Lose Weight and Get Healthy with the Right Diet

At the beginning of the year, many of us make 'New Year's Resolutions', and one of the top ones is to lose some weight! But which diet to choose?

There seem to be so many different slimming diets, but if we analyse them in detail, there are really only two different types. The first is plain and simple calorie counting (which includes most low fat diets). The second comprises hormonally-oriented diets which stabilize blood sugar and insulin. These include the Atkins and other low carb diets, and their close relations low GI (glycemic index) and low GL (glycemic load) diets.

The big question is, which type is best? Well, traditional advice tells us that to lose weight all we need to do is reduce our calories. However, modern research shows that the so-called calorie theory is a gross oversimplification of how our bodies work. Reducing calories or going 'low fat' may work in the short term for some people. But researchers believe that for up to 60 per cent of people a diet based on carbohydrates disrupts their blood sugar and insulin balance, causing them to store calories more easily than burn them off for energy. For those of us who are carbohydrate sensitive in this way, a 'healthy eating' weight loss diet based on bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, breakfast cereals and fruit juices, even if they are whole grain and high fiber, is entirely the wrong advice.

How do you know if you're carb sensitive? Well, have you have struggled to lose weight in the past on a standard low calorie or 'healthy eating' diet? If so, there is a good chance you are one of the 60 per cent of us who cannot handle a diet based on carbohydrate-rich foods, even 'healthy' whole grain, high fiber ones. And if a low GI diet hasn't worked for you either, then it's more than likely that you are extra sensitive to carbohydrates, which makes a low carb diet a more effective (and healthier) diet for you.

More information on why a low GI or low carb diet may be better for you than the standard low fat/low calorie diet, how to decide which diet is best for you and how to get started can be found in The Easy Guide to Low Carb, Low GI and Low GL Diets and the free e-book Why You Should Consider a Low Carb or Low GI Diet.

Researchers are also now beginning to understand that those of us who are constantly dieting risk getting caught in the 'famine syndrome' trap. Our metabolism is programmed to become more efficient when calorie intake is low, and our bodies can become so good at running on fewer calories that further weight loss can become almost impossible. There is more information on how to avoid this and other common dieting pitfalls in Why Can't I Lose Weight.