You Can Lose Weight Using the Most Popular Diets – But Should You?

Steve Kroening, ND
January 3, 2019

 

Happy New Year! I hope your 2019 is off to a great start. If you’re like a lot of Americans, you resolved to lose weight this year. And you hope it will work this time. But which diet are you going to use? Are you sure you’ve chosen the right diet? Well, you’re not alone.

Recently, I’ve had a lot of people asking which diet I recommend. They want to know which one was the “perfect” diet for losing weight and keeping it off. And they especially want to know which diet I thought would be best for reducing heart-attack risk.

It’s an interesting question and a timely one as well. A lot of people are confused about their diet options. And the need for losing weight has never been greater. A new study looked at the prevalence of what doctors consider good metabolic health. What they found is that it’s shockingly low in American adults.

Metabolic health takes into account five different factors. These five factors are: blood glucose, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, blood pressure, and waist circumference. If adults can maintain optimal levels of these indicators without medication, they are deemed metabolically healthy.

The researchers, which were from the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, found that just 12% of the country’s adult population is metabolically healthy. That means the vast majority of the population is at serious risk for developing diabetes, heart disease, and other dangerous health conditions as they age.

What’s more, only 8% of those who were overweight were metabolically healthy. And, not surprisingly, only 0.5% of those who were obese fit into the healthy category.

So, if you’re in the 88% of the population that’s not metabolically healthy, how can you fix the problem? You have to lose weight.

At our clinic, we rarely see anyone who is metabolically healthy. They simply don’t need other treatments. Some might come in for skin treatments or checkups. But they really don’t need to come in at all. They’re healthy and living their life the way we all want to be.

So Which Diet Is Right for You?

Honestly, just about any diet that curbs carbs will help you lose weight. But several years ago, the American Heart Association wanted to find out which diets worked the best. They took 1,000 overweight people and put them on the four leading diets and tested their success head on for a year!

The diets they looked at included the high-protein, high-fat controlled-carbohydrate Atkins diet, the low-fat Weight Watchers diet, the high-protein, moderate-carbohydrate Zone diet, or the very low-fat “Ornish” diet. The researchers found that every single one of them is effective for both weight loss and each in its own way reduces heart-attack risk. Anyone who follows any of these diets faithfully will lose weight in time.

The heart disease risk reduction will be somewhat different, as they all reduce risk, but Ornish lowers LDL the most, with the Atkins diet running a close second. Weight Watchers raises HDL the most, but is only slightly ahead of both the Zone and Atkins.

In fact, a head-on study of these four diets was reviewed several years ago at a meeting of the American Heart Association and the results surprised most of the doctors there. True to claims by its promoters, the Atkins diet did not appear to increase heart risk at all, in spite of the much touted “dangers” of eating high fat or high protein. The Atkins group actually reduced their LDL, lost weight, and raised their HDL.

But the very restrictive Atkins and Ornish diets turned out to be the hardest to stick with. These two groups had the highest drop-out rate. They lost half of their participants by one year, while 65% of the Zone and Weight Watchers folks were still faithful to their programs.

So the bottom line is this – there is no clear winner. These diets all get results. The tough part is sticking to whichever program you decide to follow. Ultimately, unwanted weight gain is mainly the end result of an unhealthy lifestyle. If you keep making healthy changes, the weight you want to see gone simply starts coming off. And no matter how you lose the weight, you’ll keep it off if you stick to your guns about portion control, once you’re at your target weight.

Here’s What You Need to Do

Do you need to lose weight? No matter which diet appeals to you, from South Beach to Atkins, there are some things all successful dieters have in common. So, whichever one you choose, make sure you consider these factors.

• Have a plan of action. Read and understand the diet thoroughly before you begin. Then make a plan and tell your family and those close to you so that they can give you support. Successful weight loss requires emotional support. If you have tried and failed many times, consider going through a program that offers personal guidance and meetings so that you can get the support you need.

• Get active. If you haven’t been walking regularly, you will lose weight if you simply walk an hour a day. If the weather is mild where you live, get outdoors and enjoy nature. If not, head to the mall. Some malls open early in the morning to accommodate those who just want to walk. Get a friend to come along with you so you’re committed to the effort. A study just came out that said walking every day can begin to reverse dementia in just six months. So walk – and keep walking.

• Cut out the junk food. No matter what diet you choose, don’t be a meal skipper. Eat as often as the plan allows, making sure that every bite counts. This means cutting out junk food and junk habits, and eating foods that really support health.

• Keep a food journal. Writing things down really focuses your attention on the task at hand. You’re recreating yourself through diet and exercise, and a journal brings your choices to light and helps you keep track of your success.

