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'Smart' Carbs continued...

As you make the transition from a low-carb diet to your individualized Weight Loss Clinic eating plan, keep in mind that we advocate a diet that meets the standards of the National Institutes of Health. We follow the NIH guideline that carbohydrates make up 45%-65% of your total calories.

Your best bet is to go slowly. And when you choose carbohydrate foods, go for the "smart carbs" -- like whole fruits instead of fruit juice, brown rice instead of white. Your fears will soon be put to rest. And better yet, you will feel great and have more energy.

Diets Don't Work

All diets work, and no diet works. What this means is that any diet -- from low-carb to cabbage soup -- can help you lose weight. But usually, the extra pounds quickly return.

Fad diets take off weight because they dramatically lower your calorie intake. However, most are hard to stick to because they are unrealistic. They may forbid normal, healthy foods; ask you to eat certain foods in quantities that are impractical; or leave you so hungry that you end up bingeing. Many fad dieters say that the worst part is the strong craving for "forbidden" foods -- especially when they're foods usually classified as healthy.

The diet mentality implies that there is a beginning and an end to the weight loss journey. But unless you change your habits, when you go "off" the diet, you go right back to the same behaviors that caused you to gain weight in the first place. And your lost pounds get a return ticket.

How Atkins Measures Up

A study published last year in The New England Journal of Medicine evaluated the effectiveness of the Atkins diet, compared to a traditional low-calorie, low-fat diet. Study participants who followed the Atkins diet had lost more weight than those on the low-cal diet after three months and six months. But after a year, there was no difference between the two groups.

Sustaining weight loss is not a problem unique to the Atkins diet or other low-carb diets. The reason most diets eventually fail is that they don't tackle the eating habits that led to the weight gain.

Read the success stories on the Weight Loss Clinic home page and you'll have to agree: what works is a program like ours.

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