What is a diet?

As a statement of the obvious, a diet is what you eat. It can contain any kind of food and be for any purpose. For example, professional athletes eat to build up strength and endurance, while sumo wrestlers aim for weight gain as well as strength. A weight loss diet is one designed to reduce the number of calories you eat so that you burn stored fat. This last purpose is important because, according to the most recent figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two-thirds of Americans are overweight and almost one-third are obese. There has been some new research looking at diet in different parts of the US. One group of participants was in the Boston area and the second group was in Baton Rouge. The cooking styles and eating traditions are quite different in the two areas so the researchers designed effective diets for the groups to follow. They were high in fibre and low in saturated fat and cholesterol, but there were variations in the amounts of fat and protein permitted. Over a two year period, the participants also had regular counseling and were encouraged to walk vigorously at least ninety minutes every week. The results showed an average weight loss of thirteen pounds at six months. This dropped to an average of nine pounds at two years. But the amount of weight lost was the same regardless of the diet followed. Those who continued to eat quite large amounts of fat in their diets still lost weight. The key factor was the overall reduction in calories. Fad diets are marketed on simple hooks. Cut out this one food or do this one thing and you will lose weight. There are two common features. The instructions are very simple to follow, and the authors deny there is any effort required other than following the instructions. These books promise instant success. They come in a blaze of promotional advertizing, hit the best-seller lists and then disappear just as quickly as they arrived. There are, of course, one or two exceptions where diets have passed over from the “fad” into the mainstream. But spending the money to buy any books is not helpful. There is more than enough information available on the internet to let you lose weight and keep dollars in your pockets. The first step is to understand how to calculate the number of calories in a meal. If you are buying off the shelf, look for the labels to give you a nutritional breakdown. For all the other foods you buy, there are simple online charts to give you average calorie counts. Now use the online calculators to find your basal level, follow the instructions to add calories to match your activity level and then plan your net-loss diet. Remember what you eat is not as important as the calories the food represents. The mixture of food can be as interesting or exciting as you want so long as you hold to the calorie count. If you find hunger is a problem, use phentermine to control your appetite. In short bursts, this is highly effective and allows you to diet without hunger undermining your motivation. But always follow the directions given by your doctor or pharmacist when using phentermine to avoid the risk of dependence.

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