|If you’re one of the approximately 67% of Americans that are wired into the internet, there’s a good chance that sometime in the last 24 hours you’ve received at least one spam email promoting the latest and greatest diet pill or weight loss program. These diet products promise fast weight loss results, often without any effort or exercise. The never-ending promise of a weight loss pill that actually works keeps us hoping for eventual success.
At the same time, we’re continually inundated with news of the most recent diet and how this time it’s really going to work for us. The South Beach Diet, the Zone Diet, the Atkins Diet, the Low Carb Diet, the Cabbage Soup Diet, the Mediterranean Diet, the LA Weight Loss Diet, the Weight Watchers Diet, the Diabetic Diet, the Low Cholesterol Diet, the Prescription Pill Diet, the 3 Day Diet, the Low Fat Diet, the High Protein Diet, the Maker Diet, the Liquid Diet, the Grapefruit Diet, the Fad Diet, the Blood Type Diet, the GI Diet, the Vegetarian Diet, the Vegan Diet, the Detox Diet, the Dash Diet, the Candida Diet, the Gluten Free Diet, the Hollywood Diet, the Negative Calorie Diet, the 1200 Calorie Diet, the Raw Food Diet, the Phentermine Diet, the High Fiber Diet, the Macrobiotic Diet, the Science Diet, the Lemonade Diet, the Scarsdale Diet, the Diverticulitis Diet and the Fat Flush Diet are all examples of diet plans that promise to help us achieve quick weight loss.
Crash diets, weight loss pills and get-thin-quick gimmicks are more prevalent than ever, yet two-thirds of our population is still overweight. Even more startling is the fact that approximately one-third of the people in our country are clinically obese.
With all of these ‘solutions’ available to us, why is it that obesity trends have been alarming enough to prompt the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) to label obesity a national epidemic? Why are we still, as a nation, getting fatter? It’s certainly not because we’re not trying.
On the contrary, as a nation we’re trying harder than ever to lose fat through diet and other weight loss products. As reported by CNN on 1-14-05 “Americans were expected to spend more than $40 billion in 2004 on weight control pills, gym memberships, diet plans and related foods, estimates Marketdata Enterprises, which studies the weight loss industry.” Furthermore, statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that 80 percent of overweight individuals and almost 87 percent of obese individuals are trying to lose or maintain their weight.
As reported by mygoals.com, 80 percent of Americans made a New Year’s resolution in 2005. A whopping 26 percent of those resolutions were to improve overall health and fitness, making this the top category for self-improvement. This year was no anomaly, either, according to Amy O'Connor, deputy editor of Prevention magazine: "Fifty-nine million people every year resolve to lose weight."
So, is there a healthy diet product out there that will actually work? More than likely, the answer is yes. Although there is quite a bit of fraudulent weight loss merchandise on the market today, there is also (somewhere out there) a diet program and weight loss plan that will work for us. The challenge is to find that diet product or diet plan.
-> Repeat Business:
The diet and weight loss industry is a huge money making machine. According to Marketdata Enterprises, the annual revenue for the diet industry was over $30 billion dollars in 1990. A 2005 report by Stanford University documents that the consumer diet industry is now approximately $44 billion and growing. With all this money flowing around, haven’t we as a country spent enough to fix the obesity problem once and for all?
How can the diet industry keep making more and more money, year after year? After all, $44 billion dollars is a lot of cash! The answer to that question is simple: repeat business. “98% of today’s dieters gain the weight back in 5 years. 90% of those individuals end up gaining back more than they lost originally, due to the body’s panic and efforts to stabilize metabolic rates over the long term” (Source: Stanford University; stanford.edu).
How do the diet-promoters get all that repeat business? The diet industry is a very unique enterprise in that, when it fails someone, they rarely blame the product. We are hard-pressed to find another business where, if the product doesn’t work, we blame ourselves. All too often, after giving up on yet another diet program, we find ourselves thinking “Well, I guess I’m just not a good enough dieter.” The tendency is for us to believe that we failed the diet rather than the other way around.
Apply this same logic to the automotive industry, and it soon becomes clear just how faulty this line of reasoning really is. What would happen if we take our car in to the mechanic for repairs and when we returned to pick it up he told us that although we still had to pay the bill, he was unable to fix the problem? Would we willing pay the bill anyway and just say “Oh well, I guess it’s just a bad car?” Of course not! That would be ridiculous! But that’s exactly what we do when it comes to diets.
-> One Size Does Not Fit All:
What we need to realize is that there is probably a weight loss product or weight loss plan out there that will work for us, but it may not be the same one our friends or co-workers used. To find the best weight loss program for us, we absolutely must realize that one size does not fit all. What worked for our sibling or spouse may not work for us, and what works for us may not work for them.
