We all know crash diets are bad news, replays of those fifties-era grapefruit regimens that only ended up boomeranging, causing you to add back more weight than you lost. And yet there's no better incentive for a long-term weight-loss effort than dropping a few pounds right off the bat.
Kick-Start Your Diet
Doctor-approved and packed with food you'll actually want to eat, these menus will help you reach your diet goals.
The Confused Dieter's Questions Answered Once and for All
Are all calories equal? Is breakfast a must? Are carbs the enemy? Wonder no more. The experts speak.
Take a look at good ideas and inspiration-doctor's orders!
Are all calories equal? Is breakfast a must? Are carbs the enemy? Wonder no more. The experts* speak.
Question: Are all calories created equal (i.e., do 50 calories of Godiva cause the same weight gain as 50 calories of grapefruit)?
Answer: Yes (although the fruit calories might be more filling).
Q: Can you get addicted to carbohydrates?
A: There's no hard science to prove it.
Q: Does it matter what time you eat?
A: No. If you're looking at 2,000 calories over a 24-hour period, it doesn't matter what the clock says when you swallow them. But the evening hours have a way of tempting many people to overeat.
Q: Are four, five, or six small meals better than three big ones?
A: There may be a hint of a weight-loss advantage to the nibble-and-nosh mode for some people. Preempting hunger also helps avoid unplanned food sprees.
Q: Does eating breakfast really help you diet?
A: Yes, according to a study of almost 3,000 successful dieters in the National Weight Control Registry—not because it helps you eat less during the day, but because it tends to make you a little more active.
Q: How much exercise do you have to do to lose weight and keep it off?
A: One hour a day of moderate activity, like jogging four to five miles. (Well, you wanted to know.)
Q: Is it true that a longer, easier aerobic workout burns more fat than a shorter burst of heart-pumping exercise?
A: It's all in the math. Whichever workout burns more calories is the one that burns more fat. You have to stroll a lot longer at a leisurely pace to come close to the calorie expenditure of a quick sprint—then again, it's easier to keep walking.
Q: Which diet works better: low carb / high fat or high carb / low fat?
A: The most recent review of more than 100 studies on low-carb diets found no difference when compared to high-carb diets. Some people don't feel as ravenous on one or the other, but in the end it boils down to the calories: Less is more (fewer calories mean more weight loss).
Q: Why are those last five to ten pounds so hard to lose?
A: Weight loss is like blackjack—stacked against you. As you get lighter, your metabolism becomes slower. And maybe there's a good reason those last pounds are holding on for dear life: Maybe you really don't need to get rid of them.
What's it going to take to get your diet moving? According to health experts, a good two-week regimen could be just the answer you're looking for. Use these low-calorie menus to get the right nutrition and start counting down the pounds!
1,500 Calorie Menus
Meal Plan 1
Meal Plan 2
Meal Plan 3
Meal Plan 4
Meal Plan 5
Meal Plan 6
1,000 Calorie Menus
Meal Plan 7
Meal Plan 8
Meal Plan 9
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