Over the past year, FOF has investigated dozens of new diets, fat-busting tools and gadgets. The more we learn, the more we see that different people gravitate toward different methods. Essentially, no weight-loss method is ‘one size fits all.’ So how do you choose the one that will work best for you? Here we take the four most popular weight loss methods we featured this year–Coolsculpting, the pH diet, The Wheat Belly Diet and The Dukan Diet–and help you figure out the best one for your very unique FOFigure.
1. How easy would it be to give up pasta and bread tomorrow?
b. I’m up for the challenge..er, wait…can I cheat from time to time?
c. I could do it for a period of time but not forever.
d. Difficult, but I’ll do anything for weight loss.
2. Which statement best describes how willing you are to change your eating habits?
a. I don’t want to change my eating habits at all.
b. I want to eat healthier but I don’t want to give up my favorite foods.
c. I’m open to most diet changes but could never go vegetarian–I’d rather indulge in a steak or juicy burger than anything else.
d. I’m willing to make major changes such as taking an entire food group out of my diet.
3. How good are you at suppressing your hunger.
a. Terrible — when I’m hungry, I need to eat.
b. For me, feeling hungry isn’t worth it for weight loss. I just want to be healthy.
c. I’d rather sacrifice variety of food for quantity.
d. I’m willing to make major sacrifices and don’t mind feeling hungry if it means I’ll lose weight.
4. How creative are you when it comes to cooking?
a. Not creative at all!
b. I love to have fun and experiment in the kitchen.
c. I cook but not with much variety, I stick to the few recipes I know.
d. I enjoy try new recipes and cuisines–especially from other cultures.
5. How long are you willing to spend on a diet?
a. I’ve never really been able to stick to a diet for longer than a week.
b. A couple of weeks.
c. 6 months to a year.
d. I want to make a lifestyle change so I’m willing to wait as long as it takes.
6. What physical results do you want?
a. I want to minimize my trouble areas (belly fat, love handles or back fat).
b. It’s more about my health than my weight. I want glowing skin, more energy and less wrinkles. If I lose weight too, then, great, but not necessary.
c. I just want to see the numbers drop on my scale and weight loss–everywhere.
d. Substantial weight loss, especially from the abdomen. I also have some medical issues (ie: diabetes, allergies, heart disease) that I’m hoping will be improved by a new diet.
7. Which best describes your weight?
a. I take care of myself and maintain a healthy weight but have stubborn fat in trouble areas (belly, love handles or back) I can’t get rid of.
b. I could lose a little weight but am mostly satisfied. However, I lack energy.
c. I’m at least fifteen pounds overweight. I’ve especially gained weight after menopause.
d. I’ve struggled with weight my entire life.
8. How much cash are you willing to shell out?
a. I’ll spend any amount of money it takes–hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
b. I’d be willing to invest around $150 initially.
c. I’d be willing to spend about 10% more on my grocery bill each week.
d. Spend more!? I thought a diet meant eating less and spending less!
9. Which of the following foods could you never give up?
a. I’m not interested in eliminating anything from my diet completely.
d. Rice and potatoes
Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before you start any diet.
Mostly A’s — Coolsculpting
If you eat what you like and like what you eat, money is no object when it comes to losing weight and you just have a few trouble areas that need some correcting, Coolsculpting may be the weight loss method for you.
Coolsculpting is a new, non-surgical procedure can “freeze” away your fat cells. No dieting, cutting, anesthesia or recovery time. Just an hour in your doctor’s office, hooked up to a non-invasive “coolsculpting” machine. Within several days of receiving the procedure, cooled fat cells begin a process called apoptosis (natural cell death) and begin to shrink and disappear. Clinical trials showed an average 20-percent reduction in fat in the treated area within 16 weeks. It’ll cost you about about $750 for the belly, and $750 per side for love handles, according to Dr. Debra Jaliman who uses “coolsculpting” on her patients. Read more about Coolsculpting, here.
Mostly B’s — pH diet
If you care more about your overall energy level and appearance, then you do about weight, the pH diet may be right for you. Perhaps a misnomer, the pH diet doesn’t promise you’ll lose weight (although if you follow it correctly, you probably will) but instead, says you’ll have fewer wrinkles, brighter skin and more energy within 2 weeks of following the plan (and maybe even as soon as 1 day!). Each day, you test your body’s pH level by putting a strip of special paper under your tongue. If your body is too acidic, you up your intake of alkaline-producing food such as kale, garlic, olive oil, lemon and Brazil nuts. If your body is too alkaline, you up your intake of acidic-producing food such as meat and dairy. “It’s not prison,” says Dr. Graf, a dermatologist who wrote a book, Stop Aging, Start Living about the diet. If one day you mess up and eat too much pasta or down a few margaritas, no sweat, the next day just “beef up your intake of greens and other alkaline-producing food,” according to Dr. Graf. Read more about the pH Diet, here.
Mostly C’s — Dukan Diet
If you are willing to sacrifice variety for quantity in your diet and you want to lose a significant amount of weight within a year, the Dukan Diet might be for you. The Dukan Diet gained fame when Carole Middleton (mother of Kate Middleton) publicly credited her svelte new physique (she dropped two dress sizes before the royal wedding) to 69-year-old French diet doctor, Pierre Dukan. The diet focuses on high protein, low fat and low carb foods. You can eat any quantity of lean protein you want and you’re also required to eat 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran a day to help you feel full. The diet has four stages–the first is the most restrictive and only lasts two to seven days. The last phase is the least restrictive and designed to last the rest of your life. In this phase you can eat whatever you want as long as you spend one day a week on a pure protein diet, continue to eat your 3 tablespoons of oat bran every day, and take the stairs instead of escalators and elevators. The time you spend in each phase, depends on your starting weight and the weight you want to end up–the diet can last from a few weeks to a year. Read more about the Dukan Diet, here.
Mostly D’s — Wheat Belly
You want to lose a lot of weight and you have other physical issues–diabetes, heart disease, allergies or arthritis that you hope will be helped by a new diet. You’re willing to do whatever it takes, even if it means giving up *gasp* pasta and bread…forever. In Wheat Belly, Dr. William Davis’ New York Times best-selling book, he attributes many of our nation’s physical problems, including heart disease, diabetes and obesity, to our consumption of wheat. “When you look at the makeup of wheat, it’s almost like a group of evil scientists got together and said, how can we create this god-awful destructive food that will ruin health?” says Dr. Davis. No ifs, ands or buts, to lose weight, Dr. Davis says you need to give up wheat and return to real food: vegetables and nuts, cheese, eggs and meats in all forms, avocados and olives. He warns you may experience “withdrawal-like” symptoms at first because of wheat’s addictive properties, but in the end it will “change your life.” “When my patients give up wheat, I see that weight loss is substantial, especially from the abdomen. People can lose several inches in the first month.” Maybe it sounds harsh but Dr. Davis promises it’s not a “diet of deprivation.” He says, he’s been practicing it himself for many years and has eaten “cookies and cheesecake, carrot cake, chocolate biscotti,” but only after he recreates these foods using alternate ingredients.
Read more about Wheat Belly, here.
If you didn’t have a majority of any particular letter
You diet chameleon, you! You can adapt to multiple weight loss methods, you lucky gal! More than one method may be right for you. If you had two letters in a dead heat, read about both diets and pick the one that speaks to you.