Monday, September 13, 2010

What Do Experts Recommend as the Best Diet for Losing Weight?

A glimpse into my frig
I LOVE this question!  Why do you like this question Mrs/Dr T?  Because I can answer it either in a simple way...such as:

 The best diet for weight loss is a lower calorie diet (500-700 calories less than your energy needs) that meets all of the recommendations for food and nutrient servings.  BORING!

Or I can answer it in a mysterious and abstract way:  What diet will allow YOU to comfortably reduce your calories in a healthy way?

You see, there is not one single diet that works for all people.  Sure, those "experts" that have written a weight loss book will certainly tout their approach as being the best.  But seriously, research has consistently shown that there's not a one-size fits all approach to this stuff.  I remember a study we conducted comparing a higher protein diet to a higher carbohydrate diet.  On average, more people lost weight on the higher protein diet.  But the person who lost the most weight  was a woman on the higher carbohydrate diet.  It was amazing to see how that diet just worked for her.  Like long lost lovers or soul mates...whatever, you know what I mean...she lost a lot of weight and was ecstatic about it.    

How do you know what diet is best for you?  It really depends on what foods you like, your lifestyle, your current body weight/shape, your disease risk factors, your personality, amount of money you have to spend, etc.  For example, Slim Fast is a safe and effective weight loss program...but if you work in an industry where you frequently meet with clients/customers over breakfast and lunch meals, it's going to be a little weird if you show up with a can of Slim Fast.  Similarly, Seattle Sutton and Jenny Craig have great pre-packaged meals, but if you travel consistently, it's going to be a little difficult to pull off that diet.  Weight Watchers is one of the best diet plans out there, but can be costly for some.  If you don't like to cook, then steer clear of The South Beach Diet, which is really based on preparing some complex, but yummy, lower carbohydrate meals. 

There's an on-going study that follows people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off.  It's called the National Weight Control Registry.  Here are some behaviors of the successful folks: 

  • 78% eat breakfast every day.
  • 75% weigh themselves at least once a week.
  • 62% watch less than 10 hours of TV per week.
  • 90% exercise, on average, about 1 hour per day.

Nothing magical.  They just found something that works.  I firmly believe that a normal body weight is achievable for everyone...provided they find their diet soul mate and commit to a monogamous relationship.   

My soul mate is on the shelf of my frig next to the milk.  Can you see him?  He's very shy...he prefers when the frig is shut and the light is off. Any guesses on who he is???

(And no, I'm not drunk)


  1. You're the second person that said that! No, not Elvis. It's actually Edward Cullen....a gift from a friend. :)

  2. Kewl little article.. like the way you started it.. with the general boring answer and then a more entertaining answer...