I’ve tried all types of diets since my childhood, when I was very overweight from the ages of 7-13. I was a thin healthy kid until my family moved us to North and South Carolina, where we likely ate out of boredom. On my journey, I found certain fad diets didn’t give lasting results, and will share my experience and knowledge with you. You can choose a diet you feel will work for you, but be sure to read my tips and insight as I’ve lost 60lbs myself and have coached others to lose over 150lbs each!
Types of Diets Out There:
- Atkins: I began trying to not eat…yeah that’s not an option, so I then switched to the Aktkins Diet- way back when it was just a book and there weren’t meals and snacks dedicated to the program. Like many, I found that I’d gain the weight back quickly after stopping the diet, because back then it was a high protein and fat sort of diet that didn’t teach healthy eating and lifestyle, and many people focused on the first phase only. The Atkins Diet works by putting your body into a metabolic state called Ketosis, so it takes time for your body to switch into this state, and slipping up can put a wrench in your diet. Now they have a variety of meals, snacks, shakes…even candy. It just isn’t the diet for me.
- Juicing and Fasting was a celebrity, model and fitness-model secret used to slim down to those enviable physiques for photo shoots. I have tried these, and while they give short term results, it’s really meant for a quick slim down for an event or shoot- not weight loss. You’ll hear me say that depriving yourself, making yourself hungry, is the surest way to fail at weight-loss. You must learn how to make healthier selections, because when you go off of any fad diet you’re going to return to your unhealthy eating habits.
- Shakes, Bars, Cookies & Meal Replacement: the idea is that you’re cutting your caloric intake and will this see some form of result- the issue is when you get hungry and eat after having the shake…now, instead of cutting 100-200 calories, you’ve just added 300+ calories to your diet! I have done meal replacement since I was a child, and while it can work- it can also be easy to slip up on and doesn’t give as fast results as a healthy diet and workout.
- The G.I. Diet: the glycemic index diets are actually scientifically sound- by regulating your insulin and blood sugar levels, you’re able to raise your metabolism, curb your appetite, and lose weight in a healthy manner that teaches you how to eat and diet in a life-altering way- you will keep the weight off because you’ve learned how to portion your meals and learn a proper plate proportion. “Proportion?,” you ask. Yes, you want your plate to look like a pie chart that’s half full of greens or vegetables, a quarter full of starch or carbs, and a quarter of protein: wait, what? Yes, not a half or whole plate of pasta, but veggies…no wonder America is having such a weight and health issue! I actually read the G.I. Diet in high-school and have adopted the method of proper plate proportions into my own diet.
- Weight Watchers: by assigning numbers to foods and snacks, consumers can seemingly more easily make choices using the point system. Their website claims they’re simplifying complex nutritional information and translating that to a point system that “nudges you toward… healthy…eating.” There are meals, ice cream, snacks…the downside for many are the AA style meetings. One must be evaluated or assigned a point allowance (you have to calculate your BMI, or body mass index, for caloric restriction diets as well). For me, it seems like a way around reading labels, and while the treats are good, I just prefer caloric intake for myself. There were scales, point calculating books and devices, but nowadays …there’s an app for that. There’s an “as low as $10.39/week” rate for purchasing a three month plan.
- The Extreme Hospital Diet: this is referred to as The 3-day Diet, or Birmingham Hospital Diet. I was once given this strict diet printout, supposedly for the obese or those with heart disease, and it includes having five crackers in the morning…five crackers for lunch, and a healthy dinner…*apparently that was a modified version that didn’t explain it was a 3-day diet, and was way more extreme than the real version. One can only consume black coffee or tea in addition to water. This was not even a short term option for me…I don’t think I lasted a week.
- The Mediterranean Diet is one that’s based on healthy eating common sense, and utilizes olive oil as opposed to butter and other oils, has a lot of proteins like fish and beans, and includes whole grains. It includes limited amounts of cheese and meat, but offers a variety of fruits and vegetables. According to Web MD, up to 35-40% of caloric intake is from unsaturated fats.