It’s probably safe to say that any diet supplement has helped somebody, but it’s also true that no weight loss drug or plan has helped everybody. Each person has a unique metabolism and very individual nutritional needs, so no single plan will work for everyone.
-> How To Find The Right Weight Loss Diet:
Some fat burner products on the market today do indeed work. Others are a complete rip-off. How do you tell the difference? Where do you go for accurate and reliable weight loss information?
First and foremost, talk with your doctor. Your own personal physician is likely to be honest with you and provide you with the facts. In addition, he or she can help you decide which weight loss supplement may be right for your personal situation.
There are also quite a few reputable organizations that provide accurate information on fat loss. Some of the better resources include:
* American Cancer Society - www.cancer.org
* Centers For Disease Control - www.cdc.gov
* Diet Scam Watch - www.dietscam.org
* Calories Per Hour - www.caloriesperhour.com
* Harvard Medical School - www.health.harvard.edu
* Mayo Clinic - www.mayoclinic.org
* Shape Up America - www.shapeup.org
* Calorie Control Council - www.caloriecontrol.org
* President’s Council On Physical Fitness - www.fitness.gov
When seeking a healthy weight loss plan, it’s important that no food be strictly forbidden. There should not be any (or many) foods that we avoid completely 100% of the time. Why? Because that sets us up for failure! For example, if fudge is one of our favorites and we force ourselves to NOT eat fudge at the holiday party, then for many of us what we've done is set ourselves up for a binge fudge-festival.
Avoiding our favorite foods entirely is a too much self-deprivation for most people, and this sets us up for binge-eating. That's a recipe for disaster!
A much better approach is to enjoy foods in moderation. Watch those serving sizes! Enjoy and savor one piece of fudge! It's better to enjoy one piece of fudge and then stop than attempt to deprive ourselves entirely, only to end up eating the whole pan.
A good diet and nutrition program will also help us keep in mind the cost of the foods we eat. We're not talking about dollars and cents here, but the FITNESS cost of the food. When picking up that fudge, keep in mind what it will cost to enjoy it. When picking up a plate at the buffet table, let's take a moment to pause and think to ourselves: "The cost of this fudge will be an extra _____ minutes of exercise.....is that worth it to me?" Maybe. Maybe not. That's for each of us to decide on our own.
The point is that we should be conscious of our food decisions. No foods are forbidden entirely, but we do need to watch our portion sizes and carefully consider the cost of each food. Any good weight management program will incorporate these concepts and also will be approved by your doctor.
-> How To Find The Right Weight Loss Supplement:
Perhaps even more so than with weight loss diets, when searching for weight loss supplements it is critical to rely on the advice of your physician. The careful and supervised use of weight loss diet pills, combined with a sensible diet and regular exercise, can lead to quick weight loss and even easy weight loss (or at least easier than you expected).
Beware, however, the supplement scams on the market. It seems that every time we turn around we are blasted and bombarded with the latest, greatest, new and improved treatment for obesity. The gimmicks just keep coming. The sad truth is that few of these products work. Even fewer will result in real, permanent and lasting fat loss. A very few of the weight loss gimmicks on the market today are not only a consumer rip-off, but they are also quite dangerous.....even deadly.
As an example, consider the prescription diet drug Meridia. Does it help you lose weight? For some people, the answer is yes. For others, the answer is no. Can it kill you? The answer to this question seems to be a nervous 'maybe'. "The consumer group Public Citizen had petitioned the Food and Drug Administration for a ban, citing Meridia users who died of heart problems as young as their 20s and 30s. Even before Meridia was approved for sale, the FDA knew it could increase users' blood pressure, the group contended." (Source: cnn.com)
This week the FDA again refused to ban Meridia, even though whistleblower David Graham (an FDA drug safety officer) testified to Congress last fall that his agency was allowing five unsafe medicines to stay on the market, including Meridia.
Another example of a dangerous weight loss drug is ephedra. Ephedra was banned in the United States last year, in part due to numerous deaths attributed to this popular weight loss supplement. On April 14 2005, a federal Judge in Utah reversed the short-lived ban on ephedra. Within minutes, spammers were filling our email boxes with messages to BUY BUY BUY before ephedra was banned again.
Yes, ephedra will help some people lose weight. Yes, ephedra is safe for some people in low doses. But there is that little nagging fact that people have DIED and that their deaths have been attributed to ephedra use.....
