The Mayo Clinic–along with most doctors–states that most quick weight loss programs are only temporary solutions because the methods are not sustainable over the long term. The best way to lose weight is slowly, over time, making changes to your lifestyle. This is not good news to the millions of people looking for a fast solution to their weight problem. If you’re looking for programs for quick weight loss, a few work, but you will still need to make changes to your lifestyle so that you don’t regain the weight.
Mayo Clinic Diet
There is a real Mayo Clinic Diet, but there is also a fad diet with the same name. The fad version is a low-carb diet that focuses on eating grapefruit. The real Mayo Clinic Diet is based on making healthy lifestyle changes and eating healthy foods. Your eating is based on the Clinic’s “healthy weight pyramid” and includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats. During the initial phase, your goal is to eat from this pyramid, make five healthy changes to your lifestyle (eating more vegetables or drinking more water), eliminating five unhealthy behaviors (eating sweets or skipping breakfast) and adopting five bonus habits (logging your food and exercising more). You can lose six to 10 lbs. during the first two weeks. After that, you continue these new healthy habits, watch your portion sizes and will lose weight at a rate of 1 to 2 lbs. per week.
Your body will always turn to carbohydrates as its first source of energy. When it runs out of carbohydrates, it will start to use your body fat. Thus, low-carb diets encourage you to limit the amount of carbohydrates that you eat so that your body is forced to use fat as energy. Popular versions of the low-carb diet are the Atkins diet and the South Beach Diet. The key to keeping the weight off with this type of diet is to stick to the plan as a lifestyle choice. The Mayo Clinic reports that low-carb diets may spark quick weight loss in the beginning, but that it tends to taper off. They also state that it isn’t any easier to follow this type of diet long-term than it is for others.
Very Low Calorie Diets
A very low calorie diet (VLCD) consists of less than 800 calories per day, all in the form of liquid protein shakes. It is an extreme type of diet. You should only follow this plan under the care and direction of your diet. VLCDs are for patients who are extremely overweight, who must quickly drop weight due to immediate health concerns. They are not for the casual dieter or people who only need to lose a few pounds.