- The Zone: according to the site, The Zone Diet was developed by Dr. Barry Sears more than 30 years ago to reduce diet-induced inflammation…” The plate proportions are slightly different than the G.I. Diet, with 1/3 of protein “the size thickness of your palm,”2/3 vegetables and fruit carbs, and “a dash of fat” (ZoneDiet.com).
- South Beach Diet: “Our doctor-designed plan features three easy-to-follow Phases that help you eliminate cravings, kick-start weight loss, and keep those pounds off…” The site says the first phase is a 14 day rapid weight loss, “Phase 1 is designed to stabilize your blood-sugar levels and eliminate cravings for sugary foods and refined starches.” In the second phase, “You’ll gradually re-introduce other nutritious and delicious foods, including fruits, whole grains, and some additional vegetables.” The last phase is weightless maintenance, and they claim that by this point you’ll know how to make healthy choices and can eat “any food in moderation.” I have known people on the South Beach diet who complained about its difficulty; it seems to be based on a glycemic index principle similar to the G.I. Diet. The South Beach diet, like many, has meals, snacks, and drinks you can buy at your local grocery store or online.
- The Paleo Diet: think caveman- no processed foods: flour, sugar, dairy are off limits. One is to consume foods early man is believed to have survived on- lots of proteins like meat, fish, poultry, along with fruits and vegetables (see photo to the right).
- Jenny Craig: I’ve witnessed people eating two of their prepackaged meals, binging on the bars… Jenny Craig is a prepackaged meal, shake, snack and dessert type o’ diet endorsed
- The Tea-Tox: careful, they make you poo…real bad, thanks to the senna leaf. According to Shape.com, there’s no evidence that it’s safe, and because they’re supplements the claims to have to be proven!
Common misconceptions overweight people have, and unrealistic perceptions they make:
- “I hardly eat”
- “I eat once a day”
- “I don’t care”
- I hate water
- I hate vegetables
Eating once a day will totally destroy your metabolism- not eating regularly actually causes your body to store fat because you’re not letting it know that food is coming consistently. The quickest I’ve lost weight was when I ate 6 smaller meals and two snacks per day. WHAT? It sounds like a lot of food and work right? I’d actually usually split my meal and eat it in two portions- a half a sandwich now and the other half later.
You can’t hate water and vegetables…you’re not a child anymore! You are just associating eating bland food with being healthy, and that’s not true. Spices add flavor! Lettuce is tasteless, as is water- add some black pepper or other spices you like, a vinegarette, a low fat low cal dressin. Add lemon, a flavored 0 or low cal drink mix to your water.
Tips for success:
- Skip the juices, or at least dilute them in water or sparkling water.
- Read the label! At least check the calories and serving size. Sometimes labels are misleading, and that bottle of soda really has twice as many calories as you see on the label because it’s 2 servings!
- The cereal and toast are toast! I don’t eat cereal or toast- I make sure to get protein to keep me feeling full, and avoid white starchy foods when dieting. Swap the white for whole grain of wheat- bread, pasta, all of it. White starches burn quickly, whereas more complex starches will burn slower, keeping you fuller and giving you more energy over a longer period of time. I do occasionally eat oatmeal, but by cereal I mean processed sugary starchy junk.
- Treat Yourself to Treats: if you deprive yourself, are eating bland boring food unnecessarily, you’re going to feel like you’ve been punishing yourself and deserve a reward. You do deserve a reward and tasty food- I allow myself to have something I’m really craving, but I account for the calories or fat, and note the serving size.
Notice I’ve measured out a half serving size of ice cream- this is 90 calories or so. By allowing myself to indulge, I’m less likely to go off my diet and binge eat on all the tempting foods I’ve been craving and denying myself.
My Diet typically consists of Eggs for Breakfast:
I drink loads of tea and coffee, but use artificial sweetener, like Stevia.
I follow the plate proportions of the G.I. Diet
See my Previous Posts on Diet, Fitness and Weight-loss and subscribe because I intend to share more tips and secrets with you.
- Diet Bloat Effect
- Celebrity Fitness: Star Quality
- My Daily Diet
- Fitness Routine
- You Need My Diet Diary