Diet Plans And Weight Loss Programs Compared
Typically when diet plans and weight loss programs are compared, it's done to show you things like differences in price, foods you can and can not eat, and which ones are easier to follow. It's safe to say that this comparison is going to be a little bit different. Let me explain...
In the fad diets article, I described what I feel makes a diet a fad diet. I explained that weight loss happens when you take in fewer calories than your body needs to maintain it's current weight. I mentioned that this is a fact. I then said that I feel every diet plan and weight loss program that revolves around doing anything besides this fact, is a fad diet.
I even came up with a nickname for what these diets instead make you do. I called them "unnecessary diet tasks." Something that a diet requires you to do that isn't actually necessary for weight loss to happen. In certain cases, this unnecessary task can also be dangerous.
To help show what I mean, I've decided to give a brief review of a few of the most popular diet plans around today followed by a similar review of The Lose Weight Diet for comparison purposes. Each "review" will cover just two aspects of the diet; what makes it unnecessary, and why that diet is not an ideal healthy diet.
The Atkins Diet
Weight loss program: The Atkins Diet
Unnecessary diet task: Eating low carb. The Atkins Diet is probably the most popular of the low carb diet plans. However, like I mentioned in the fad diets article, the idea of "low carb" is unnecessary to weight loss because it is calories, not carbs, that a diet needs to be lower in in order for a person to lose weight. That's not to say low carb doesn't work (we'll get into that some other time), but it is to say that low carb just isn't needed.
An interesting thing about The Atkins Diet (and other low carb diets) is that people usually end up losing weight solely because they lowered their calorie intake... by accident. By removing so many carbs from your diet, you also end up removing a lot of calories as well. In a way this diet almost tricks you into eating less under the guise of "low carb." In this case, The Atkins Diet ends up being just a really unbalanced low calorie diet. Again, completely unnecessary.
Why it's not an ideal healthy diet: The Atkins Diet allows you to eat more fat than is typically recommended. Not just good fat (unsaturated), but bad fat (saturated) as well. That's obviously not ideal for a healthy diet.
Another obvious health concern is the fact that your body needs a good amount of carbs (and vitamins, minerals, etc.) in order to function properly. You know, foods like whole grains, fruits and vegetables. The Atkins Diet greatly restricts the amount of these foods you can eat and limits total carbs eaten to a very low number. Again, not ideal for a healthy diet.
But, The Atkins Diet is fully aware that you will be lacking certain vitamins and minerals and conveniently sells their own brand of supplements. Isn't that just fantastic? They make you remove the healthy foods that contain the nutrients your body needs, and then they just happen to sell their own brand of supplements for you to use to replace the nutrients found in those foods they told you not to eat. How very nice of them.
The South Beach Diet
Weight loss program: The South Beach Diet
Unnecessary diet task: Eating low carb. The South Beach Diet is just another unnecessary low carb plan very similar to The Atkins Diet. The main difference between the two is that The South Beach Diet doesn't allow you to eat foods high in saturated fat like Atkins does. That's a pretty good difference, sure, but it's still based on the unnecessary diet task of eating low carb.
Why it's not an ideal healthy diet: For the same reasons The Atkins Diet is not an ideal healthy diet (except for the high saturated fat part) The South Beach Diet is also just not completely ideal for good health. This goes for all other low carb diet plans as well.
Weight loss program: Weight Watchers
Unnecessary diet task: While I still would not recommend any commercial diet plan or fad diet over The Lose Weight Diet, Weight Watchers is easily my favorite of all the commercial diet plans. The reason for this is because it is pretty much based on the same common sense principles and facts that The Lose Weight Diet is based on. This is of course eating less total calories, and then making sure the calories you do eat come in the form of a well-balanced diet.
Don't get ahead of yourself here... Weight Watchers is a commercial weight loss program after all, so there has to be something unnecessary about it. In this case it is of course their "points system." See, to lose weight there is a certain number of calories you need to eat each day. On Weight Watchers, there is a certain number of "points." While this unnecessary task is different from all the others because it doesn't have anything to do with certain foods, or certain food groups, or certain nutrients, it is still equally unnecessary to weight loss.
