Diet Comparison

Copyright 2006 Adam Waxler

Is a low carb diet the best way to lose weight? Well that's what
you'll hear from one diet guru, and he has the testimonials to
back it up.

How about low fat, lots of carbs, and fresh fruits and veggies?
Of course, another weight loss expert will say so - and he's got
the back up from satisfied users, too.

A third weight loss expert will swear that you need to count the
amount of sugar; another weight loss expert will tell you that
the enemy is white flour. The question then becomes, "if you
want to lose weight and keep it off, who do you listen to?".

Below are a few summaries to give you a quick overview of the
pros and cons of some of the most popular types of weight loss

Low Carb-Hi Protein Diets

Diets like the Atkins diet, the South Beach diet and the Zone
Diet all recommend restricting carbohydrates and allowing
liberal amounts of protein, including protein derived from
animal sources. Generally, they limit the overall amount of
carbohydrates, or teach you to differentiate between "good" and
"bad" carbohydrates. Bad carbohydrates, which are forbidden,
include white flour, white bread, and white sugar.

Pros: The low carb diets all encourage learning healthy eating
as part of the overall weight loss plan. Deriving most of your
daily calories from high fiber sources of carbs like leafy green
vegetables and grains is generally considered the best diet for
nutrition by the established medical community. The popularity
of these weight loss diets makes it easy to find low-carb foods.

Cons: The allowance of eating all the protein and fats you like
flies in the face of conventional medical wisdom. A diet high in
saturated fats could lead to heart disease, diabetes, gout and
other chronic health conditions. Most of these low carb diet
plans caution and advice to keep portions reasonable. Following
the guidelines of these low carb diets should mitigate that

Weight Loss Programs

Jenny Craig, NutriSystem, Weight Watchers, SlimFast and a number
of other weight loss programs rely heavily on pre-packaged
'diet' foods. They incorporate professional coaching, social
structure and reinforcement.

Pros: The professional coaching and nutritional benefits are a
big plus, as are the reinforcement and support aspect of the
diets. Meals and supplements are prepackaged in the right
proportions, and if you stick to the diets and exercise as
directed you will lose weight.

Cons: The weekly fees and cost of meals can be expensive. In
addition, if you rely completely on the packaged foods, you miss
out on the re-education of your eating habits, which is
important to maintaining any weight loss.

The Real Mayo Clinic Diet

The true Mayo Clinic diet recommends a healthy eating weight
loss plan based on limiting fats, proteins and carbohydrates,
counting calories and deriving most of the daily nutrition from
vegetables, grains and fruit.

Pros: There's no 'diet'. Instead, you're encouraged to take
control of your eating. Portion control and sensible balance of
nutrients are the cornerstones of a weight loss plan that takes
weight off gradually, and helps you keep it off permanently.

Cons: It may be difficult to stay on this diet. Counting
calories and portions can be difficult if you're eating out or
on the run.

While there are many weight loss plans that promise to help you
lose weight fast, unfortunately, many of these weight loss plans
are either not healthy diets, or don't have long-lasting
results. However, the three major weight loss diets above all
result in 1-2 pounds of weight loss per week, which most doctors
believe is the optimum way to lose weight and keep it off.