The Pritikin Diet was first published as the Pritikin Diet and Exercise Program by Nathan Pritikin who founded Pritikin Longevity Center in California, USA. The original pioneer of the Pritikin Diet was Robert Pritikin, father of Nathan Pritikin.
The Pritikin Diet was set up to treat coronary heart disease (CHD) and is based on the idea of a low fat, primarily vegetarian diet based on eating whole grain, vegetable and fruit meals and snacks. Weight loss via the Pritikin Diet was simply a happy by-product of treating heart disease rather than weight loss being the main goal.
How the Pritikin Diet works
The Pritikin Diet is less based on counting calories but rather eating smaller portion sizes, or at least eating less of potential 'bad' foods and eating more of 'good' foods. For example, the Pritikin diet would suggest you eat a larger salad rather than eating an extra slice of bread.
The Pritikin Diet also includes a larger variety of foods and means, giving the dieter a wealth of food and meal options, unlike other popular diets, including the Cabbage Soup Diet, the Grapefruit Diet, the Stillman Diet, the High Protein Diet or meal replacement diets like the Juice Master Diet or the Lighter Life Diet.
Advantages of the Pritikin Diet
One huge advantage of the Pritikin Diet is that users don't need to go mad counting calories. Including Pritikin endorsed foods means that by its very nature the Pritikin Diet approach encourages dieters to drop unnecessary excess calories from their diet.
The Pritikin Diet approach also allows dieters to still eat their favourite foods, just in much smaller portions. It also allows dieters following the Pritikin Diet approach to find the right foods at any food outlets, freeing them up from the normal issues of buying diet-based foods.
The Pritikin Diet advocates eating a wealth of nutritious high fibre and vitamin-packed foods like vegetables and fruits. Eating fibre is great when dieting as fibre gives the illusion of feeling full even when a meal might lack the normal number of calories eaten by the dieter.
The Pritikin Diet also allows the dieter to eat a protein rich but not protein heavy diet - unlike the Stillman Diet and the Atkins Diet which suggests gorging on protein benefits the weight loss process when in actual fact eating too much protein can overstress the body, especially the kidneys. The Pritikin approach to protein also allows users to maintain muscle mass whilst trying to cut calories and drop body fat.
And of course, finally, the Pritikin Diet is excellent in treating and preventing the onset of heart disease and strokes. Eating a low fat diet means cholesterol levels can be lowered and controlled, lowering the development of fatty deposits lining arteries - something which increases the risk of heart disease.
Disadvantages of the Pritikin Diet
The Pritikin Diet sounds like the ideal diet for someone looking to lose weight while improving their health. And in some respects it is. However, there are a few cons to the Pritikin Diet, including:
- A low fat diet may leave the user to feeling unsatisfied at meal times
- A fibre rich diet can lead to gassiness
- A high rich fibre diet can cause bloating
- No room for dieting 'cheat' days were the user is free to eat what they like
- Users of the Pritikin Diet may find it hard to dine out without having to choose the salad option each time.
The Pritikin Diet - The conclusion
the Pritikin Diet advocates low and steady weight loss, which means the weight lost will take a long time to come back if the user stops the Pritikin Diet approach. Unlike many rapid weight loss diets where the dieter simply loses water and hence weight in the first few weeks of their diet, the Pritikin Diet allows the dieter to drop body fat weight rather than water weight slowly and steadily over a greater length of time. This both allows a more sensible approach to dieting whilst stopping the yo-yo effect of many other diets on the market.
The Pritikin Diet approach allows encourages lower the risk of heart disease by exercising as well as altering your eating habits. This has two main benefits. Firstly, cardiovascular exercise is great for increasing the strength and function of the heart and lungs and secondly, time and time again exercise coupled with a calorie controlled diet has proven to be the best way to drop unwanted weight and body fat when compared with dieting alone.
So for those people looking to lose weight or manage their weight more effectively, choose the Pritikin Diet above other rapid weight loss choices - e.g. the Juice Master Diet, the Cabbage Soup Diet, the Stillman Diet and the Lighter Life Diet etc.
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