Finding free diet programs online is not as easy as you would think. Most of the currently popular programs, like the Zone Diet(r), Jenny Craig(r) and Weight Watchers(r), can only be purchased - either as books or by signing up for monthly dues or packaged food plans.
However, not all is lost if you really want to find a diet that works, but you don't want to break your budget. The new expensive programs are not the only diet programs that work. In fact, some of the healthiest menu plans and dietary programs were first written at the beginning of the 20th century, by the pioneers in the science of nature healing, or naturopathy.
Many modern weight loss programs are direct descendants of the dietary plans created by these healing men and women, who treated many chronic ailments, including obesity, with their simple, well-thought out menu plans. And yes, they still work to help you lose weight and improve your general health.
Back then, bad eating habits were not yet considered "normal," so doctors who paid attention could easily see there was a difference in health between those who ate good food in moderation, and those who were more careless with their diets and ate too many rich foods.
Obesity was much less common then, too, and it was seen as a symptom of illness, not a cosmetic problem as it is often seen today.
Some doctors, such as William Howard Hay, MD, went far beyond treating mere symptoms of illness, but tried instead to improve the general health of his patients though a regimen of good food and exercise. Dr. Hay wrote extensively about the issues of diet and health, and managed one of the country's most famous health spas.
As his patients regained their health they also lost any excess weight their previously unhealthy bodies had been carrying, because their digestive organs were now more efficient in ridding the body of it's toxins, including excess fat.
Unfortunately, his writing style is now so outdated that his excellent ideas are mostly lost to the modern reader, who may not have the patience to read his books on diet and health. In his books, Dr. Hay outlined a full dietary prescription for his patients and their families, and in many ways his recommendations are actually healthier than many popular diets today.
For instance, he seemed to know intuitively that an ultra-low-fat diet would cause his patients to overcompensate by eating other rich foods, such as those high in sugar and simple carbohydrates. Recent studies have shown this to be the case, and it may be one of the reasons why Americans continue to gain weight, and the adult-onset diabetes rate continues to soar, in spite of all the low-fat foods in our diets.
The good doctor also seemed to realize that humans have an instinctive desire for sweet foods, but he knew that refined sugar and flour would promote illness. His diet menus included fruit at almost every meal, and both lunch and dinner included a small sweet dessert.
These desserts were the only foods in which any refined sugar was allowed. He stated that these small treats were acceptable because there were no other rich, heavy foods in his menus, like the noodles and white bread that are so often found on the American table.
His menus included all the nutrients that health requires, with an emphasis on a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, along with grilled beef, lamb and fish. Many meals began with a soup and steamed vegetable, and included a large salad with oil or mayonnaise dressing, broiled fish or meat, and a small dessert. Each meal was carefully planned according to his theories about proper combinations of foods, and his concerns about good digestive health.
So, if you're looking for a truly free online diet to help you lose weight, look for the books and pamphlets written by the pioneers of natural healing, who wrote extensively in the first quarter of the 20th century. Dr. Hay's books are no longer in print, but they can be found online, for free.
Much of his writing style may be difficult to read, but his theories are sound and based on solid, scientific dietary principals that still hold up to modern scrutiny. People who choose to follow his recommendations will lose weight if they need to, and will find their general health improving, too.
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