Yet another example of a dangerous diet drug is steroids. For whatever reason, some people have decided that anabolic steroids are the best way to lose weight. Despite the well-documented and serious side-effects of steroid use, the lure of easy weight loss has caused many to throw caution to the wind. Perhaps the most concerning trend is steroid use among our teenage population: "Teens also listed steroids, growth hormone, amino acids and other potentially unhealthful products among those they'd tried in the previous year." (Source: cnn.com)
There do exist, however, some diet supplements that work and are also quite safe. Again, it is never a good idea to begin any supplementation program without first seeking the advice and approval of your doctor.
Three popular and dependable fat loss products designed to help you lose weight fast are ChromeMate, Lipotropic Plus and Super L-Carnitine.
Chromium helps insulin metabolize fat, turn protein into muscle and convert sugar into energy. ChromeMate, a unique form of niacin-bound chromium, is designed to optimize energy output. It accomplishes this by increasing the amount of glucose available for energy production nearly twenty-fold. It also is the "master" nutrient for controlling blood sugar, which in turn curbs sugar cravings. What’s more, a study at Auburn University showed that ChromeMate reduced LDL cholesterol by an average of 14%. In fact, ChromeMate has been awarded a patent for lowering cholesterol.
The Lipotropic Plus Formula is scientifically-engineered to assist in the breakdown, distribution and burning (oxidation) of fatty acids. The active ingredients actually accelerate the fat-burning process by breaking down fat cells into smaller particles (emulsification) to be used for fuel during exercise.
Super L-Carnitine is essential for fat burning. I.B. Fritz and K.T.N. Yue, physiologists from the University of Michigan, discovered that Carnitine actually accelerates fat-burning. Without it, fat is unable to penetrate the walls of the mitochondria of the muscle cells. Carnitine is the shuttle that carries fat into your body’s furnaces (muscles) to be burned for energy. Super L-Carnitine increases the rate of fat utilization for fuel.
-> Weight Loss Exercise:
In this article we’ve been discussing weight loss diets and weight loss supplements. At this point it is essential that we add the third and most important component of overall health and fitness: exercise.
Exercise is one weight loss method that has never been banned, has never led to an investigation, and has never been been listed on a 'whistleblower' fraud report.
Exercise is the only path to health and fitness that virtually every doctor in the world agrees upon. Exercise is safe, effective, and brings many more benefits to our lives than diets or drugs ever will alone. Exercise is fun, invigorating, motivating and the single most powerful way to improve our life and well-being!
Yes, it’s quite possible to lose weight without participating in regular exercise. However, diet and exercise combined will help us burn fat faster than we thought possible! Weight loss achieved by regular exercise and diet will be healthy weight loss because of all the benefits we obtain from regular exercise:
1. Strengthens muscles
2. Strengthens bone
3. Strengthens ligaments
4. Strengthens tendons
5. Strengthens immune system
6. Improves muscle tone
7. Improves endurance
8. Improves strength
9. Improves self esteem
10. Improves confidence
11. Improves balance
12. Improves physical appearance
13. Improves physical performance
14. Improves glucose tolerance
15. Improves circulation
16. Improves memory
17. Lower risk of heart disease
18. Lower risk of diabetes
19. Lower risk of cancer
20. Lower blood pressure
21. Lower cholesterol
22. Lower risk of stroke
23. Lower risk of osteoporosis
24. Lower risk of osteoarthritis
25. Lower requirements for medication
26. Lower risk of injury
27. Lower bodyfat
28. Helps with sleep disorders
29. Reduces post-operative complications
30. Reduces frequency of illness
31. Prevent Alzheimer’s disease
32. Prevents muscle loss
33. Increases metabolism
34. Eases symptoms of menopause
35. Healthier pregnancy
36. Fewer problems with childbirth
37. Reduces ovulation problems
38. Prevents heartburn
Reaching your ideal weight via a healthy and active lifestyle has been found to lower health risks and medical problems in 90 percent of overweight patients. In addition to the exercise benefits listed above, fit people are eight times less likely to die from cancer than the unfit, and 53 percent less likely to die from other diseases. Fit people are also eight times less likely to die from heart disease.
Without a doubt, regular exercise is the most important piece of the puzzle and the best way to achieve rapid weight loss. Exercise is the safest way to achieve permanent fat loss, and when combined with a sound diet and nutrition program the body is turned into a virtual fat-burning furnace!
Fast weight loss is possible if we, under the supervision and approval of our doctor, combine a sensible diet with a diet pill or weight loss pill that is safe and effective. When we combine these three fat-burning strategies it is almost guaranteed that we will experience quick weight loss results.
About the author:
Tracie Johanson is the founder of Pick Up The Pace, a 30-minute exercise studio for women, focusing on fitness, health and nutrition for maximum weight loss. Please visit http://www.letspickupthepace.com/for more information.
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