Pros and Cons of Dieting

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1 Pros and Cons of Dieting If losing weight is your goal, here is some information on the top ten most popular diets. Knowing the outcomes, side effects and what to expect before changing eating habits can help in determining which diet to chose. However, remember that most diets have more risks than positive effects. The truth is the best diet is a healthy balanced diet that provides all the daily recommended dietary servings for each food group as well as the necessary vitamins and minerals. A balanced diet along with exercise would greatly reduce the need for extreme dieting.

2 Jenny Craig Diet Pre-cooked meals and snacks. Has three levels: 1.) Teaches how to eat favorite foods in portions. 2.) Teaches how to increase energy through activities. 3.) Teaches balance through life to keep weight off. Includes 24 hour phone service for support Pros: Balanced diet with weekly consultations in person or by phone. Cons: Expensive to maintain diet. Getting bored with the meals offered and not knowing how to count calories for outside meals. Mediterranean Diet Focuses on specific food groups instead of counting calories. Revolves around vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, nuts, fish, poultry and dairy. Pros: Inexpensive due to cooking at home. Easy to track fats and cholesterol. Very flavorful foods. Some studies say it has many health benefits. Cons: More for health benefits than weight loss. Some people can overdo eating the healthy fats.

3 Zone Diet 30% protein, 30% fat, and 40% carbohydrates. Meant to balance hormones and control hunger. Protein the size of your palm and fruits and vegetables fill the rest of the plate Pros: Can help those with Type I and II Diabetes. Reduces inflammation and boosts energy Cons: Rules are somewhat difficult to remember. Lack of nutrients because of high protein and has limited information on long-term effects. Weight Watchers Sells its own premade meals. Bases all foods off of a POINTS system and healthy decision making. Each type of food has a certain amount of POINTS adding up to a recommended daily total. Pros: Has local and online support. Provides weight loss trackers and progress charts. Cons: Expensive to attend the meetings ($10) depending on your area, tools cost extra, POINTS system doesn't apply nutritional values.

4 Volumetrics Based on energy density, number of calories in food. Focuses on feeling full but eating foods with less calories Encourages food with high water content like fruits and vegetables. Pros: Offers recipes online. Healthy and inexpensive. Cons: Does not change eating behaviors, which are commonly the problem, such as comfort eating. Volume may not satisfy taste buds. The Flat Belly Diet Meals are capped at 400 calories with a total of 1600 calories a day Encouraged to eat every 4 hours Leans towards eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and limiting meat intake. Pros: Promotes calorie counting which maintains energy levels and prevents hunger. Cons: No proven science saying that diets can target specific areas. The claims of this diet have not been proven. De-emphasizes exercising. If exercising, 1600 calories is not enough!

5 Weigh Down Diet Focuses on Portion Sizes and hunger cues. Christian based diet aiming to take focus off food and on God. A workshop including classes, binder, 12 audiocassettes and 17 lessons. Pros: Those who wish to be more spiritual, it is a great way to stop obsessing about food and take responsibility of their eating habits. Gives people a sense of freedom from food. Cons: Against some people s views. Some may need a different approach to lose weight. South Beach Diet Three Phases: Eliminate Cravings, Lose Steadily, and Maintain. Promotes reduced-fat dairy, lean proteins, veggies and healthy fats. Wants to take the focus off of carbs. Pros: Very healthy diet for the heart due to high fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. Cons: During the first phase, most weight is water weight and tends to throw people off.

6 Atkins Diet Focuses on increasing protein and reducing carbohydrates. Causes the body to burn fat as a fuel source. Has a beginning two week rule to eat only 20 grams of carbs a week to jump start weight loss. Slow increase in carbs as long as there is a stable weight loss. Pros: Proven to help with bad cholesterol. Relatively simple to catch on to the rules. Cons: Diet is unproven and the limited amounts of fruits and vegetables permitted causes skepticism. Some doctors worry that the diet could cause heart disease and other problems due to the high fat and protein. Lack of carbs leads to lethargy and poor concentration. Sugar Busters Diet Similar to the Atkins but less intense. Limits simple carbs like potatoes, white bread, and simple sugars such as candy and sugary cereal. Pros: Promotes natural foods, lean proteins, good fats, vegetables and whole grains. Cons: The recommended high protein consumption can cause health problems

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