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Weight Loss Programs - What's Real, What's Hype


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Weight Loss Programs and Books

There are so many weight loss programs and books out there!

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 for you.

What's real, and what's hype among weight loss programs ? My Reviews:

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 order.

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 Zone.

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 permanently.

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.

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