Do you find yourself waking up in the morning, browsing through your large array of clothes, only to find that you have nothing to wear? As you catch sight of yourself in the mirror, everything seems to make your bottom look big and you begin to wish you were a few dress sizes smaller. You have spent endless hours working-out in the gym, trying out the latest fitness video and pounding the streets in your designer tracksuit and trainers, all in the hope of burning off those excess pounds.
As for diets, you have tried them all, and failed. You have lost count how many times you have tried to turn down delicious looking desserts at dinner parties. Cardboard tasting crackers, or endless days of eating "fat-burning" grapefruit to kick-start your metabolism are hardly appetizing options, when your friends are consuming bagels and ice cream–I suppose there is always black coffee!
When the well-publicized and controversial Atkins diet came on the scene with its claims of amazing results, the chance of enjoying a regular morning fry-up (minus the bread) seemed almost too good to be true. Well, that all became clear when the side effects kicked-in and the thought of another sausage or piece of bacon was too much to bear.
You could be excused for believing that all these dieting fads display a sign of modern day attitudes, everyone wanting to be as slim and elegant as a model, but this is not true. People have been disagreeing with food for years, but not always for the purpose of losing weight.
There are, of course, religious fastings, which involve abstinence from food. For example, the ancient Greek mathematician, Pythagoras, was a vegetarian. He avoided meat because of his religious beliefs in reincarnation–believing that he may accidentally eat a relative's soul if he were to eat meat.
There were early forms of bulimia amongst the Romans and during the Middle Ages, where they would expel food in order to manage more courses and display a sign of wealth and status.
The 1800s brought a Victorian form of anorexia, which swept through the middle classes and Aristocracy of Western Europe and North America, where they believed "frailty" was the quickest way to achieve spiritual purity and femininity.
San Fransisco Art Dealer, Horace Fletcher, recommended chewing each mouthful of food 32 times until it became a thin liquid paste. Anything that couldn't be broken down had to be spat out. He claimed to have lost 65lbs using this method. This method was not, however, as revolting as the tapeworm diet, which involved taking tapeworm pills; this method was allegedly tried by a handful of celebrities.
Well, perhaps this has really given you food for thought and maybe shedding those extra pounds doesn't seem an urgent matter anymore. At least it is clear that crazy diets are not worth it.
The truth is that fad diets and unhealthy eating are just not an adequate solution to long term weight loss. Eating only one thing or cutting out major food groups is a drastic step that may lead to short term losses, but is something that is extremely hard to stick with long term. Even if you can stick with them, long term they may not be healthy at all if you are not getting all the nutrients you need.
Fortunately, there are solutions that work long term, are healthy, and are not a dramatic inconvenience on your lifestyle. Check out more information on the top weight loss programs with proven success, such as Medifast, Nutrisystem and Weight Watchers. When used correctly, these systems are designed to provide complete and balanced nutrition while you lose weight in an easy and consistent manner. The pounds will not disappear overnight, but by gradually–yet continually–making progress, you will see major results.