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Weight Management Diets

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There are various fad diets that are widely marketed. However, most fad diets are short in duration and not sustainable for long term use.

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In general, it is widely understood that excess intake of calories from any source, associated with a sedentary lifestyle, causes unintended weight gain and obesity. The goal of dietary therapy, therefore, is to reduce the total number of calories consumed. A principal determinant of weight loss appears to be the degree of adherence and compliance with the dietary recommendations, irrespective of the particular macronutrient composition [1-4]. There are 4 major categories of diets to include but not limited to: Balanced low-calorie diets/portion-controlled diets, Low-fat diets, Low-carbohydrate diets and the Mediterranean diet. These are all considered to be conventional diets which are defined as those with energy requirements above 800 kcal/day [5].

Balanced low-calorie diets involve selection of foods that contain the adequate nutrients in addition to protein, carbohydrate, and essential fatty acids that support healthy weight loss. Intuitively, these diets often times involve eliminating alcohol, sugar-containing beverages, and most highly concentrated sweets as they are considered "empty calories", or otherwise caloric intake without nutritional value other than energy. What must be considered in these diets is that there will be breakdown of protein to some degree as there is some breakdown of lean muscle tissue during weight loss. When weight increases as a result of overeating, approximately 75 percent of the extra energy is stored as fat and the remaining 25 percent as lean tissue. If the lean tissue contains 20 percent protein, then 5 percent of the extra weight gain would be protein. Thus, it should be anticipated that during weight loss, at least 5 percent of weight loss will be protein [6].

Portion-controlled diets are attractive as they can be associated with less effort and accuracy of intake. Individually packaged foods, such as formula diet drinks using powdered or liquid formula diets, nutrition bars, frozen food, and pre-packaged meals that can be stored at room temperature as the main source of nutrients [7].

Low-fat diets are also well known in efforts to facilitate weight loss with respect to the fact that almost all dietary guidelines recommend a reduction in the daily intake of fat to 30 percent of energy intake or less [8]. In a meta-analysis of trials comparing low-fat diets (typically 20 to 25 percent of energy from fats) with a control group consuming a usual diet or a medium fat diet (usually 35 to 40 percent of energy), there was greater weight loss (approximately 3 kg) with low-fat compared with moderate fat diets [9]. Decrease in fat content can also have an added benefit in decreasing cardiovascular risk facts such as a ...

Solution Summary

There are various forms of diets that can induce weight loss. However, caloric restriction of all diets will ultimately result in weight loss. Maintaining weight loss can be difficult as a result of energy expenditure that is induced by weight loss. Therefore, a multimodal approach of exercise, dietary modifications, and behavioral interventions are key in maintaining weight loss.