Why it's not an ideal healthy diet: Actually, out of all the popular diet plans around, it's really one of the few that could indeed be considered healthy. While it might not limit junk food as much as it could, it also doesn't limit anything your body needs and instead aims for a balanced diet. This is good.
For this very reason, and because it is pretty much based on what is ACTUALLY needed for weight loss to happen, Weight Watchers is easily my favorite of all the commercial diet plans. However, keep in mind that it still makes you do something completely unnecessary (counting "points" instead of calories), and it still costs money. I guess you can think of it as the best of the not-needed diets.
The Cabbage Soup Diet
Weight loss program: The Cabbage Soup Diet
Unnecessary diet task: Hmmm, I wonder if there could possibly be anything unnecessary about a weight loss program that calls itself "The Cabbage Soup Diet." One thing is for sure though, out of all the fad diets this one easily wins for best name. Anyway, getting back to the unnecessary diet task, it's a weight loss diet that revolves around cabbage soup. What more needs to be said here? Seriously.
As you should already understand by now, weight loss happens when you burn more calories than you consume. Instead of bothering with any of that, all of your focus is on the magic powers of... cabbage soup. This is probably as unnecessary as diet plans get.
Why it's not an ideal healthy diet: Your body needs lots of things. Cabbage soup doesn't have these things. Again, what more needs to be said?
The Grapefruit Diet
Weight loss program: The Grapefruit Diet
Unnecessary diet task: Here we go again. The Grapefruit Diet is one of those diet plans that is based on the idea that a specific food has the ability to make you burn fat. This would be great and all, but unfortunately there is absolutely no scientific proof to back it up. For more, see "The Cabbage Soup Diet."
Why it's not an ideal healthy diet: See "The Cabbage Soup Diet."
And last but not least...
The Lose Weight Diet
Weight loss program: The Lose Weight Diet
Unnecessary diet task: None. Despite what any of the other diet plans claim, the most simple, basic, safe, effective, and scientifically proven way to lose weight is by being in a calorie deficit. This could mean you are eating fewer calories than your calorie maintenance level. It could mean you are exercising so that you burn these calories. Or, for best results, it could mean you are doing a combination of both eating fewer calories AND exercising. This is exactly what The Lose Weight Diet is all about.
Why it's not an ideal healthy diet: No reason. Why? Because it IS an ideal healthy diet. In fact, it is probably THE ideal healthy diet. Like I've said a few times on this site, The Lose Weight Diet is the same type of diet that doctors and experts who aren't trying to sell you something would recommend. The Lose Weight Diet is all about eating everything your body needs (protein, complex carbs, healthy fats) and less or close to none of what it doesn't (simple carbs and saturated fat). It is the true definition of a healthy diet. And, by the way, it's also 100% free.
How they compare...
So there's my little comparison. Sure, I may be a bit biased, but if you honestly break all of these diet plans down and compare them, this is really how they stack up. All of these other diets are based on or require doing something that just doesn't need to be done in order for weight loss to happen. In some cases this unnecessary task could potentially be bad for your health.
The Lose Weight Diet is just the opposite. Does that mean you should use it? Well, that's completely up to you. I will never flat out say you should use The Lose Weight Diet over any of the other diets. Why? Because if one of these diet plans (or any others not mentioned) appeal to you in some way, I will never tell you not to use it. I certainly wouldn't recommend any to you, but as long as it's safe, who am I to tell you that a diet you feel is right for you... isn't? Exactly.
The only thing I will tell you is this... if you want a weight loss program that is:
A) Based on doing ALL of what is needed for weight loss and NOTHING of what isn't.
B) Completely safe and ideal for good health in general.
...then know that there isn't any other diet plan or weight loss program that will fit that description quite as well as The Lose Weight Diet.
I'll leave the decision making up to you.
(Are there any other diet plans you would like to see added to this comparison? If so, send me an email and let me know.)