More and more weight loss programs are being developed that emphasize using a point system to achieve a specific goal. In this type of program, foods are typically assigned a specific number of points depending on how many fat grams or calories they contain--and then participants are instructed to consume a limited number of "points" per day. While you may have great luck with this approach, others might not have been so lucky. This article discusses the science behind weight loss, how to choose healthy foods, and answers the question--can you really eat what you want if you keep your calories within the right zone?
For Weight Loss
While it is possible to keep your points in the right zone and still lose weight, it really isn't a great idea. In theory, you can eat three candy bars per day and stay in the zone--but you probably won't be able to eat anything else. While you may still lose weight this way, candy does not contain any fiber, which is essential if you are on a diet. Fiber is slow digesting, meaning that is takes a long time to exit the stomach and enter the intestine. This is great if you are eating less than what you would normally like, as it helps to keep you feeling fuller, longer. Finally, the added sugar in candy bars will cause you to have a rapid blood sugar spike, and then drop, leading to feelings of dizziness, anxiety, and general unease.
For Health and Survival
Even if you aren't trying to lose weight and simply want to maintain where you are, it still isn't a good idea to eat whatever you want. Eating potato chips, for example, can have major consequences if you are concerned about your health--typically, potato chips contain large amounts of saturated fat, which has been linked to the development of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and even some types of cancer. In addition, the salt content of potato chips is through the roof. Recently, researchers have found that like saturated fats, salt can damage the arterial and cardiovascular system, leading to heart attacks or even death.
No matter if you are trying to lose weight or simply want to achieve good health, it's not a good idea to eat whatever you want and simply focus on keeping your calories in the right zone. Doing so can result in a loss of several important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that you might otherwise have gotten if you had eaten a healthy, balanced diet. Using this technique can be especially damaging if your goal is weight loss--not only will you be unlikely to lose weight, but you can do serious damage to your metabolism by forcing your body to go long periods of time without food. It's best to eat a wide variety of filling, nutritious foods in order to lose weight, avoid feelings of hunger and feel full.