Nutrition

The truth behind 5 weight-loss trends

Author: Canadian Living

Nutrition

The truth behind 5 weight-loss trends

Everyone knows that the only tried-and-true formula for weight-loss success is sticking to a healthy diet and regular fitness routine. However, it seems like every year a new batch of tips and tricks pops up promising rapid results with minimal effort. But how helpful are these supposed shortcuts? Here is a roundup of some of the hottest weight-loss trends on the market, and how they stack up when put to the test. 

Kickball
Remember the best sport in gym class? Well it's back and better than ever with adult recreational leagues springing up nationwide to get you back in the game. On the field you can burn between 300 and 600 calories per hour, depending on your activity level, and it’s also fun, social, and the perfect family-friendly workout.  Also, you can start off slow and build up your skills and strength as a team over time.

Pros
There's cardio and coordination, and you'll be having such a great time you'll barely notice that you're exercising.

Cons
Prices can vary from league to league, and some only offer seasonal play instead of year-round activity.
 
PGX
PolyGlycoplex (PGX) is a highly viscous soluble fibre found in many supplements, and is meant to be taken with meals to slow down the absorption of carbohydrates to decrease appetite. Past studies have shown that participants who consumed PGX before eating ate an average of 100 fewer calories during the meal than those in the control group. 

Pros
The fibre expands in your stomach reducing feelings of hunger during and after meals, and it also promotes regularity. In addition, there are many different supplements on the market containing PGX, so you can shop around for the one that targets your specific needs and budget.

Cons
Too much dietary fibre can lead to stomach upset, gas, bloating and loose bowel movements. Also, supplements are expensive, considering that one can simply introduce more natural sources of dietary fibre into their diet. Fibre sources such as broccoli, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, berries, and legumes also allow you to enjoy the added benefit of additional vitamins and minerals.


Page 1 of 2 – Discover the pros and cons of three other diet and fitness trends on page 2.
Probiotics
From yogurt to cheese to frozen treats, foods touting their probiotic properties seem to be everywhere these days, and with good reason. Studies have shown that probiotics, or "friendly bacteria," may help with immune function, digestion and lowering cholesterol levels, and now recent clinical trials indicate that a diet rich in probiotics may also help with weight loss and weight maintenance by changing the amount of calories you absorb into your system.

Pros
Probiotics are found in affordable foods that are part of a healthy, nutritious diet. They are also safe and effective aids to digestion and restoring the proper bacterial balance to the stomach. 

Cons
Probiotics have not definitively been proven to aid in weight loss, and the effects can vary based on the different species or strains of probiotic bacteria consumed. 

Kettlebells
The kettlebell craze has been on the rise for the past few years, but it's now poised for a real breakthrough in the fitness world with the release of a recent study by the American Council of Exercise touting its effectiveness and efficiency – you can burn about 400 calories with a typical 20 minute exercise routine. Swinging these round metallic weights with handles combines cardio and strength training, and provides a high-intensity workout as your body works to control the momentum of the bell.

Pros
Kettlebells come in varying weights to suit different users, and once you get the hang of it you can achieve a full-body workout with your at-home set in the time it would take you to get to the gym. They also offer increased strength, balance and endurance among regular users.

Cons
The weights can be expensive, and this is not a sport for the workout novice – it takes some training to be able to do the exercises safely and effectively.

Dr. Bernstein Diet
Dr. Bernstein's low-cal diet plan has actually been around for decades, but continues to draw in new customers with its promise of rapid weight loss – up to 20 lbs each month. So how does it work? Patients who sign on to the program are placed on a calorie-reduced diet supplemented by metabolism-boosting doses of multivitamins, B6 and B12. Clinic staff monitors dieters closely, coming in three times a week for injections, weigh-ins, and counseling. After achieving their weight loss goals patients can go on a maintenance plan to keep the weight off for the long term. 

Pros
Dieters do see results, often losing significant amounts of weight on the plan. And with multiple check-ins each week with clinic staff, you will get the one-on-one attention necessary to help you stick with the plan and address any concerns.

Cons
The diet is very restrictive, limited to less than 1,000 calories a day, which puts the body into semi-starvation mode. This can prove hard on the dieter, who may experience dizziness and nausea, and in rare cases even cardiac arrhythmia. Bernstein's plan is also quite pricey, costing hundreds of dollars per week.


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Nutrition

The truth behind 5 weight-loss trends

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