Michael A. Sallustio, CNC, CPFT, JD
As an holistic nutritional consultant, I have seen and evaluated countless fad diets over the last ten years. One thing I have learned is there is no single diet that is right for everyone. We are each biochemically unique individuals. The one-size-fits-all approach tends to come with side effects like diminished health or dramatic rebounds. A sound nutritional program should actually be focused on promoting good health, with weight loss being the natural side effect.
During this journey of analyzing weight loss programs and working with hundreds of individuals, I have come up with a list of seven key conditions a nutritional program should meet in order to be considered healthy and effective for sustained (i.e., lifetime) weight management:
1. Includes a method of determining the precise combination of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats that get and keep the individual in the optimum fat-burning zone — determines your personalized formula for weight loss.
2. Ensures the weight lost is fat loss, while protecting the body's muscle mass — increases your resting metabolic rate (i.e., the rate at which you burn calories at rest).
3. Promotes the loss of body fat eating normal, less processed foods, so that people get educated about the "good, the bad and the ugly" of food so they do not go back to bad eating habits — teach them to fish….
4. Prevents the typical problems of hunger, low energy, bad moods and cravings for sweets as many people experience when they go on “a diet”— no negative side effects.
5. Incorporates a weekly monitoring system that is supervised by a qualified health practitioner – ensures accountability and success.
6. Is totally structured and easy to administer — uses simple guidelines with no guesswork.
7. Ensures long term success by pinpointing food sensitivities or other health conditions that if not addressed can bring back the lost weight — prevents rebounding.
Of course, it almost goes without saying that any weight loss program should also include a regimen of consistent exercise. This will not only optimize your results, but in some cases will be the missing component.
Since incorporating these parameters into my practice, I have observed that straying from any one of them will preclude long-term success. The thing that intrigues me most about this system is that it works better for those who have always had a more difficult time losing weight. These are the chronic dieters and those who suffer from hormonal issues.
So before beginning any weight loss program, run it through this checklist. Better yet, consult with a qualified nutritional consultant who can get you on a comprehensive lifestyle program that is customized to fit your specific needs and goals.