Today's Weather

Sunny weather

Hi 87 / Lo 75

Inside Menu

Student Publications
University of Houston
151C Communications Bldg
Houston, TX 77204-4015

Student Publications,
All rights reserved.

Last modified:


Volume 68, Issue 1, Date


Beware of miracle diet magicians

Kristin Buchanan
Opinion Columnist

We hear about them all the time: miracle diets that claim to transform our bodies from flab to fab. Through before-and-after pictures and testimonies, diet specialists claim that their program is the one that works. Whatis the one thing all of these diets have in common? They all recommend exercise. For their programs to work, you have to keep a regimen of ‘moderate exercisei such as jogging or walking at a brisk pace.

The Institute of Medicine said in a recent report that body weight serves as the ultimate indicator of adequate energy intake.

Itis not a deep concept. Your body will store excess calories as fat. The main reason so many are overweight today is because they are consuming more calories than their bodies can use.

Regular exercise can achieve an increased use of calories by the body, which contributes to health and fitness, according to

The site reported that "the basal metabolic rate and habitual body temperature will slowly rise during several weeks of physical exercise, if the programme (sic) is not too hard."

We need a full hour of "daily moderate intensity physical activity" to prevent weight gain, according to a Sept. 5 report from the IOM.

"As both lack of physical activity and obesity are now recognized as risk factors for several chronic diseases, logic requires that activity recommendations accompany dietary recommendations," the report stated.

Eating healthy is not enough.

To keep your metabolism functioning efficiently, you have to increase muscle tone and allow time between workouts to help muscles recover.

Itis in that recovery period that your muscles have time to rebuild.

When losing weight, just remember: Itis best to avoid fad diets that promise quick weight loss. 

"Disturbed eating patterns — even eating disorders — can come from dieting gone awry," said Kelly Brownell, professor of epidemiology and public health and director of the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders.

Smart dieters donit make weight loss the center of their focus, Brownell said.

"They follow a sensible exercise program, eat a healthy diet and see where their weight goes," he said.

Be wary of programs that claim to make you slim without having to exercise. 

If you try any herbal supplements, listen to your body. 

If something causes you to be shaky or if it affects your ability to concentrate, stop taking it.

With all the Fen-phen lawsuits and controversy over ephedra — which experts say is the natural equivalent to speed — you canit afford to risk your life in an attempt to get healthier.

If you really want to get in good shape, steer clear of supplements and go with tried and true natural nutrients that come from fresh fruits and vegetables.

Buchanan, a senior journalism major, 
can be reached at


Tell us how we're doing.

To contact the 
OpinionSection Editor, click the e-mail link at the end of this article.

To contact other members of 
The Daily Cougar Online staff,
click here .

House Ad

Visit The Daily Cougar