• Be honest regarding portions. This is where most people get into trouble. Did you know that typical restaurant servings are two to six times too big? Now I think measuring is a lot of trouble, but learning to eyeball early on will help you avoid overeating. A good rule of thumb for protein is to have a serving about the size of the palm of your hand, or a deck of cards.

Then have two cups of non-starchy vegetables or one cup and a salad. Eat fruits or non-starchy vegetables at every meal, unless you’re following the initial stage of Atkins, in which case fruit will be off your plate during the initiation phase. These foods are full of soluble fiber, antioxidants, and water, and they fill you up without fattening you up.

If you drink coffee or tea, drink them unsweetened. The added teaspoons of sugar really pour on extra calories. Have unsweetened tea or water with lemon at restaurants and at home. You can use Stevia to sweeten it if you need a sweet taste. Don’t use other artificial sweeteners, as many studies show that they destroy your metabolism – exactly what you don’t want. You also can drink Xevia – a fantastic Stevia sweetened soft drink.

Eat breakfast every day, and have eggs, cottage cheese, or Greek yogurt instead of cereal. I love to buy mixed vegetables and mix them or spinach in with my scrambled eggs. For example, eggs, sautéed peppers, onions, and tomatoes, or eggs, sautéed spinach, and smoked salmon will leave you feeling more satisfied than a bowl of cereal and you’ll stay satisfied longer into the morning.

Other Ideas for Success

If there is a time of day when you start to snack uncontrollably, plan to be out of the house during that period. Plan activities that prevent binging. If you’re busy, you won’t be as likely to overeat. When you start your diet, clean out your house. Get rid of the problem foods — candy, cookies, ice cream — whatever your sabotaging foods are. If they’re not in the house, you can’t cheat as easily. You’re not as likely to get dressed and get into the car for that ice cream.

Keep apples, berries, citrus, and other fresh fruits around and have them when you crave the previous binge foods. An apple a day will actually help you lose weight if you’re eating it in place of candy or cake! Another tool for when you get a snack attack is to drink a large glass of water. Sometimes hunger pangs are really unrecognized thirst pangs.

About Those Much Maligned Carbs!

Even if your program doesn’t call for controlling carbohydrates gram for gram, (if it does, skip this section and follow your diet guidelines) to control your weight, I’d recommend you still keep the starchy carbohydrate portions under careful watch. Forget the Food Guide Pyramid! It overemphasizes grains and Americans are getting heavier every year as a result.

Finally, be forgiving when you overdo it or fall off the wagon. Don’t beat yourself up if you backslide at one meal or snack, simply resolve to get back on track at the next meal. Losing weight isn’t about being perfect, it’s about living in a disciplined manner. You should be characterized in general by self-control, not perfection!

The Diet I Recommend

So which diet should you choose? The one you’re most likely to stick with. That’s why I chose a completely different program. For one, it’s much cheaper than most of the programs out there. And it works. What’s more, it teaches you the skills you need to lose weight and keep it off.

Life can be hard. There are times when you gain weight due to unforeseen circumstances. And getting back into the disciplines you used to lose weight is hard. The stricter those disciplines are, the harder it will be for you to get back into them.

That’s why I used the Lock It In weight loss program. It’s highly customized to your body and what works for you. Most of the diet is focused on eating meat, lots of vegetables, some fruit, and very low carbohydrates.

I’ve seen this diet work for men and women alike. It works wonders for me. I’m pretty stubborn and like my comfort food. So I managed to break through the Lock and gain weight again. But I had the tools to lose weight again.

What Is Lock It In?

After you lose weight, it’s very easy to gain the weight back if you go back to your old habits. Lock It In has a propriety method of “Locking” your weight in and helping keep your metabolism at its optimal level. Once you “Lock It In,” it’s pretty easy to keep the weight off. The reason is because of what Lock It In does for your metabolism.

Lock It In is all about supercharging your metabolism so you can lose the weight fast and keep it off. Once your metabolism is optimal, most nuisance health problems will go away quickly. Even many serious health problems, such as diabetes, digestive disorders, and many others, will likely disappear as well.

All of the factors used in the study to determine metabolic health also will fall into line. Your blood sugar will normalize. Your blood pressure will drop into the normal range (allowing your doctor to lower your blood pressure medication dosages – or taking you off them completely). And the other factors will make your doctor smile.

Since I last told you about Lock It In, we have completely reformulated the special homeopathic drops we use to curb hunger and boost your metabolism. The new drops work incredibly well. When I gained some weight back and started on the new drops, I lost 19 pounds in two weeks. Not everyone will respond that fast, but I sure did. It was wonderful!

So let this year be the year you lose the weight and keep it off. You can learn all about Lock It In simply by visiting the website www.lockitinweightloss.com.

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