This never-ending (and seemingly hopeless) struggle... to lose weight and keep it off... that so many people face is the largest single health issue in the U.S. today! In fact:
• Right now, 2 out of 3 Americans are overweight or obese.
• A typical dieter makes 4 weight loss attempts yearly.
• There are 63 million U.S. doctor visits per year related to obesity, and approximately 40 million workdays are lost.
• In April 2012, a Cornell University study published in the Journal of Health Economics found that obesity accounts for nearly 21 percent of U.S. health care costs.
• If current trends continue, more than 44 percent of adults in the U.S. will be obese by the year 2030.
• Obesity in the U.S. is now classified as an epidemic!
So you start looking at the options. And it's overwhelming.
Allow me to give you some tips on what to look for:
1. Does the program have published clinical proof that it does what it claims to do?
- Nearly EVERY program I've looked at has no proof that it works. Lots of flashy ads, impressive testimonies, or fantastic claims. They simply DON'T WORK. Not long-term. You may shed a few pounds, but it will be temporary because the weight you lost is valuable muscle and not FAT. Raise your hand if you want to lose FAT!
2. Is the diet based on fad? Is it safe?
- Please understand that just because you can buy something doesn't make it SAFE. If a diet promises ridiculous amounts of weight loss in short amount of time with no effort at all - RUN AWAY!!
3. Have participants in the program KEPT THE WEIGHT OFF for more than 2 years?
- This is VERY IMPORTANT. Most people WILL lose weight on a diet, 80% of those people will gain it ALL back + some (YO-YO Diet) within 2 years. Why?
- On most diets you lose both fat and muscle. When you lose muscle, your metabolism drops, and your body loses the ability to burn fat. When you go off your diet, you can’t burn calories like you did before. So you gain weight back faster. The cycle repeats with the next diet... and the next.
4. Does the program include a support system to provide accountability and motivation?
- Let's be honest...if we could stick to a "diet" without support, we'd all be at our idea weight, YES!?
5. Are the products free from artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and sweeteners?
- I know we've been conditioned to think that artificial sweeteners are good for weight loss, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. Artificial sweeteners may actually lead to weight gain (http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/story?id=4271246&page=1) and may contribute to cancers and inflammation in the body. (http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/top-number-most-dangerous-artificial-sweeteners.html)
- Artificial sweeteners like sucralose (splenda) are made by chlorinating sugar. And that's just gross.
6. Is the diet toxic?
There is a lot of new scientific evidence regarding the role of the level of toxins in the body as a possible contributing factor in excess weight. A number of studies cited in an article in Nature and Health (Feb/Mar 2007) describe some of the many ways in which metabolism is negatively affected by toxins:
- Damage to the mitochondria, energy producing “powerhouses” found in all cells.
- Reduction of thyroid hormones which contribute to the basal metabolic rate and are involved in fat and carbohydrate metabolism.
- Toxins cause an increase in the excretion of thyroid hormones by the liver.
- Toxins interfere with the receptor sites where thyroid hormones need to attach in order to produce their regular metabolic effects.
- Toxins use the transport proteins that hormones need to use in order to get to these sites.
- Toxins block the effects of the hormone leptin, which signals you that you are no longer hungry. Thus, you may think you're hungry even when you're not and overeat as a result.
- Chemical toxins dramatically weaken the action of CoQ10, a special coenzyme that the body needs to burn fat!
7. Are the products tested for purity (free from contamination) and potency?
- Did you know that many professional athletes do not use supplements because of the risk of contamination with banned substances? Purchase from a company that guarantees their products and tests for harmful contaminants like pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, heavy metals WITH a ZERO TOLERANCE policy. (No joke - I've seen companies who claim to do testing for contaminants but allow a certain amount of contamination as unavoidable)?