For the most part, diet books can be divided into three categories: Low-fat, Low-carb and Desperate. Low-fat aims for fat intake to reflect less than 20% of daily calories. Low-carb aims for carbohydrate intake to reflect less than 40% of daily calories. Desperatesimply looks for miracles.

Diets fail due to restricting foods to the point of hunger or suffering. Regardless of how much weight is lost, eventually patients choose to stop suffering. Then, of course, old habits (along with old calories and old weight) return.

Below are listed some characteristics of a healthy weight loss plan:

  • The program is not a one-size-fits-all diet and has individualized nutritional, exercise and behavioral components.
  • Nutritional advice is provided by a physician or a Registered Dietitian*.
  • Exercise is encouraged but physical activity is promoted at a gradual, rather than at an injury producing rapid pace.
  • Reasonable weight loss goals are set at a pace of 3 lbs per week at most, and the program does not promise or imply dramatic, rapid, weight loss as an outcome.
  • The program does not require the outlay of large sums of money at the start or make clients sign contracts for expensive, long term programs without the option of at least partial funds (which you should discuss before enrolling).
  • The program does not promote <800 kcal daily, and if diets contain <1200 kcal daily, they are supervised by a physician.
  • The program does not require the use or purchase of any products, supplements, vitamins, or injections.
  • The program does not make outlandish claims such as, “You will only lose fat,” or, “We can target problem areas”.
  • The program has an established maintenance program available.
  • The program provides you with statistics that include the percentage of clients who drop out, the average percentage of weight clients lose, and the average weight loss sustained following completion of their maintenance program.

*Note: Outside of Quebec, the term “nutritionist” is not protected by law in Canada and therefore we cannot consider someone who refers to themselves as a “nutritionist” to be a reliable and trusted source of information.

The Best Diet

Your patient’s best diet has fewer calories than their current diet and satisfies hunger while retaining livability. In the history of medicine, one diet has never been proven to be better than another for weight loss, and especially for long-term weight-loss maintenance.

The Bottom Line

Patients must be able to confidently say they can live with their choices for the rest of their lives, or weight will return.

Reference: With permission from Best Weight. A Practical Guide to office based obesity management by Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, MD and Dr. Arya M. Sharma, MD, PhD

Have you followed any weight loss plan? How did it go? How did you choose the plan was right for you? Let us know. Let us get a conversation started.

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