Jessica Dean and Robin Rodriguez

    Every day another study is published that tells us what we already know: more and more American adults and children are becoming obese. Overall, our diets are high in processed foods and low in nutrient-dense foods that are part of a well-balanced diet. We are consuming larger than life portions, with high amounts of saturated fats and excess calories, and are not engaging in adequate amounts of physical activity.

Mother always told you that a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables and whole grains as well as physical activity are the keys to a healthy lifestyle, but many people fail to implement those into their lives. They may be uninformed or unaware that the foods they’re eating are contributing to weight gain. They may feel overwhelmed and not know where to start. Instead, some seek alternative ways to achieve their ideal body, including taking over-the-counter “miracle” diet pills and experimenting with fad diets. Instead of experimenting with fad diets or searching for the next silver bullet, consider your options for achieving weight loss success.

You could drink lots of tea. Green tea is one of the most prevalent beverages consumed worldwide and might have some very compelling health benefits. The makers of green tea would like to report that their product reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and even causes weight loss. Although green tea delivers high amounts of antioxidants, such as a compound called epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, the FDA would like to remind you that there isn’t enough evidence to prove that green tea has these miraculous effects all on its own.

Tea could have a positive effect on your diet through its two major components, caffeine and water. As discussed in previous articles, caffeine can suppress your appetite and increase the speed of your metabolism because it’s a stimulant. Drinking ample amounts of water, even in the form of tea, suppresses hunger sensations throughout the day.

You could always try out one of those fad diets. The International Food Information Council estimates that at any one time about 54 million Americans are on a diet. Usually a fad diet will present itself by taking a scientific idea, and expanding on it as the basis of an argument. Often they provide questionable, if not silly, tactics to induce weight loss. Could you really eat cabbage soup for every meal? How about precede every meal with half a grapefruit?

The quick fix of eliminating one or more kinds of foods works because it reduces how many calories you take in. So while you might lose weight on a diet, eventually you’ll have to return to the real world. And you know you can’t avoid that plate of fettuccine alfredo forever.

You could try one of those quick fix diet pills, but we suggest that you read the label and do a little search on the ingredients before you begin. It’s never a good idea to put more thought into the options on your new car than you would into what you’re about to put in your body. It’s important to remember that the government has very limited control over supplements and supplement claims. You as the consumer are entirely responsible for learning about the supplement and its possible side effects. Common ingredients for these supplements are caffeine and plants that contain caffeine, chitosan, and guar gum. There will always be some published studies showing the effects of the ingredients, be a bit skeptical, after all, it’s your body.

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