My patients tell me that they are dazed and confused about diets and weight control. One expert tells you to eat no carbohydrates, another tells you to eat no fat, and still another tells you to eat high protein. To the public, it seems that there are foods that make you fat and foods that make you thin. Try going out to dinner with your friends when this one won’t eat spaghetti or rice, another only wants vegetables, and the other wants to eat t-bone steaks and ribs at a steakhouse. Worse yet, each is so freaked about getting fat that nobody is willing to compromise to go out together.

The real truth that is exposed in the “Burn Rate Diet” is that all diets, no matter how you slice and dice the food choices, are indirect methods to count calories. If you lose weight on a diet, it is not because there is some magic in the food combinations. It is because the total calories of the food that you eat is lower than your burn rate, your total daily energy needs. For every 100 calories per day below your burn rate, you will lose 0.2 lbs per week. If you eat 500 calories per day less than what you need, you will lose 1.0 pound per week. Of course the scale will show more change than just the fat loss and will show more due to loss of body fluid. In the end, it all comes down to what you eat, how much you burn in activity, and most importantly, your burn rate.

Once you measure your burn rate, you are now free to adjust any diet to suit your own natural style of eating. You don’t have to eat according to the Weight Watcher points, or avoid Chinese or Italian food. You don’t have to drink a liquid drink for breakfast or take herbal extracts to speed up your metabolism. If you know the calories of whatever you eat, you will know the impact. You can even eat Philly style- cheesesteaks, TastyKakes, soft pretzels, bagels, etc. and still live healthier and thinner. You can cut back the next day or week to accommodate any parties, binges, or stress eating that occurs. You don’t have to starve yourself or worry. You can balance eating for pleasure with eating for nutrition.

So if your diet doesn’t include cheesesteaks and TastyKakes, better measure your Burn Rate…… and get another diet.