequency – describes how often you will eat each day
Intensity – how rigid or lax your diet is
Time – how long you must eat this way
Type – the kind of food and nutrition methodology being used

These are going to be present in any well-developed weight loss program. Your success is dependent on what you are realistically willing and able to commit to with regard to each of these factors. Let’s face it, purchasing a weight loss program does not guarantee success, you must follow the program to achieve results. For instance, if your program requires a very strict diet with seven days of intense exercise each week but you aren’t a disciplined dieter and have never worked out before, this hypothetical program probably isn’t the one that is going to serve your needs best. Perhaps you need a program that has a more developmental approach and allows you more food and exercise options.

3. Beware of programs that claim to be for everybody

I’m not saying that there aren’t programs that could benefit anyone and everyone, but I am saying that you are more likely to be successful when you sign-up for a program that is directed at people just like you. Programs that attempt to cater to everyone are typically designed to produce sales more than results. These programs tend to be very demanding, have very rigid diet expectations and often lead to injury for those not prepared to handle the demands the program requires. Do your homework and find a program that is designed with you in mind.

When I began developing my Body Fat Meltdown weight loss program for women a lot of people told me I’d make more sales if I would only market it to everyone; men, women, older, younger, everybody. While this is undoubtedly true I couldn’t ethically do that because I know that each of these groups of people have their own unique set of needs and desires when it comes to physical fitness and weight loss. Therefore, I developed the Body Fat Meltdown program specifically for newly motivated women wanting to lose weight without requiring a gym membership so they could work out each day for thirty minutes or less wherever and whenever they wanted. I wanted it to be ideal for the at-home exerciser or for women who need to workout with minimal equipment while traveling. It needed to take away all excuses for a newly motivated weight loss participant and that’s what it does. By providing exact diets and exercise instructions the Body Fat Meltdown program ensures success if a woman will simply follow it for ninety days. This is an example of a program that has a targeted audience, a specific purpose and a meaningful method of progression that will lead this specific group of participants toward their weight loss goals.

4. Make sure the program is challenging, but livable

Be honest about the type of program your lifestyle will allow you to partake in. Fitness is an evolution so where you are in life now may not be where you are down the line, but you must be able to manage your weight loss program within the current boundaries that your life provides. For instance, if you are a single mother with two small children at home you probably are not going to stick to a ninety day program where you have to eat brussel sprout and cabbage soup at each meal while exercising sixty minutes two times each day. It’s just not sustainable. Every program has it’s nutrition and exercise requirements so it’s up to you to make sure that those requirements will challenge you to improve but that also fit into your current living arrangement.

5. The best weight loss program is one you’ll finish

The most effective program in the world is useless if you don’t do it. I know this first-hand. I’ve has women sign-up for my Body Fat Meltdown weight loss program and proceed to lose twenty-four pounds in the first thirty days. On the other hand I’ve had women sign-up and never even attempt the first training program yielding a result of exactly nothing. The best weight loss program you can invest in is one you will participate in, be challenged by and finish. I can name at least a hundred weight loss programs off the top of my head that have produced amazing results for their participants. Conversely, I can assure you that every one of those programs also has people who purchased, then barely participated, quit and spent hard-earned money for no results whatsoever. Ultimately the results you get begin and end with you. They are dependent on the factors we discussed above and are absolutely determined by your participation and completion of the program.

Take these five factors and use them to weed through the vast wilderness of weight loss programs available to you. Find a program where you are the targeted participant, one that you can realistically participate in and sustain from start to finish. If you do these things I firmly believe you will be successful in your effort to lose weight and look and feel great.

Essential Eye Health Foods For Better Eyesight

In many ways the saying by Hippocrates is true today: “Let thy food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be thy food.”This principle can be applied to your eye health. No vision improvement program is complete without the proper nutritional foundation to support better eye health. So, if your taste buds are craving a break from traditional foods good for eyes, here are some foods you never knew that can improve and promote better eyesight.

Beets: When it comes to eye health foods, Beets are good for your eyes as they consist of Lutein and Zeaxanthin, beneficial nutrients that promote the health of the macular and the retina of the eyes. Due to its content in Nitrates, Beets can open up the blood vessels in the eyes and also increase the blood flow to the brain, a good way to prevent cognitive disorders. More importantly, this vegetable is popular for its blood pressure lowering properties. This is significant due to the fact that there is a connection between normal blood pressure and better eyesight, as high blood pressure has a negative impact on eye health.

According to Troy Bedinghaus, O.D of about.com, “Hypertensive Retinopathy is a disease of the retina and the retinal blood vessels that occurs because of uncontrolled blood pressure. Uncontrolled high blood pressure makes the retinal blood vessels become narrow and leak fluid. The retina can be starved for Oxygen or the retina can begin to take on fluid. These changes can reduce vision.”

According to a study published by both the British Heart Foundation and the Journal of the American Heart Association, participants that drank a cup of Beet Juice a day saw a 7 percent reduction in their blood pressure. Therefore, Beet Juice can lower blood pressure while simultaneously promoting better eyesight. Beets also consist of Vitamin A, B 1, B 2, B 6, and C in addition to Lutein and Zeaxanthin, important vitamins and antioxidants that aid in the prevention of Macular Degeneration and Cataracts.

Tuna: Another food for eye health is Tuna. According to Web MD, eating Tuna may reduce the risk of developing Dry eye Syndrome particularly in women. A woman’s health study involving 40,000 female professionals from ages 45-84, conducted by a woman’s hospital researcher, revealed that women who ate Tuna had a lower incidence of Dry Eye Syndrome. Scientific data suggests also that the Omega- 3 Fatty acid content in Tuna may have been a contributing factor. The study revealed that the women who consumed 2-4 servings of tuna per week had a 19% lower risk of Dry Eye Syndrome while those who ate 5-6 servings of Tuna reported a 68% lower risk of dry eye syndrome.

Pomegranates: Among the foods good for eye health Pomegranates is an example of such a food.This fruit is essential for eye health due to its Vitamin A content which is a form of Beta- Carotene. Pomegranates are also a cure for night blindness. It’s highly beneficial to eye health due to the fact that is consists of a substance called Rhodopsin in the eyes that improves eyesight. Pomegranates have a high concentration of Polyphenols, powerful antioxidants good for eyes such as Vitamin A, C, E and K. These antioxidants help fight free radicals in the body and clinical research suggests that they increase blood flow to the heart and thin the blood which contributes to reduced blood pressure and plaque in the arteries. You can have Pomegranate fruit as a morning treat, afternoon snack, and late night treat, or you can buy the Pomegranate juice available at your neighborhood supermarket.

Nutrition is an integral part of promoting eye health. Super foods such as Pomegranates, Beets and Tuna supply the eyes with a wide variety of essential antioxidants and vitamins. These foods are important nutritional allies. They help us build a better foundation for healthier eyesight and also prevent vision disorders. Therefore, when it comes to protecting eyesight, take care of your eyes with the right nutrition, and according to Hippocrates, let your food be powerful nutritional medicine for your eyes.