Thursday, May 13, 2010

What to look for in a Weight loss plan....

Today's Post: Thursday, 5-13-2010

Kathleen Doheny HealthDay Reporter had an article today on the HealthDay News online on this subject: “You know you need to lose weight. And you know you're ready, which is more than half the battle. But you still have to pick from a seemingly endless array of weight-loss plans.

How to decide?”

I decided to list some of her points and add my comments.

“ "Are you an online type who likes to chat?" she said. "Or do you want a formal meeting?" “

Me: Weight Watchers offers both. Their overall system is pretty good and their support in their in person meetings is excellent, particularly for those who are emotional eaters and need help staying in control.

Their track record is better than most too.

For my taste though they do some things wrong. So you need to get your help with those things from other sources.

They tend to set more restrictive limits on how much you eat than is wise which does help get fast results at first but can backfire and often does. (If you go, set limits 5 to 10 % less than what you normally have been eating and not more unless you have literally been stuffing your self with more than you need to eat.) They do NOT stress exercise as much as they should and are less knowledgeable about it than I think they should be. They include more starchy foods and allow more refined grains and sugars than I think produces the best fat loss and health results. And, they tend to underdo including some health OK oils and be a little too much on the slightly outdated low fat only plan.

“Some people find that plans that offer prepared meals help them stick to the plan because it takes the whole portion-control task out of their hands, said Suzanne Farrell, a registered dietitian in Denver who also is an association spokeswoman. “

Me: These plans tend to be a bit inflexible but can work very well for some people. If you need someone else to set it up, are short on time to fix food, and can afford the extra cost, they do work well. Some plans have more health supporting menus and it’s hard to tell how well they do without signing up.
I’d like these plans a lot better if you could check those points more easily ahead of time and upgrade any problem areas you find both before signing up and after.

“Key factors to look for:” (according to one expert consulted for the article)

Does the plan include a variety of foods?

Does it include high-fiber foods?

Does it educate you on the value of foods that are low in saturated fat?

Does it tell you about "good" fats, such as olive oil?”

And, “ "look for a plan that emphasizes physical activity and encourages eating regularly throughout the day."

“And watch out for claims and promises that sound too good to be true, Farrell added. A common one, she noted, is rapid weight loss. "It should be no greater than two pounds a week," she said.”

She's also skeptical of plans that say no exercise is needed. Weight loss means a lifestyle change, she said, and maintaining the loss is best done by keeping an eye on food intake and on staying active.

Another red flag, Farrell said, is a plan that totally eliminates foods or food groups.”

“The bottom line? The experts agreed that if your diet plan is suited to you, chances are you'll follow it longer, take the weight off at a slow but steady pace and maintain the loss.”

My comments on the set of guidelines:

1. A variety of foods should be recommended in the plan

& “Another red flag…. is a plan that totally eliminates foods or food groups.”

A plan should stress nonstarchy vegetables of many varieties, organic if possible. (The more kinds you try and know and the more kinds you include most weeks, the easier it is to eat as much as you should and it’s more likely that you will find some kinds you like or are at least OK eating.)

It should include health OK protein foods such as beans and lentils, nuts for people not allergic to them, wild caught fish, naturally raised meat but not a large or frequent amount, eggs, and very lean or lowfat dairy products, poultry, and only very lean and fat-trimmed grain fed meats if you must have grain fed meats and then not at all often. (This keeps saturated fat intake quite low.)

And, besides the fats and oils in those foods, ideally it should include some extra virgin olive oil and some purified fish oil supplements for omega 3 oils. Avocados and guacamole are also OK in moderation.

It should include some whole fresh fruit eaten several times a week but not in excess. And, for those who must have some, it can allow whole grain foods only but not too much.

However, for protecting your health and for best fat loss results it MUST exclude certain foods or food groups.

They include these foods.:

Any food containing trans fats and any hydrogenated oils at all. (These are MUCH worse for your health than saturated fats. Any calories of these you ingest you could have had some real food instead! Do NOT eat foods that have any.)

Most to all fats from grain fed animals. They are high in excess saturated fat, omega6 oils, and bioconcentrated herbicides, pesticides, and even have antibiotics you are better off not eating.)

All oils high in omega 6 oils such as corn, soy, safflower, and canola.

To the maximum extent possible, all food made from refined grains.

As little sugar as you can manage. Less is better! It’s simply fattening and most people who need to lose excess fat eat more than 10 times too much.

No high fructose corn syrup.

And, no soft drinks whatever except water that has been carbonated only and has no sweeteners of any kind.

Foods and drinks on this list that MUST be excluded either help make you fat or make you sick in some way. So one super great way to cut calories is to no longer eat or drink them.

The list of things that should be included have a lot of fiber particularly vegetables, beans and lentils, and many kinds of whole fresh fruit.

The list of things that should be included does have extra virgin olive oil and other sources of health OK oils. In moderation these foods do NOT slow fat or weight loss and including them has been shown to make it more likely you’ll keep eating right and keep off the fat you lose.

A plan should do far more than offering mild encouragement to stay physically active. The right kinds of exercise help lose fat with less need to eat so little you feel deprived. They dramatically improve and protect you and your health. And, by doing them, you help ensure the weight you lose is only fat and NOT parts of you that you’d be better off keeping.

So the best plan would give you a lot of information on these kinds of exercise and tips and help getting into it if you aren’t already.

About “No Dieting Needed”:

All the most effective fat loss plans include some kinds of calorie restriction. So one that’s good must have some version of that. So if by no dieting no calorie restriction is meant, that IS a VERY poor plan.

But if by no dieting it means no need to be eating so much less that you feel hungry all the time or temporary starvation, that may be a very good plan indeed. Those things are obnoxious to go through and tend to backfire anyway.

If a plan says you can succeed and you can lose fat and keep it off, that’s NOT hype or too good to believe.

If you follow a good plan well enough and eliminate any roadblocks such as medicines that have weight gain as a side effect, you can do it too.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home