Janice Stanger, PhD

Janice Stanger, PhD

Posted January 2, 2012

Published in Health

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Eight Key Questions to Ask Before Going on a Diet

Read More: diets, weight loss, whole foods plant-based diet

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And Why the Best Diet Is No Diet At All

Going on a diet is a serious decision. The eating plan you choose will impact your health, appearance, quality of life, self-image, and self-confidence. With so many diet choices, it’s easy to just go ahead with whatever is trendy or to follow the weight loss 1_opt.jpglead of co-workers, family, or friends.

You can lose weight on just about any combination of foods as long as you keep calories in check. But if you are undermining your health and metabolism in the process, you are making yourself into a time bomb for illness and future stubborn weight. Getting thinner will do you little good if your health and energy deteriorate.

With so much at stake, you can maximize your success by doing a little probing before making your choice. Here are the eight key questions that will guide you to the effective answer.

ONE. How fast will I lose weight? The answer you want to hear is “a pound or two a week.” This may sound slow to you compared to brash promises of some programs. Actually this rate of weight loss is sustainable and can be geared to fat loss (rather than the temporary water loss that is often a hallmark of rapid weight decreases). Plus cutting food intake drastically slows your metabolism, making it progressively more difficult to continue weight loss.

What’s more, given the polluted state of our planet, there is a certainty that you have highly toxic persistent organic pollutants (such as dioxins, DDT, flame retardants, and many more) dissolved in your body fat. When you lose fat too fast, these substances will flood your liver quickly, with a potentially profound effect on your health. This is because these pollutants are fat soluble, not water soluble. The liver is your organ to detoxify these dangerous chemicals and send them out of your body.

TWO. How much weight will I lose? BMI (Body Mass Index) is a measure of how your weight relates to your height The best answer is that you will lose enough weight to get to the ideal BMI of between 20 and 23. Research indicates that this BMI is the most protective against disease, and would be considered to be a trim weight without being skeletal.

Beware of diets that don’t give an answer, or hold up a set number of pounds or percent of your current weight. The amount you need to lose is based on your height and where you are starting.

Read the other six questions that will help you, a co-worker, friend, or family member figure out the best diet