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Weight Loss Programs

By: Emily Zhang

Obesity is a big issue in America. Besides the surgical route to losing weight, there are various weight loss programs for people to try.

The basic guidelines are almost the same, change your eating habits and doing exercises.

The basic guidance is to count your calories. The theory is every 3000 calories reduced, translates to 1 pound of weight loss. Most diet plans aim to reduce 500 calories per day and 1 pound per week. Besides eating less and more healthy, there is also a formula to calculate how much exercise is required to burn calories if you overeat. Some calculators even include your current weight as a factor.

The famous Weight Watcher program is based on this theory. Many fitness apps all use this theory to design their tools to calculate calories and track exercise. The Fitbit program also helps people track their exercise. However a couple of years ago, a case was filed against Fitbit claiming that their program caused weight gain because it gave users the wrong impression that they can eat more with the exercise they followed.

Calories count is hard to follow. People then designed different ways to avoid this issue. Beach Body fitness group designed an exercise and diet system called 21 day fix. They ask users to use a set of color containers to measure how much they eat per day. Based on their weight, for example, Plan A asks users to take  5 containers of veg and fruits, 4 containers of protein and 2 containers of carbohydrates a day. It’s to simplify the trouble to weigh and log different types of food.

A keto diet, on the other hand, focuses on changing what you eat. The basic theory is to reduce or not eat carbohydrates. There are lots of variations of the keto diet, such as the Dukan diet, etc. My doctor gave me a list of guidelines to follow, which listed: no rice, no flour, no milk, and no snack.

Some people make diet plans even simpler by reducing or not eating at all. Traditionally, different religions also include fasting in their practice. Intermittent fasting has been popular these days. People can choose 5:2 by lightly fasting 2 days a week. Some people try to reduce the eat time to a fixed time, for example, only eat from 7am to 7pm to mimic a 12 hour fast, or choose to skip breakfast, or only eat dinner for the day. One thing I believe it will help is people tend to over eat especially at night time. If people can really do 7am-7pm fasting, at least it will reduce their chance to eat extra cookies before going to bed.

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