Monday, October 27, 2008

And The Best Diet Is ...

Wow! I sure am learning a lot at this year's Food and Nutrition Conference and Exhibition (FNCE). I will have a new entry every day this week to fill you in on the latest research reported by the best dietitians and doctors around the country as members of the American Dietetic Association gather to share the latest findings, newest products, and best tips for weight loss.

Here is a summary from the meetings I attended yesterday:

1. The diet that works best is ... ta da ... the one you can stay on! Yes, research shows that whatever diet you choose--South Beach, Atkins, The Zone, SlimFast, or your own concoction of specially planned meals--if you can adhere to an intake that is lower in calories, you will lose weight. While people were on a regimen that had them eating fewer calories than they burned, they consistently lost weight. When they went off the diet, they gained the weight back. One to five years after stopping their diet, about 98% of the dieting population gains back all the weight they lose during the diet.
So the moral here is, find something you can stick with...forever. Don't see yourself snacking on cheese sticks and pork rinds four years from now? Maybe Atkins isn't the diet for you. Like counting your points? You can stay on weight watchers forever! It's important to include some flexibility, variety, and definitely to include foods you like. Think long and hard about what you can do to change your eating habits permanently, and you won't have to go on a 'diet' again!

2. Everything is proven to be good for you. As I predicted, all the vendors are here showing evidence that prunes--oops! I mean dried plums--are good for you; pork is good for you; nuts are good for you, etc etc etc. Read research with caution. There can be studies showing anything the researchers set out to prove, and companies that sell a product will find a way to prove their product is good for you!
Meanwhile I am enjoying a lot of tasty samples. Some I will bring home for my husband to try and I'll let you know how they go over (I am not a fan of chocolate and peanut butter, and many of the snack bars are made with these flavors).

3. Weight loss is good for your health. Amazingly, research shows this! Over and over again there are reports in the seminars about how even a slight weight loss (7-10% of your current body weight) can reduce the incidence of diabetes in those who are prone, decrease blood pressure, lower high cholesterol, raise HDL cholesterol (the good kind), and lower elevated triglyceride levels. This means if you weight 200 pounds you can lose 15-20 pounds and produce amazing results for your health. You do not have to aim for a goal of 150 pounds, which is a daunting task, and may be the reason you put off dieting! Just shoot for ten pounds at a time and see what changes you can make at your next doctor appointment.

Well, these are the highlights from the first day. More to come later this week!

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