How weight loss plans work is a matter of scientific fact. Until recent years; nobody really knew how the body reacts to dieting; now we do. That allows us to design weight loss plans around proven medical facts; so that those plans work more easily and more quickly than ever before.
Weight loss; plain and simple; will only occur when there exists a negative balance between the calories consumed and those expended as energy. This negative balance is created when the metabolism burns calories in excess of those eaten. The problem here is that the metabolism; like the body as a whole; is fueled by calories. When calorie consumption slows; the metabolism slows; thus burning fewer calories.
Knowing how weight loss plans work; and how they create this negative balance; allows us to better choose a plan that is more compatible with our lifestyles and attitudes.
In examining how weight loss plans work; we find the following different types of programs:
1. Calorie counting. This is the age old method of losing weight; and the one least likely to succeed. With these diets we literally count every calorie eaten; making sure to stay below a certain threshold. The types of food allowed are highly restrictive; therefore these diets are hard to follow; requiring incredible will power. This type of diet does nothing to counter the metabolic slow down that comes with dieting.
2. "No-carb" diets. These are far less restrictive in terms of foods allowed. Some people have success with them; but in practically every instance; the weight returns and even increases once the diet is stopped. I also don't think that is wise to attempt to avoid an entire food group. These diets also fail account for the natural result of dieting; a slowed metabolism.
3. "Low-carb" diets. These make more sense to me as they suggest avoiding only certain types of carbohydrates. I've had some success with one of these; but I did come to recognize that they are simply a "new twist" on calorie counting as the really focus on portion control and caloric intake. Once I had lost a good bit of weight and entered the "maintenance" phase of the diet; the weight started to return. Once again; no provision for our body's natural reaction to dieting; the metabolic reduction.
4. Calorie shifting diets. These are relatively new; and the only weight loss plan I have found that does understand the natural result of dieting; and provides a way to keep the metabolism working at its peak. Calorie shifting programs recognize that the body gets accustomed to what it is given. By alternating what we eat and when we eat it; the body (and the metabolism) never settles into a "routine"; therefore the metabolism continues to function as it did before starting a diet program. These plans also require us to eat four times per day to fuel the metabolism. This also has the added benefit of keeping us from feeling hungry. That makes these plans much easier to stick with.
In seeing how weight loss plans work; it is clear that those plans built upon an understanding of the body's natural reaction to dieting; offer us the best and easiest method to achieve permanent weight loss.
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