We all know that there are many ways to achieve weight loss. There are diet pills, fasts, fad diets, B-12 injections, and popular diets like Jenny Craig and Atkins. There are weight loss programs, like Nutrisystems, that will even deliver the food you eat right to your front door – for a price, of course.
Recently, we have been given one more entree in the virtual smorgasbord of weight loss choices, and this is bariatric surgery in the form of the Lap Band System, Gastric Bypass Surgery, or variations of both. The upside is that you will lose a lot (emphasis added) of weight – sometimes even a hundred pounds or more. The downside is that bariatric surgery is expensive – somewhere in the neighborhood of $25,000. Doctors will not perform bariatric surgery until you 50 or more pounds overweight, are healthy enough to go through major or laparoscopic surgery, and are informed about the risk factors.
Diet pills work in the short run, but they can be addicting. When you stop taking the pills, you will be ravenously hungry. This is why it is impossible to sustain long-term weight loss by taking diet pills.
Fasts work only for a short time because, during a fast, you slow down your metabolism because your body goes into “starvation mode.” Like diet pills, you will immediately regain the weight when you begin eating again because of your lowered metabolism. It takes awhile for your body to adjust to eating again, and before that happens, you will end up burning off fat more slowly, which will result in rapid weight gain.
Diet programs like Nutrisystems and Jenny Craig are highly effective. But, again, after the diet, most people gain back the weight because they haven’t learned how to eat differently. The Jenny Craig diet has an excellent maintenance phase, but most people don’t follow it.
The same goes for the Adkins diet. I am opposed to the Adkins diet because on it you will lose muscle mass, and you don’t get enough carbohydrates to stay healthy. Your body burns fat for energy. But on Adkins, when you run out of fat, it burns protein – which means that it burns muscle mass. Adkins is also very high in cholesterol.
The best way to lose weight without having to spend a dime is to eat a balanced diet and count calories and fat grams. Keep your calories above 1,000 and your fat grams at 30 or less per day. If you lose no more than two pounds a week, you will stay healthy, have lots of energy, and not gain the weight back because you have changed the way you eat – for life. If you add exercise to the equation, you will tone up while losing weight and burn calories faster.
Though fad diets and diet pills are tempting, stay away from them and lose weight the old-fashioned way by counting calories and fat grams. You will lose weight without going hungry and save a lot of money in the long run.