"We should all know by now that dieting doesn’t work," writes a chiropractor whose website promotes wellness products.
"If you’re one of the 100 million Americans trying to lose weight, here’s a hot tip: Don’t go on a diet," advises a blogger for Forbes.
"Let’s face it, Diets Don't Work!" exclaims a weight loss guru who, besides randomly capitalizing words and overusing exclamation points, promotes her book called Diets Don't Work and markets CDs, workshops and other non-dieting approaches to losing weight.
So who am I to argue with these "experts?" I don't have any pills, potions, books or CDs to sell, and I don't write for one of the nation's most respected financial magazines (although I did once have an article published in American Baby).
What I have done is lose weight relatively quickly and with minimal will power by going on a diet, and I have managed to keep it off for almost a year.
Going on a diet is not a magic way to lose weight forever, but it's one of the best ways to kick start fat melting because it's a pattern interrupt. Before going on a diet I was eating cheese quesadillas for breakfast every day; sandwiches for lunch and pasta, potatoes and bread with dinner -- and I pretty much allowed myself to eat whatever sweet treats came my way (working in a large office, there were many). If I went out to dinner I would order a cocktail, wine and dessert because, like the L'Oréal lady with lustrous hair, I was worth it.
I tried all the various non-diet hacks I read about on the web, from using smaller plates to mindfully eating.
But what I had to do to lose weight was something radically different from what I had been doing. In my case I strictly followed the Medifast 5&1 diet plan in which I ate five Medifast replacement meals and one lean & green dinner each day that I prepared myself.
Once I reached my ideal weight, I was able to create a new (hopefully) permanent way of eating that incorporates many of the lessons I had learned from my diet, such as eating more frequently, drinking more water, making protein and vegetables the mainstay of my diet and treating carbs as condiments. And so far it's working.
Making blanket statements like "diets don't work" is a great sound bite for hawking books and hypnosis CDs, but it discounts the fact that millions of people do lose weight each year by going on a diet. The fact that most people regain all or part of their weight is beside the point. Once you lose the weight, you need to make sure you don't find it again.
But first you must lose the weight.
You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for less cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.
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