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It can sometimes feel like a new fad diet comes out every day. There’s The Alkaline Diet, The Baby Food Diet and The Blood-Type Diet. There’s a whole array of options with increasingly ridiculous propositions, and new ones are being introduced quicker than we can try them. While we always know in our hearts that these ideas are silly, it’s still always tempting to imagine there’s a quick fix to our problems. Unfortunately, even when these ideas work, it’s often just because they so happen to follow the basic tenets of weight loss.
People have been losing and gaining weight for thousands of years. We don’t need to know how to lose weight. One of the greatest fallacies is that we are actually in need of a fad diet to begin with. Most of us know someone who has lost 30 pounds, or someone who has consistently stayed in shape their whole life. Instead of looking to quackery, look to these examples. Do these people refuse to eat high-glycemic vegetables or bread?
While fad diets can occasionally work it’s usually only because they so happen to force the dieter to control their calorie intake. You can go on the South Beach Diet and lose weight, but your weight loss would have nothing to do with sugar and processed carbohydrates.
Weight Watchers is one organization that approaches weight loss in the right way, refusing to embrace quackery and staying true to its fact-based approach. Its diets have undergone clinical trials and shown exactly what we already know: when you control calorie intake, weight loss happens with perfect precision.
Weight Watchers uses a points system, PointsPlus, which is ultimately based on calorie content. It also accounts for the ways our body processes calories differently depending on the nutritional content of the food. For this reason, it’s even possible to combine another diet at the same time as you are following Weight Watchers’ guidance. So long as you stick within the PointsPlus system, your can eat what you want. Even yummy snacks like these.
“The PointsPlus formula uses the grams of total fat, carbohydrate, dietary fiber and protein to calculate the assigned PointsPlus value. While creating a caloric deficit is at the core of weight loss, the formula accounts for the fact that the body uses calories differently, depending on a food’s nutrient composition,” according to Weight Watchers. “In the PointsPlus program, all fruits and most vegetables have a PointsPlus value of 0.”
Your body needs a certain number of calories to run. If you are heavier, you need more calories. If you are slimmer, you need less. This is why, as you lose weight, your weight loss becomes gradually harder. Take in more calories than you need and you will store away fat. Take in fewer calories than you need and your body will begin depleting your fat reserves.