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Types of Weight Loss Diet Plans
Effects of Different Calorie-Controlled Diets on Weight and Health
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Weight Loss Diets

Weight loss diets can be classified as: starvation (0-200 calories a day); very-low calorie (200-800 calories a day) or low calorie (more than 800 calories a day).

Starvation Diets
Starvation diets include fasting, which has been used for centuries and results in a loss of lean body mass and mineral loss due to diuresis.

Very Low Calorie Diets
Very low calorie diets are protein-sparing modified fasts using either a premixed liquid or meat, fish, or poultry. Very low calorie diets come and go in popularity, often according to the push of a commercial program or book. Generally, in a medical environment, they are reserved for patients who have BMIs of over 30 and have failed other weight loss approaches. Patients should be under medical supervision and must receive supplemental vitamins and minerals. It has been established that the weight losses over time are not greater than a mixed diet of equal caloric content, and the resumption of eating solid foods frequently disrupts weight loss maintenance efforts.

Low Calorie Diets
More commonly used interventions are low-calorie diets that modify the macronutrient composition of the diet. Low-calorie diets emphasize portion control in an effort to reduce energy intake below the level of energy expended. For balanced, deficit diets, the treatment protocol must be adapted to the needs of the patient. However, usually an energy deficit diet of 500-1000 calories per day is planned for individuals with the expectation that a weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week will occur. The reduction of saturated fat is advised with a total fat intake of less than 30 percent. It is important that total calories are reduced, not just total fats, or little weight change will result.

Food Pyramid Guide
Of greatest importance is stressing "healthy eating" advised for all Americans according to the Food Pyramid Guide and the US Dietary Guidelines. Dietary planning and employing caloric dilution to keep the volume of food up while reducing total calories, may decrease feelings of deprivation and restriction.

Source: American Dietetic Association

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