What works and doesn't work when it comes to weight loss is often a trial-and-error ordeal, but it's nice to know that researchers are working diligently to uncover more weight-loss secrets. After all, what starts out in the lab this year could just be the next big thing in weight loss. Read on for 10 tips and tricks we learned from this year's biggest diet news!
We are pumped to share one of our favorite stories from Prevention here on FitSugar!
Your diet isn't working. Here are the sneaky reasons why
By Jenna Birch, Prevention
You cleaned out your fridge. You shelled out for new workout clothes. You took the pizza delivery guy off speed dial and (finally) remembered where your pots and pans were hiding. So where the heck are the weight loss results?
The problem is, many of our most dearly held healthy eating rules are far too open to interpretation. Done wrong, that low-carb diet could backfire — or worse, set you up for a heart attack. And your new slimmed-down, veggie-based meal plan? It might mean you're eating more calories than you were before.
To bust the diet myths that are putting results out of your reach, here, our expert-backed tips.
1. You went gluten-free "just because"
If you go gluten-free and you don't have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, you may be missing out on the host of vital nutrients found in whole grains, such as folate and fiber. "Why skimp on healthy foods if you don't have to?" says Samantha Heller, RD. "Gluten free does not necessarily mean low calorie, either." So trade your lunchtime sandwich on wheat for a protein-packed salad a few times a week, but don't cut gluten products altogether unless you have a medical need.
2. You swore off sweets
You're eating a heaping plate of rice and veggies. Your friend's chowing down on chocolate cake . . . and yet you're the one struggling to lose weight? "I tell my patients, 'You can lose weight eating candy and soda and gain weight eating brown rice and broccoli,'" says Heller. Obviously, we aren't recommending a candy-bar diet. New research, while hotly debated, indicates that not all calories are created equal.
"Studies suggest that what we eat matters," Heller says. Bottom line, don't give up the rice and veggies, but make sure you eat a varied diet. Swearing off certain foods only leads you to binge when you do indulge, according to research.
See four more reasons you're not losing weight after the break!
Constant dieting may not be the best way to maintain weight, but chances are you've been on one (or two, or a few!) at one point in your life. And that can mean a lifetime of dieting failures, but there's always something to learn from your attempts. Here are some lessons learned from those fad diets.
- Steer clear of empty calories (Low-carb diet): Low-carb diets like the Atkins or Dukan diets can be hard to maintain and aren't always the healthiest eating choices to make, since you're at risk for eating too much saturated fat in lieu of nutrient-rich (but also high-carb) produce like carrots. But what a low-carb diet does teach you is to rely less on refined carbs like breads and crackers, too, which can be the source of many empty calories for lots of people.
- Stick with whole foods (Paleo diet): Processed foods aren't exactly waist-line-friendly, so the Paleo diet's focus on fruits, veggies, meat, and anything else our foraging ancestors could get their hands on is a healthy principle. While grains and dairy may be off limits, Paleo dieters fill up on fresh produce and lean proteins.
- Keep your heart healthy (Mediterranean diet) There's a reason why those living on the Mediterranean coast are so happy; their diet has been proven to help people live longer. As a diet craze, people turn to the Mediterranean diet to lose weight with its focus on fresh foods and low-calorie seafood, but the benefits of the diet, which is full of healthy fats found in fish, nuts, and olive oil, include lowering your risk of heart disease and brain aging.
Read on for more lessons learned from popular diets.
There's a reason why they're called yo-yo: those diets that have you subsisting on just a few calories a day inevitably lead to ups and downs on the scale. A recent study backs up what many people who've struggled with weight loss already know: when researchers put dieters on a deprivation diet of about 500 calories, it worked at first, with study participants losing an average of 30 pounds over eight weeks. But it wasn't sustainable: most participants ended up gaining, on average, 11 pounds back within the year of the study, even with continued dieter's counseling, and reported that they felt "hungrier and more preoccupied with weight."
So why is it hard to maintain weight loss on an extreme diet? It's not just because of all the temptation out there; deprivation diets cause the body to go into starvation mode, making you feel even hungrier while your body holds onto pounds instead of shedding them.
