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There are many different approaches to losing weight.  These include:

  • Using meal substitutes such as protein bars, protein shakes and prepackaged caloric-restricted meals.
  • Intermittent fasting regimens.
  • Calorie counting diets
  • Seeing a doctor and receiving medications that boost metabolism and reduce appetite
  • Following “fad” diets such as the “cookie diet”, the “grapefruit diet” and other similar hyped dietary approaches
  • Weight loss surgery

One of the very important questions to think about before embarking on any specific “weight loss” journey:  What is the “sustainability” of the direction you are about to take?

The goal of weight control is to lose weight AND keep that weight off.  Many approaches can help you with the first part (i.e. lose weight) but they provide very little-no chance of keeping that weight off.  Replacing meals with prepackaged foods and shakes/bars will not be a permanent solution.  These are essentially “diets” with a start date and a most definite end date.  When that end date passes, old behaviors set in and the in most cases, all of the weight will return.  The same holds true for “intermittent fasting”…how many people will truly follow this approach every day forever?

At the SP Program we encourage people to eat three meals a day and focus on behavioral modification concepts as opposed to utilizing food substitutes or fasting.  Eating “real food” has a much higher sustainability factor than fasting or using food substitutes. 

Before embarking on any weight control effort, always ask yourself to evaluate the “sustainability factor” of the dietary approach.   If this factor is low, then take a pass and focus on an eating program that is potentially “in play” for the rest of your life.