Is healthy weight loss your goal? Many programs out there claim to be healthy and / or claim to work, but how healthy are they, really? And are they really all that effective? Let's look at just a handful of programs and see.
First, let's discuss the HCG diet. This diet is based on getting a growth hormone shot from your doctor every single day, and consuming no more than 500 calories. Are either of these two components healthy? No. The hormone is intended for growing babies, not adults. Getting this shot is not natural, and no one knows the long-term ramifications of getting this shot daily.
In addition, it is based on deprivation and starvation. Even a slight deficiencies in a few nutrients can cause huge problems. Eating only 500 calories a day is asking for a severely compromised immune system and dramatically increased risk of developing many degenerative diseases. Furthermore, this diet does not encourage anyone to eat healthy, whole foods. You can eat three donuts and still be compliant on this diet.
Next, let's tackle the commercial diets, such as Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig. They are a couple of steps up from the HCG diet, as they do allow you to consume considerably more calories. Still, these types of diets do not encourage you to choose the most nutrient-dense foods, and you need to count calories (or "points"; same thing). If you hit your maximum points for the day, you must stop eating, no matter how hungry you may be.
Not to mention that the vast majority of people who go on such diets eventually regain any weight they lost, often more. Such diets are purposely structured so that people who get on them will dependent on them.
Finally, let's look at low-carb diets such as the Atkins diet. The advantage that these have over the others is that they do not restrict calories or encourage deprivation, but restrict a particular macronutrient, carbohydrates. This is effective short term and can help prevent or even treat type two diabetes because it limits the amount of sugar that goes into the body.
However, long-term low-carb diets can cause problems with the function of the thyroid hormone. Eating too much saturated fat can cause health challenges for some individuals, such as increased LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. In addition, you may not get the phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals found in fruit, grains and potatoes.
So, is there any such thing as healthy weight loss? Yes! A healthy weight loss program would provide the full spectrum of nutrients that your body needs. It would provide undenatured (raw) whey protein powder, as this is the most effective kind of protein for dropping fat and gaining muscle. It would contain a cleansing component, as toxic build-up in the body is a prime reason for the creation of fat cells in the body.
You would never feel deprived on such a diet, you would be allowed "cheat" days, and the food you eat the rest of the time would still taste delicious! Most of all, this program would actually work, and work for the long-term. Look for a program like this, and you will be able to obtain healthy weight loss.