So you think you know how to eat right—what foods are healthy, what foods keep the weight off—yet you can't avoid peeking at the latest fad diet. A voice inside says you'd lose the weight without cutting calories if you ate your cheeseburger without the bun, drank a liquid protein concoction, and stopped eating for three hours before you go to bed, or ate exactly 40 percent of calories from carbohydrates, 30 percent from protein, and 30 percent from fat at each meal and snack.
Sound crazy? Sure it does. Yet at any given time, about two-thirds of us are trying to lose weight or keep it off. That helps make weight loss a $43-billion-a-year industry.
3. The high-protein/low-carbohydrate fad diets work because:
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This diet, really a low-calorie diet in disguise, has been around for a century, going in and out of popularity. A high-protein diet burns no more fat than a healthier, low-calorie diet. Carbohydrates aren't more fattening than protein: Both have 4 calories per gram, while fat has 9 calories per gram. And despite diet claims, there's no proof that eating carbs makes you store more fat-—it's excess food of any kind that packs on weight. Do these diets keep you from feeling deprived? Experts say yes, because they let you eat foods you thought were taboo, like butter and cheese. Eventually, they create boredom by limiting choices. They can leave you exhausted, nauseated, and constipated.
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