There are so many weight loss programs and books
I'm assuming that you can't afford to buy them all, and that you
may not have the time to investigate them all, so let me do that
What's real, and what's hype among weight loss programs ? My
Here's the skinny on 10 diets and books... plus
links to help you find more information and the opinions of those
who've already gone down these paths before you.
NOTE: These are not presented in any particular
1. Barry Sears, PhD's Weight Loss Program
He says, the correct ratio of carbs to proteins
to fat is 40:30:30, because it keeps insulin levels in the health
It's a pretty healthy diet, but it's a bit low
in whole grains and calcium.
2. The Duchess of York's Weight Loss Program
This one's based on a point system, pretty healthy,
but if your triglycerides are high, you may need to cut back on
the carbs and add more unsaturated fats.
3. Robert Pritikin's Weight Loss Program
Aims to cut your calorie density, but it restricts
some healthy foods like seafood and low-fat poultry, it's low
in calcium, and same thing about triglycerides mentioned above.
4. Dean Ornish, MD's Weight Loss Program
If you eat fat-free, healthy foods, you can feel
full and still lose weight, but with Ornish's weight loss program,
you're again kept from some healthy foods as above, again low
in calcium, and same triglyceride problem.
5. Robert Atkins, MD's Weight Loss Program
Only carbs make you fat, Atkins maintained, but
his diet is too high in saturated fats, low in fruits and whole
grains, low in Ca and fiber, and may cause bad breath and constipation.
6. Dr. Phil's Weight Loss Program
This one is pretty new, so I think the jury's still
out. It's more of a psychological weight loss program than a specific
diet. It's based on the premise that if you do enough inner work,
you can change your views of eating and weight loss and lose weight
I'll be waiting to see how successful it is...
but I doubt we'll get a scientific study... its success will be
judged more by how many books it sells, and given Dr. Phil's daytime
success and support from Oprah, chances are it'll be a bestseller.
Wonder if that means it will help anyone lose weight though?
One critic on Amazon.com says that the whole success
of this weight loss program hinges on the ability to make positive
new habits permanent, and recommends the Power of Habit by Jack
D. Hodge in addition to The Ultimate Weight Loss Solution.
7. Arthur Agatston, MD's Weight Loss Program
This is basically an updated Atkins diet. The main
differences are no ketosis, and limiting your saturated fats.
Some people feel that Atkins for Life is much better written than
this book. The number of pounds people lose varies, and some find
the diets hard to follow after the first phase. Several readers
felt that Agatston mischaracterized the Atkins weight loss program.
Others just gush.
8. Heller and Heller's Weight Loss Program
Carbs boost insulin, which causes weight gain,
they say. Partly true, but their advice is inconsistent, their
recipes are too high in saturated fats, and some of the advice
is inconsistent with the sample meals (e.g. eat less than 2 cups
of vegetables in non-reward meals, but most sample meals have
less, or none).
9. Cloutier's Weight Loss Program
This one is not so much a weight loss program as
a healthier diet. The idea here is to live longer, better, and
have fewer diseases. Of course, if you are obese, you might need
more, because most of your diseases will come from your obesity.
But I like this book.
10. Random weight loss programs and supplements
you find on the internet.
Be very, very careful. Avoid ephedra-based supplements,
"thermogenic" supplements, fat burners, etc. Anything that stimulates
your sympathetic nervous system (like ephedra or citrus aurantium)
is risky. If you do consider a supplement, make sure there is
research behind it, that they quote the research source and give
you a link to it elsewhere on the internet. If you're not sure,
email me about a product.
Watch out for websites that appear to be nothing
more than a collection of search engine key words. If you see
long lists of similar phrases, that's what it is. They are just
trying to get high on the search engine list to get your click,
and then sell you a product to make money. Real webpages give
you good information, and read more like real articles or books
do. It's tough, because these days when you search, most of the
first page of results may be this kind of search engine spam.
Oh well, sooner or later the search engines will figure it out
and ban or punish them. But for now, be careful.
So, in summary- which ones do I think are best?
The best results I've heard of have come from Atkins or South
Beach. However, my real belief is that there isn't just one weight
loss program or diet that works for everyone, because everyone
is different. You may have to try several before you get one that
works and is comfortable.
My advice would be to try Atkins or South Beach,
and if that doesn't do it, then try the Zone diet. You might as
well get Dr. Phil's book to motivate you while you're working
on the previous two or three... and if that doesn't work, you
may want to think about a support group type of weight loss program
like overeater's anonymous, weight watchers, or jenny craig.
Another option is to check out The
Diet Forum. They make available mutual support ("diet
buddies"), and can also create you a detailed personalized
diet plan based on your answers to a dietary survey. Click over
to the Diet Forum. People seem to dig it.
If you're still having trouble, think medical.
Chinese medicine can offer you acupuncture and herbal medicine
to reduce hunger, cravings, and improve your digestion, etc. Also,
medical quality enzymes like those from Transformations Enzyme
Corporation can help, too. For the medical side, find
an acupuncturist/herbalist, a nutritionist, or some other
alternative medicine practitioner with weight loss program experience
to help you one on one.
If none of that works, email
me your weight loss program woes , and we'll see what we can
figure out over the cyber-waves.
Brian is an author of international renown and public speaker. He is currently writing his book Chinese Medicine: A Practical Guide to Optimal Healing. Brian practices acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in sunny San Diego, California.