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Weight Loss: Myths and Facts

Por Claudia M. González MS, RD, LD/N* -
Weight Loss: Myths and Facts

Nutrition and weight-loss books fly off the shelves more quickly than any other books. Also, women's magazines with articles and ads that include nutrition or weight-loss content are high in demand.

It's no secret that people trying to lose weight are looking for the magic remedy to make them thin in an instant. Products and diets promising quick, no-effort weight loss have made many deceptive people rich, while frustrating many overweight people.

With so much information on "miracle" diets and products being communicated to us through commercials, ads, and other media, how do we know what sources to trust for sound, scientifically-based information? 

According to the American Dietetic Association, every year Americans spend more than $30 billion on products and diets within the weight-loss industry. Some people spend money on weight-loss solutions based on solid nutrition research, while others spend money on gimmicks with little or no proof of their safety or effectiveness.

Losing 10 pounds quickly sounds tempting, but fast weight loss is usually difficult to maintain. In addition, rapid weight loss almost always results from water or muscle loss. To control your weight permanently, you must learn to adopt a lifestyle that includes healthy eating habits and regular physical activity.

A safe and successful weight-loss plan must have healthy eating habits as its foundation. Most often, undesirable weight gain results from unhealthy eating habits. You need to modify your eating habits so that you can reach your desired weight without sacrificing good nutrition and health.

Beware of false promises

Fraudulent weight-loss products and programs often rely on elusive and persuasive quick weight-loss promises. They often use quackery terms, such as "miraculous," "break-through" and "super foods."

Many of these programs promote aids and gadgets such as body wraps, sauna belts, appetite patches or supplements. They rely heavily on undocumented case histories or testimonials, and promote nutrition plans without the guidance and supervision of nutrition experts or medical doctors.

Look for positive lifestyle changes

A successful weight-management plan will not only help you reach your desired weight safely, but will also help you with the bigger challenge of maintaining that weight loss.

A safe weight-management plan focuses on a positive lifestyle changes so any excess pounds you carried become a thing of the past. When all the glitter, gimmicks and promises of quick weight-loss schemes disappear; healthy eating habits, behavior changes, exercise and weight-management guidelines will ensure your success.

*Dietitian

 

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