Federal Agency Gives Consumers Tips On Finding Effective Diet Plan—And Following It

Federal Agency Gives Consumers Tips On Finding Effective Diet Plan—And Following It – Brief Article

Summer is here and the time is right for dieting and getting into shape.

More and more Americans are trying to slim down and are promising themselves they will keep the pounds off, forever. In fact, an estimated 50 million people will go on diets this year.

The Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection reports that every year about 8 million Americans enroll in weight loss programs that involve liquid diets, special diet regimens or medical supervision.

Yet, experts caution against fad diets, which usually don’t last, the Bureau said. In fact, only about 5 percent of people who go on diets manage to keep the weight off permanently, according to the agency’s health brochure The Skinny on Dieting.

The Bureau agrees with research from medical experts who say that diet must accompany some kind of exercise program in order to be effective.

And its Office of Consumer and Business Education offers several tips for successful, safe and happy dieting.

The Bureau stresses that “pill power cannot replace will power.” In other words, you have to really want to lose weight. You have to be committed to changing your eating habits and willing to exercise. There is no magic formula for losing weight. It takes commitment and effort, the experts say.

The agency also suggests that you check with a doctor before beginning any weight loss program or exercise program. Some diets have health complications, it warns.

Serious dieters should also consider all alternatives before starting a diet program or purchasing a diet product, including counseling services, support groups and most importantly, your self-discipline. Find a program that fits your need and your budget because some diet programs can be expensive.

Do research on a nutritionally sound diet program. Check with hospitals, clinics, national health organizations, insurance companies or visit your local library to find out about a good diet plan that would work for you.

Be realistic in your dieting goals. According to experts at the Office of Consumer and Business Education, you don’t have to necessarily swear you will never eat fatty foods again. You might eat them once in a while and in small quantities. The key is to create a meal plan and eating habits that work well for you–realistic habits that you know you can stick to.

The Bureau also suggests that you increase your physical activity gradually. Start slowly and recognize that regular exercise can help reduce weight by burning up calories.

COPYRIGHT 2000 Johnson Publishing Co.

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