Losing weight has become a serious preoccupation in the world as suggestions and advice keep coming from all directions.
Consider a few of the recommendations made by experts and those who have gone through various weight-loss regimens.
Dieters can be exact in what they eat keeping a record of calories, carbohydrates, sodium, fat, trans fat, ranking on the glycemic index. Numbers give a clear plan of action. "The evidence is very clear. The more that you monitor, the better you do," says Sean Wharton, an internal medicine specialist and founder of the Wharton Medical Clinic in Hamilton. "Without looking at calories, you will always have a very difficult time determining what you should or should not be taking in, and you'll have a difficult time with weight loss."
Nevertheless, being too concerned about numbers and losing sight of the big picture can be dangerous, for it could lead to eating disorders and stress and sleep disorders.
Francie Berg, Chairman of this year's Healthy Weight Week, says, "Normal eating means having a healthy relationship with food that is natural, trusting and flexible." Her suggestions are practical and simple like eating only when you feel hungry.
Jennifer Crowley, nutrition manager and registered dietitian at Shore Memorial Hospital in Somers Point states, "In many instances it's not just what you're eating; it's what you're not."
Then there all the different diets - the Mediterranean Diet, the Harvard University Healthy Eating Pyramid, the American Heart Association No Fad Diet, and the Mayo Clinic Diet. We also have the ultra-simple suggestion - eat vegetables.
And then there are people like Marilyn Pearson, 67, of Rochester Hills, Mich., who got her inspiration to lose weight from last year's Weight-Loss Challenge and used the Lose It application on her iPhone. Her weight-loss advice to others: "Give it a try. Don't give up."
The varying suggestions may bring to mind Aesop's fable of the man and his donkey. But as Judith Brisman, Ph.D.Director, Eating Disorder Resource Center says, "Eating is like a fingerprint. No two people eat exactly the same and there's not one right way to do it. How to locate our different appetites, needs and desires is the endless challenge of life; how to know what we need in the face of someone else's differing needs is the even harder challenge."