Written by Devin Flanigan
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Given the recent disturbing evidence of a growing American obesity epidemic, it's unsurprising that diet trends are all the rage. High protein, low carbohydrate diets--such as the Atkins, the South Beach, and the Zone Diets--have caught America's interest in a big way. Indeed, these low carb diets have sparked so much interest with consumers and physicians alike that the USDA has been forced to reconfigure its recommended daily food pyramid.

Dieting is a complex and multifaceted process, both physically and psychologically. Certain people are predisposed genetically to gain more weight than others. At the same time, something more cultural is clearly feeding our present obesity epidemic. Some pundits, like the writer Eric Schlosser, have pointed their fingers firmly at the proliferation of fast food restaurants.

Make Better Food Choices

In his groundbreaking book, "Fast Food Nation," Schlosser details a disturbing correlation between the rise of fast food in American life and the concomitant obesity epidemic. Given the many factors which contribute to weight gain--factors which range from intimate and psychological to macroscopic and societal--what can a dieter do to hit his or her target weight? Is there a magic bullet solution?

The fortune cookie answer is simply to eat less and exercise. Yet to put a weight management system in place, you need to be aware of your limitations. Prepare your diet in consultation with a physician. Moreover, aim for long-term results. If you lose 20 pounds in a month and then gain those 20 pounds back the next month, not only will you experience frustration, but you also may cause bodily harm due to this extreme weight vacillation.

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