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Experts engage in weight loss war: Moderation versus sugar-free diet detox

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Is "moderation" a dirty word? Well, maybe. On her March 13 talk show, Bethenny Frankel featured two weight loss experts. Their heated diet debate compared the pros and cons of a sugar-free detox diet versus an "everything in moderation" food plan. Get their insights below.

Nutritionist Brooke Alpert, author of "The Sugar Detox: Lose Weight, Feel Great, and Look Years Younger" (click for details), contends that moderation is a dirty word when it comes to sugar. Noting that sugar consumption is at an all time high, with Americans consuming 32 teaspoons of added sugar per day, Brooke believes that you should eliminate all sugar from your diet for health and permanent weight loss.

For that reason, Brooke explained to Bethenny that she designed her sugar detox diet to help consumers kick the sweet stuff and clean up their diets. Brooke noted that her detox diet does allow carbohydrates in the form of whole grains.

But Brooke feels strongly that the addictive qualities of sugar lead to weight gain and related problems such as diabetes. For that reason, she told Bethenny that everyone can benefit from eliminating sugar via detox.

In contrast, nutritionist Keri Gans, author of "The Small Change Diet: 10 Steps to a Thinner, Healthier You," believes that moderation is valuable. By controlling your portions, no food is off-limits.

And Keri goes one step further, contending that diets actually don't work: By making small changes that lead to healthier food choices, you can lose weight without deprivation.

Keri also emphasized that carbohydrates are valuable for energy, including sugar. In response to Bethenny's confession that she eats dark chocolate on a daily basis, Keri declared that the concept of eliminating all sugar makes no sense. In reality, natural sugar exists in foods such as carrots and orange juice.

Thus, argued Keri, by allowing portion-controlled freedom and knowledge of healthy foods, dieters can literally have their cake and lose weight too. She earned applause for that comment.

Learn why some physicians say that sugar, not saturated fats, are the enemy in weight loss by clicking here.

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