A Personal Plan for Healthy Weight Loss

Fad diets come and go, just like the weight loss they promise. In order to lose weight - and according to current statistics, about 134 million Americans should - there is one simple formula to consider: You need to burn more calories than you consume.

That's the bottom-line, no-nonsense message of the "No-Fad Diet: A Personal Plan for Healthy Weight Loss," the first diet book from the American Heart Association. Experts with the association, a leading publisher of heart-healthy cookbooks and health guides, are calling the book the last word in losing weight the right way. The book allows readers to design their own plan using tools that help them think smart, eat well and move more, the three key concepts that offer safe weight loss.

The No-Fad Diet approach is based on the idea that since everyone is unique, each individual's weight-loss plan should be, too. By focusing on a positive attitude about food, activity and body image, it encourages the dieter to create a workable individual plan for weight loss. Readers can adjust their 'calories in' by using one or more of the three basic eating strategies:

- The Switch and Swap Approach: Substituting lower calorie food for high-calorie foods.
- The 75 percent Solution: Eat three-quarters the amount of food that you eat now.
- The American Heart Association Menu Plan.

Along with the customized diet plan, the No-Fad Diet also includes three different programs to help readers move more. Increasing "calories out" can be accomplished by following one or more of the three basic exercise strategies:

- The Lifestyle Approach
- The Walking Program
- The Organized Activity Option

"Managing the amount of calories you eat with the amount you use through everyday activity and exercise is the central idea, and it's the only way to lose excess weight and keep it off,"says Marc S. Penn, M.D., Ph.D., president of the Cleveland American Heart Association. "While it is not a new idea, it works - and it's the only way to lose weight and keep it off that is backed by the American Heart Association."

The debut of the No-Fad Diet comes at an important time in the national discussion on weight loss: more Americans are overweight now than ever before. In fact, 65 percent of adults in this country are overweight, and almost one-third are obese, which puts them at an increased risk for heart disease and stroke - two of the leading causes of death among Americans.

"Losing weight may seem scary and unrealistic, but it"s important to get out the message that it is possible to lose the extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight for life," says Penn. "The tools you need are in this book, and we've included a wealth of tips and information to help you along the way."

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