Friday, September 18, 2009

Intuitive nutrition (eating)-- the universal key to healthy weight for life. Part 3. Why traditional diets don’t work

18 September 2009

Hi there! It's me Svetlana

These are 7 reasons traditional diets do not work, at least not for long. They may work in a short term, but infrequently in a long run.

1. Diets deprive us. Many diets eliminate certain foods or whole food groups (unhealthy and unrealistic for the long term).

2. Diets make us hungry. Uncontrollable hunger can result in overeating.

3. Diets are temporary. Once they reach the goal, most people resume "normal" eating, so the weight comes back.

4. Diets often don't fit into normal life. Weighing and measuring food aren't practical as long-term strategies.

5. Diets can be expensive.

6. Diets can lower your metabolism (body is primal). When you drastically cut back on calories, your metabolism slows down. You burn fewer calories. .

7. Diet is only half of the equation. Lifetime weight management requires physical activity as well.

Let's talk more about it. Some people thrive on rigid diets. I know folks, who are ecstatic about swallowing mountains of lard-topped steaks on Atkins, or getting their credit cards monthly charged by Nutrisystem or Jenny Craig for a box of tiny ready-made meals. These meals can keep one going for a while and surely help to shed some pounds, but as soon as one stops ordering them, the real life kicks in, and all the elation dissipates. These systems do not teach you how to balance and portion meals, they just feed you like a baby for as long as you can afford it and don’t get bored with the foods offered. I know people who spend hours calculating the proportions of fats, carbs, and proteins on Zone, or drive one-hour-one-way to $10-worth Weight Watchers meetings to be playing with point system for the rest of the week while complaining that “they are hungry all the time”. No question ALL existing commercial diets are effective, as long as one follows them religiously, and learns fundamental principles of those diets, in other words finds out why they are effective and replicates these principles later. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to understand why diets work the way they work, how to reproduce the results in real life, and more importantly, how to do it without getting your whole life consumed with grams and calories calculations, food diaries, logging points, eating same pre-packaged meals and getting ripped off on the monthly basis. Remember our main goal: to achieve maximal results with minimal expense!

What does it cost to drop 30 pounds? Getting smaller is big business. As you lose weight, your wallet could end up thinner, too -- sometimes by thousands of dollars, depending on which diet plan you pick.

Jenny Craig

The weight-loss brand marketed by celebrities including Queen Latifah, Valerie Bertinelli and Phylicia Rashad boasts a sensible approach to weight loss, advocating an average drop in body mass of about 1%, or 1 to 2 pounds per week. The program addresses mind-body aspects of weight loss by helping clients adopt healthful eating and exercise habits, as well as encouraging them to examine the underlying causes of their weight problems.

Jenny Rewards, priced at $399 or $359, is a 12-month program that rewards dieters' efforts and weight loss with discounts on food. There's also an at-home option that is similar except you also pay for shipping and have consultations by phone.

Sign-up costs include weekly one-on-one counseling, personalized menus, motivational plans and assorted manuals and guides, depending on membership level. Then, there's the cost of food. The prepackaged foods generally cost $12 to $18 per day, or $84 to $126 per week.

Cost of losing 30 pounds: $399 or $359 (if paid upfront), not including food.


This at-home system (no office visits or weigh-ins) will appeal to those who don't like to cook. It involves eating the company's prepackaged meals exclusively. The 28-day program includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks (you may add fresh vegetables, fruit and dairy). Support is offered through a free Web site.

"Some people lose 1 pound a week; some people lose 3 pounds a week," says a NutriSystem sales representative. If, on average, you lose 2 pounds a week, the diet will take about four months. It's cheaper to sign up for the Auto-Delivery Savings program (the food keeps coming until you cancel it), which costs $299.95, including shipping, per month.

Cost of losing 30 pounds: $1,199.80, including all food, except fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy.

