Diet, it’s a word that you probably hear every day, either on the news, online or from someone you know. If you’re over the age of 30, you’ve probably tried several diets yourself, hopefully with some success but most likely not. Millions of people a year start a new diet and millions of people a year don’t continue it for long.
Why is that? Why are diets so difficult for people? Could it be that diets are just too complicated? Or perhaps too restricting? In this article we take a look at three of today’s popular diets, otherwise known as weight loss programs or lifestyle changes. The three diets we’re going to discuss are the Atkins Diet, The South Beach Diet, and Weight Watchers.
The Atkins Diet became popular in the mid to late 90′s throughout present time, although it has lost some of its popularity. This diet is very strict and very controversial. While historical diets have you restrict fats or portions, the Atkins Diet takes a more extreme, and at the same time, more liberal approach. With the Atkins Diet you basically eliminate almost all carbohydrates. While not entirely eliminated, the amount of carbs you can have, especially early on, is a drastic change to many people’s diets. But, you can eat as much protein or fat as you want. Hungry for some eggs? Go ahead and have a dozen because the Atkins Diet lets you eat as much as you want.
Personally, I did try Atkins Diet about 3 years ago. My wife and I tried it for 3 months. I will say that it did do what it said it would and we both lost weight, fairly quickly. The first few days of the diet, as explained in many of the books, were the most difficult because of the drastic change you are putting your body through when you switch your food intake with this diet. This phase is called induction. After about a week your body adjusts and the weight starts to come off. The problem for us was that bread, pasta, and especially pizza was something we couldn’t live without. We did learn something from the diet though, and have since used some of the tips we learned from the Atkins Diet in our everyday lives.
South Beach Diet
The South Beach Diet is similar to the Atkins Diet in that is a diet that restricts carbohydrates. It is a little more liberal after the first 2 weeks, but the South Beach Diet still represents a drastic change to most people’s diets. The main difference between the South Beach Diet and the Atkins Diet is that the South Beach Diet actually differentiates fats and bans unhealthy ones and promotes the healthy ones. The other difference with the South Beach Diet is how it views carbs. The South Beach Diet takes a much closer look at the sugar within the carb. Those carbs that cause blood sugar to rise quickly are bad, those that don’t are good. The South Beach Diet is therefore a little more balanced of a diet and targets multiple areas.
My uncle tried the South Beach Diet a few years ago, and he did in fact lose about 30lbs and was able to keep most of it off to this day, even though he doesn’t strictly follow the South Beach Diet anymore.
The third diet I’m going to discuss is Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers has been around the longest of these three diets. Weight Watchers is also more of a broad program than a strict diet. Weight Watchers says that dieting is just a part of your long term healthy lifestyle goal. There are two plans for Weight Watchers. The traditional plan puts food into different groups that give you points. You have a quote for each day and you tally up your points to see how you do. Protein, carbs, and fat are accounted for in the point system. They have a newer program that does away with points altogether for people that found the points system to cumbersome.
My wife and sister tried Weight Watchers a few years back and met with limited success. At the time it was due to not tracking points every day and losing track of what they did or did not eat that day. I do know several other people that swear by it, so feel free to check it out yourself.
In closing, there are many other diets out there than were touched on in this article. The key when starting any new diet is research and check with your doctor before you start a new diet.
by Mike Abraham