Instead of trying the next fad diet that alters your hormones, start a program you know you'll be able to stick with. Plan meals so you can cook more of them at home, make healthier but still tasty choices when dining out, and allow yourself small indulgences every day. For more ways to turn "dieting" into a lifestyle, read these 13 essential eating tips for weight-loss success.
We are excited to share one of our fave stories from Shape here on FitSugar.
There's a mountain of evidence that suggests that fad diets don't function as permanent weight-loss solutions. So why do we continue to flock toward them when we know they're not very effective? After rounding up the top 10 searched diet plans on Yahoo! and noticing that almost every single one was a fad diet (such as the Atkins Diet, or HCG Diet), we wanted to know more about why we're drawn to these popular diet plans. So we went to Holly Herrington, a Registered Dietitian at the Center for Lifestyle Medicine at the Northwestern University Medical Faculty Foundation to get her take on these plans and whether they really work for weight loss.
Find out what — if any — fad diets work after the break.
Childhood obesity has reached epidemic levels, but do your tots need to be reading about it?
Paul M. Kramer thinks so. The author of several self-published books about tough issues kids face (including Bullies Beware! and Divorce Stinks!) isn't set to release his latest title until October, but it's already generating criticism. Maggie Goes on a Diet ($11) is intended to teach tots (ages 4-8) about the importance of eating a healthy diet by telling the rhyming story of pudgy Maggie who goes on a diet in order to become the star of the soccer team. According to the publisher, "Maggie has so much potential that has been hiding under her extra weight."
But is the message really the importance of a healthy diet or that being slim guarantees success? If that is the message, is it one that we should be teaching young girls?
Consumer Reports recently came out with its latest diet ratings, and Jenny Craig is on top. The diet program took top billing in part because most people on it stay on it for a while; a recent study found that 92 percent of dieters on the plan stayed on it for two years.
Three of the top four, actually, also featured branded prepackaged meals. Rated just behind Jenny Craig was Slim Fast, which offers branded meal replacement bars and shakes to help you lose weight. The Zone's delivered meals also were rated highly, coming in fourth. And while third-place Weight Watchers doesn't require product-endorsed meals as part of the diet, it does sell optional frozen meals and includes meetings or online counseling for support.
The diets that came in last, however, were the low-carb Atkins program and Ornish, the diet that emphasizes whole grains, fruits, and vegetables while limiting animal products. While there are support plans available for both diets, the main tenets of both can just be followed by buying a book.
Finding a diet that works for you can no doubt be a challenge; some people may love the convenience of knowing what and how much to eat, others may scoff at eating processed or frozen foods. Are you a fan of prepackaged diet programs like Jenny Craig and Slim Fast? What do you like about them?
People are always on the hunt for the latest and greatest diet pill and quick-fix weight-loss program to help them shed pounds quickly. Some show results, others not so much, but in the end, we can all agree that fad diets aren't going anywhere anytime soon. How well do you know your fad diets? Let's find out and see!Take the Quiz
You've read it a million times: an in-depth magazine piece about an actress that not only details what she said, what she wore, and what she's really like, but also what she ate during the interview, down to every savory detail. An article in The New York Times gives this phenomenon a name — documented instance of public eating, or DIPE — and wonders why exactly we're so obsessed with what (or whether) an actress eats.
The article surmises that we fixate on what our favorite celebs eat, especially if what they're eating is decadent or unhealthy, because it makes them human. I agree; hearing that Cameron Diaz can't resist a burger and fries or that Drew Barrymore chows down on mac and cheese in bed makes them, and by extension their lifestyles, seem more accessible. It does make me a little uneasy that this obsession seems to mostly involve actresses, and not their male counterparts, but it also doesn't surprise me.
Do you care about what an actress eats? What do you think the reason is behind our fixation?
Many celeb twosomes like to work out together, but others know you don't have to swap sweat to show your love. Sometimes it's the hard-core adrenaline junkie who falls for the yoga fiend, or the carnivore in love with the staunch vegetarian. In honor of Valentine's Day, here are five celebrity couples who like to do their own thing when it comes to diet and exercise!