Should you count calories on a daily basis and measure every item that you eat? Does diet trump exercise? Talk show host Bethenny Frankel invited "The Biggest Loser" trainer Dolvett Quince to her show on Friday to debate what really works when it comes to weight loss. Among the more intriguing highlights: An argument over whether weight loss is sexist.
The debate kicked off with the issue of making New Year's resolutions. Bethenny feels that it's pointless, arguing that people run to the gym on New Year's Day, work out during January - and then quit by February. However, Dolvett feels that you benefit your body anytime that you move. In addition, he contends that some people truly do take that New Year's Day motivation and maintain it, succeeding with their goals.
Author of "Naturally Thin: Unleash Your SkinnyGirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting," Bethenny contends that counting calories constantly is impossible. She also disagrees with the idea that dieters should avoid all sweets. Instead, Bethenny suggests learning to eat smaller portions, such as a small chocolate muffin when you crave chocolate.
But Dolvett does not agree that the "SkinnyGirl" style works for most people. Instead, he designed his own weight loss plan to allow dieters to eat a planned cheat meal once a week, then follow calorie-controlled menus the other days: "The 3-1-2-1 Diet: Eat and Cheat Your Way to Weight Loss--up to 10 Pounds in 21 Days." In general, however, Dolvett emphasizes that being aware of calories, learning to measure all foods and staying true to food guidelines are essential for permanent weight loss.
Bethenny asked Dolvett which counts more when it comes to weight loss: Diet or exercise. Dolvett feels that it's 50-50. Bethenny strongly disagrees. She feels that the way nature works is sexist, declaring that men can eat all they want, then work it off in the gym. In contrast, says Bethenny, a woman can eat a slice of cheesecake and no matter how much she exercises, she gains weight.
What do women think? In a survey that Bethenny conducted on her Web site, the majority counted calories all of the time or sometimes. Less than 25 percent of those who took the survey never count calories. But ironically, despite their focus on calories, studies show that counting carbohydrates trump counting calories when it comes to winning at weight loss.
When researchers compared people on a low-calorie diet with those on a low-carbohydrate diet, the low-carb group lost much more weight, reported Shape magazine recently. During a six-month period, low-carb dieters lost seven to 11 pounds more than those on a reduced-calorie, low-fat diet. Eating more protein and fat, as directed on low-carb diets, causes you to feel full faster.
That ease with which dieters can take off the pounds on a low-carb diet that's higher in protein and fat than traditional diets compared to a low-fat diet with reduced fat has caused two weight loss plans to become increasingly popular: Paleo diets and low carb high fat (LCHF) ketogenic diets. In the case of Paleo plans, dieters are advised to eliminate grains and dairy while consuming vegetables, fruits, protein and selected fats. LCHF ketogenic dieters consume higher percentages of fat, moderate protein and restricted carbohydrates, including fruit.
If the LCHF diet approach sounds familiar, it's because two celebrities have been vocal about their weight loss success using the Atkins LCHF diet: Sharon Osbourne and Kim Kardashian. Although the plan is based on Dr. Robert Atkins' original diet, it's since been updated to include more of an emphasis on fiber and healthy fats in "The New Atkins Made Easy: A Faster, Simpler Way to Shed Weight and Feel Great -- Starting Today."