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Decreasing calories is best way to lose weight

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Posted: Thursday, May 19, 2011 9:00 am

Man lost 50 pounds and keeps it off for five years on the ‘Brownie Diet!'

What part of that headline is hard to believe? You got it, the part about keeping the weight off. Every diet works for a certain amount of time when it comes to weight loss. The scam artists just come up with a different angle to get you to decrease the amount of calories you eat so you will keep buying their product. How about having you eat a "cookie" or a "brownie" twice a day and one regular meal? Maybe sprinkle some white substance on your food to "reduce your appetite."

What's in that substance? Who knows, but the smart looking doctor on the commercial sure sounds like he knows what he is talking about. Next up, cut out 60 percent of your calories (carbs) on Atkins and watch the weight fall off. How about ordering frozen food delivered to your home with portion sizes that wouldn't fill up a rabbit. Or maybe get a shot that supposedly allows you to eat 500 calories per day without feeling hungry. The list goes on and on.

Again, these are all successful weight loss programs because they restrict calories. I will be generous in saying that maybe 2 percent of those who start these are still doing them one year later and have kept their weight off. When a person is desperate, common sense is replaced by the hope that maybe this time is for real. That is why those in dire financial straits are more apt to fall for work from home or pyramid scams.

There is a reason why 60 percent of our country is overweight or obese. It is hard work to avoid gaining weight. High-calorie foods are much too easy to obtain and inexpensive, and time is hard to come by to cook home-made meals. The unfortunate truth that we all must face is that the only way to make a permanent change toward losing weight and keeping it off, is the tried and true decreasing calories method. And it won't cost you a thing to try it.

• Michael Murphy is a registered dietitian living in Ahwatukee Foothills. Reach him at (480) 415-8803 or visit

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