Here’s the problem with plenty of popular weight-loss diets: They may shed those pesky pounds in the short term—but long term is a whole other story.
Once someone has lost a significant amount of weight, the real work involves keeping it off. It doesn’t help that long-term weight loss is not often a strong point for many diets, and it continues to be a frustrating health problem with the increasing prevalence of obesity.
So is there a diet out there that can keep our waistlines slim after we’ve, well, dieted?
The feeding tube diet, which involves inserting a feeding tube into the nose, provides only 800 calories a day. Thanks to the shockingly low number, it's classified as a very low-calorie diet, or VLCD.
Just the thought of living on this diet for ten days straight has most people shaking their heads in disbelief, but it has gained popularity among brides willing to go to extremes to lose weight for their wedding in a short amount of time. As Dr. Oliver R. Di Pietro told the New York Times in a recent article, "People want to be perfect."
Local registered dietitian Stephanie Mull is just one of the many critics who say the feeding tube diet goes one step too far. Mull explains that VLCDs are only recommended for clinically obese people with accompanying diseases such as diabetes or hypertension. In cases where a VLCD is appropriate, the diet plan should be "medically supervised to ensure that the formula being provided meets 100 percent of vitamin and mineral needs," and it should form part of a "multidisciplinary approach with dietitians, psychologists, and personal trainers," emphasizes Mull.
Chocolate for breakfast? If you say so. Photograph courtesy of Flickr user Mr Michael Phams.
Let them eat cake!
At least, that’s what researchers at Tel Aviv University are saying, after witnessing obese adults shed some serious weight from eating dessert for breakfast.
Even more surprising: Cookies, candy, and cake helped them keep the weight off in the long run.
Location: Southwest DC
Profession: Legal/technology consultant
Self-described activity level: Moderately active. I work out with a trainer once a week and repeat her workout twice a week, with cardio on alternating days. I ride my bike as much as possible. My downfall tends to be my unpredictable travel schedule for work. Once I’m out of town, I’m thrown off track easily by long days and eating out. When I am home, I try to eat seasonally and locally.
Well folks, this is it. My month-long quest to lose weight has come to an end. Even though I had slip-ups throughout the month, I have never been so strict and in control of myself. I’ve been trying to get in shape since I graduated from college, and I can proudly say that for the first time in five years, I weigh less than 160 pounds.
Now the question is how to adapt and reconcile my month-long desire to eat Chipotle without sacrificing all the work I’ve accomplished.
Given that it was my last week on this challenge, I was determined to go out with a bang. With that in mind, I biked the Mount Vernon trail—twice. On Saturday I biked 20 miles. On Sunday I decided to do the full 36 miles from Key Bridge to Mount Vernon and back.
Can weight-loss blogger Frankie Martinez Blanco find healthy options while on the road in Minneapolis? Photograph courtesy of Flickr user Dougtone.
Last week I talked about how much I was now enjoying running outside in DC, thanks to my new modern workout clothes. Well, that may hold true here in DC, but it sure didn’t in Minneapolis, where I spent last week on a work trip. Nothing—and I mean, nothing—could have convinced me to go out running in minus-4-degree—and minus-16-wind-chill—weather.
Luckily, my hotel had a pretty decent gym. Unluckily, I was on a work trip, which meant I barely had a moment to myself, let alone time for regular meals and workouts. Landing in Minneapolis, I knew this break from my DC routine was going to be the biggest challenge to overcome this week.
To celebrate the end of my weight loss journey, I wore my skinny jeans out this past Friday night. This month has been an overall great experience that has allowed me to get back on track with regards to what I’m eating and drinking, and how often I’m working out. I’ve learned it’s all about choices—instead of beating yourself up over every move you make, you should just try to make the better choice right off the bat.
Here are the some of the lessons I learned during the month.
Julie shares photos of her diet and workouts through her Twitter account, @JulieAlbert79. This week's favorite meal was an organic cauliflower pizza with low-fat mozzarella, roasted veggies, and turkey pepperoni. RIght: Julie stands in front of Jordin's Paradise after a bootcamp workout. Photographs courtesy of Julie Albert.
Baby, it’s cold outside, and that’s made it difficult for me to go to the gym before or after work, even with the help of my precious Lululemon outfits.
I love early morning runs, but this time of year I wake up and go to bed in the cold and dark. So the excuses roll in: “I can’t run out there, I’ll freeze to death!” Or, “Oh, but my covers are so warm.” Well, that’s life. I decided to quit whining, because I have to work out if I want to see results.
Ever since I moved to DC from Puerto Rico in 2006, winter living has been one of my biggest challenges. (My class attendance during my junior year at American University wasn’t exactly stellar.) As I started this weight loss journey, I knew I needed to overcome my dread of the cold. Granted, this hasn’t been the harshest of winters, but this was both a big challenge and a great necessity because my gym is only open Monday through Friday until 7 PM. I’m usually able to sneak in a workout after lunch, but it’s not always possible, given that my schedule is shaped by my boss’s events.
A friend of mine had this really corny line about how he loved winter because he could “layer like a player.” It sounds silly, I know, but that’s exactly what I needed to do. My goal was simple: I was going to bike to work no matter what the temperature, and I needed to run outside for 45 minutes anytime I missed a gym workout, and on the weekend.
I have another confession to make this week: Last Saturday, I drank. Okay, and I had a few bites of a really fabulous chocolate dessert.
You see, my job is crazy from September to December 31, but by January the storm quiets, and I find myself entering contests to write blogs about losing weight. Then the next thing you know, it’s back to nonstop phone calls and writing contracts. Finding the time to work out and stick to a strict diet becomes more of a chore than a resolution.
On Friday, I pulled together some willpower and stayed in. I took advantage of the nice weather and ran 3½ miles, and went for a walk around downtown Bethesda. I spent some time with my sister, purchased some health magazines, and bought myself a (prissy) present: a new running shirt from Lululemon. I felt proud and very satisfied as I returned home sober at 10 PM and went to bed. I needed the sleep for my training appointment in the morning.
I had been in contact with my previous trainer, Andrew Bloch. My initial text read: “Andrew, I need you to get me back into shape,” which was followed by, “Well, actually my back fat and arms are out of control and really need you.” He agreed with the arm comment, and we were back to business on Saturday at 10 AM.