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What about special diet plans (fad or extreme diets and popular diets) and weight loss programs?

Many people prefer to have a set of rules to follow when dieting. Others may crave the emotional support from attending counseling sessions or meetings. Diet products, fitness and nutrition books, and health services have become a billion-dollar industry, so there are obviously many people looking for help with weight control. Before you jump on the latest diet bandwagon, remember that organized diet plans and programs can only result in weight loss if you burn more calories than you consume. No dietary supplements, exercise devices, combinations of foods, or specific patterns of eating will change this fact.

Some examples of popular diet plans and programs include the Atkins diet, The South Beach Diet, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Body for Life, Dr. Andrew Weil's diet plan, and the Ornish diet. All of these diets have their proponents, and all of them have been successful for some people. Because one's appetite, eating habits, and preferences vary widely among individuals, before you decide on a diet plan, ask yourself if the plan sounds realistic to you. If the plan involves rigorous measuring of portions and calorie counting, are you up to the task? If you're forbidden to eat certain foods, will you develop cravings for them? Do you feel that you will feel comfortable adhering to the diet guidelines? Will the diet's requirements fit easily into your daily schedule? Finally, consider that once you've lost the weight, you may regain the weight if you return to your previous eating habits, so any weight-loss plan should be something you can live with for a long time.

Remember that the most successful weight management comes from dietary changes and healthy eating choices that will stay with you over time, not from diets that leave you feeling deprived or result in binge-eating episodes.

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