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Current Diets Under the Microscope

Too often, many people turn to various “miracle” solutions with the intention of speeding up their weight loss process. I agree that the promise of a quick and safe weight loss solution is attractive. But at what price? Keep in mind that “quick” and “safe” rarely go together. A safe weight loss equals to a rhythm of around 1 kg or less per week, unless there is strict monitoring from a professional team (nutritionist, kinesiologist or other recognized professional in the field of physical activity, doctor).

Lately, we have heard a lot about Visalus and their “Body by vii” challenge, as well as from other companies such as Usana, Slimfast, Herbalife, or others, each with their own quick weight loss formula. They make various claims, such as recovery from many illnesses, an increase in energy levels, as well as a quick weight loss of course. In truth, regardless of the nutrition method used, a loss of 5 to 10 % of a person’s extra weight (for example: a 170 lb person that would lose 8.5 to 17 lb) is enough to improve many health parameters, such as a reduction of blood pressure, of blood sugar on an empty stomach, of pain in lower limbs, etc. Therefore it cannot be attributed to the product itself.

These diets all use the same principle: replacing meals with shakes (one to two a day), and snacks are also provided by the company (chocolate cookies, protein bars, chocolate pudding, etc.).

During the duration of the weight loss program, it is strongly recommended that you take a multivitamin as well as a supplement of omega-3. They are aware of the fact that by feeding on their products, you will develop multiple nutritional deficiencies.

What should we think of this?

· No nutritional evaluation is performed; therefore, the diet will not be adapted to your lifestyle and level of physical activity.

· The protein intake provided by these diets can often be double, even triple than the needs of the individuals. A protein intake that is too high can put a lot of work on the kidneys, which needs to eliminate the amino acids surplus. In addition, in the long term it can lead to a feeling of tiredness, since the absorption of such a quantity of proteins requires a lot of energy from the body.

· These weight loss formulas help you treat a symptom, which is extra weight, without treating the cause: you get no help in finding out why you are overweight in the first place.

· You are not taught hot to plan your nutrition and prepare healthy and balanced meals according to your reality (working on the road, having four kids, a spouse allergic to something, working night shifts, etc.).

If you are interested by this subject, I suggest you read the article “Fad Diets, Dissected!”, as well as “Is There Such a Thing as a Miracle Pill?” to forge your critical mind!

By Marilyne Petitclerc

Marilyne Petitclerc

Holder of a degree in nutrition from Université Laval, Marilyne has worked as a nutritionist for Nautilus Plus since 2010. Passionate about healthy eating and sports nutrition, she also gives lectures and hosts cooking workshops. With her clients, Marilyne makes extensive use of the instinct diet approach and the Mediterranean diet model. Furthermore, she has attended classes on live nutrition at the Hippocrates Health Institute. Maryline ran the Quebec City Marathon des Deux Rives - Half Marathon in 2010 and 2012. She also took part in the Staircase Challenge, another event held in Quebec City in June 2012. Marilyne also plays in an Ultimate Frisbee league and trains regularly at the Nautilus Plus branch where she is employed.

Current Diets Under the Microscope is a post from I'm taking charge. I'm taking charge is a blog that aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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