Weight Watchers

This is one of the most popular diets in the world, probably because there's no such thing as taboo food. The diet is based on portion control and involves weekly support meetings. You can also do the program online.

The Flex plan means each food is assigned a point value, and you can eat anything as long as you stay within your allotted points. The Core plan involves a preapproved list of foods. Though there are plenty of Weight Watchers food items on the market, they are optional.

Registration is between $15 and $20, depending on location. Weekly meeting fees range from about $10 to $15, again, location-dependent. The standard monthly plan for Weight Watchers Online costs $46.90 the first month and $16.95 for subsequent months. Plan to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week for 20 weeks to reach a 30-pound weight-loss goal.

Cost of losing 30 pounds: $214.80 to $299.80, depending on location, or $97.75 online, not including food.

The Zone Diet

This well-rounded plan is based on a 40-30-30 ratio of daily calories obtained from carbohydrates, proteins and favorable fats.

Though you could buy a book and follow the diet independently, why not do it like the stars? You could opt for the company's In the Zone Delivery. The service delivers a customized daily supply of food (three meals and two snacks) to subscribers in most metropolitan areas by 6 a.m. each day. Outside major cities, you can receive two to three days' worth of food at a time for a higher delivery fee.

The Canadian service came to the U.S. in 2007, starting with Los Angeles, and has since spread to the metropolitan areas of New York City, Boston, San Diego, New Jersey, South Florida, Connecticut, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Washington, D.C.

Signing up for the 30-day "Chef Selected" plan will cost $39.99 a day plus a shipping charge, which is $3 for customers in most cities and $10 for those in other areas. If you want to try it out for two weeks, you'll pay $44.99 per day plus shipping. The average Zone dieter loses 8 to 10 pounds a month, and it will take three or four months to drop 30 pounds.

Cost of losing 30 pounds: $3,869 to $5,159, which includes $3 a day for delivery.

I think I just stop here. Weight loss industry LOVES us, ladies, because we such an easy target! We love gimmicks, games, and perks; we love to be guided, watched, motivated, and we allow to be taken advantage of. We crave structure, rules, and limits. We feel out of control if left to our own devices. How would diet industry make millions of dollars if not for us, women? Of course, I am exaggerating and teasing you on purpose, so you realize as I realized a while ago, that I am not the one falling into this commercial trap.

The commercial diets and programs for weight loss are as endless as they are expensive. Don’t take me wrong: they work, as long as you follow them. If you can afford spending hundreds of dollars and like to have a rigid structure, rules, and limits imposed on you (good luck following them!), commercial diets and programs, even the most complicated, may be a good choice for you. Ask yourself whether you can afford the program and whether it fits your lifestyle. If you have the motivation but not the means, don’t get discouraged. Consider the age-old simplest method for losing weight: reduce the number of calories you take in while exercising to increase the amount you burn off. This advice, however, sounds too simplistic, almost dull, and takes almost all fun out of the process. After all, we are social creatures, and having an element of guidance and structure is not that bad.

So, if you are like me, who likes freedom of choices and liberty of making decisions, wants a hint of structure, and hates putting my hard earned money into somebody’s pocket – you are my girl. If you are like me, attentive to your body, motivated, curious, practical, and a little stingy, you would do what I do: intuitive nutrition! Most important: if you respect your body and want to be kind to it, want to take good care of it, to be in touch with it and listen to its signals, follow intuitive nutrition concept. Intuitive nutrition is all you need to achieve and maintain healthy weight. You will be very surprised where this path may take you, and what physical as well as deep psychological discoveries you can make in the process. After all, fat deposited on a body is only a reflection of various emotional and psychological problems, a physical manifestation of an internal issue. By digging into yourself and discovering your emotions and what makes you eat (besides hunger), and learning how to manage your unique non-hunger triggers for eating, you inevitably will discover the cure for your extra weight. As a physician I know too well that we should never treat a symptom of a disease, but rather a cause and symptoms will slowly go away.


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