What’s the best diet for healthy weight loss?
Pick up any diet book and it’ll claim to hold all the answers to successfully losing all the weight you need –and keeping it off. Some claim the important thing is to eat less and exercise more, others that low fat is the only way to go, while others prescribe cutting carbs out. So, what should you think?
The truth is there is no”one size fits all” solution to permanent healthier weight loss. What works for one person may not work for you, since our bodies respond differently to different foods, depending on genetics and other health factors. To find the system of weight loss that’s right for you will probably take time and require patience, commitment, and some experimentation with various foods and diets.
Being free to simply avoid fried foods or cut back on refined carbohydrates can set them up for success. So, don’t get too discouraged if a diet that worked for someone else does not work for you. And do not beat yourself up if a diet proves too restrictive for you to stick with. Ultimately, a diet is only suitable for you if it is one you can stick with over time.
Remember: while there’s no simple fix to losing weight, there are loads of steps you can take to develop a healthier relationship with food, suppress psychological triggers to overeating, and achieve a healthy weight.
Four popular weight loss strategies
1. Sounds simple, right? Why is losing weight so hard?
Weight loss isn’t a linear event with time. When you cut calories, you might drop weight for the first few weeks, by way of example, and then something changes. You eat the same amount of calories but you lose weight or no weight in any way. That’s because once you shed weight you’re losing water and lean tissue as well as fat, your metabolism slows, and your body changes in different ways. So, so as to keep on dropping weight every week, you want to keep on cutting calories.
A calorie isn’t always a calorie. The trick for sustained weight loss is to ditch the foods that are packed with carbs but do not make you feel complete (like candy) and replace them with foods that fill you up without being loaded with carbs (like vegetables).
Many folks don’t always eat simply to satisfy hunger. In addition, we turn to food for comfort or to alleviate stress–which can quickly derail any weight loss program.
2. Cut carbs A different means of viewing weight loss identifies the problem as not one of consuming too many calories, but rather the way the body accumulates fat after consuming carbohydrates–specifically the role of the hormone insulin. When you eat a meal, carbohydrates in the food enter your bloodstream as glucose. In order to keep your glucose levels in check, your body burns off this glucose before it burns off fat from a meal.
If you eat a carbohydrate-rich meal (lots of pasta, rice, bread, or French fries, for instance ), your body releases insulin to assist with the influx of this glucose in your blood. As well as regulating blood glucose levels, insulin does two things: It prevents your fat cells from releasing fat to the body to burn as fuel (since its priority is to burn the sugar ) and it generates more fat cells for keeping everything that your body can not burn off. The result is that you gain weight and your body now requires more fuel to burn, so you eat more. Since insulin only burns carbohydrates, you crave carbs and so begins a vicious cycle of consuming carbohydrates and gaining weight. To lose weight, the reasoning goes, you need to break this cycle by reducing carbohydrates.
Most low-carb diets advocate replacing carbohydrates with fat and protein, which may have some negative long-term effects on your health. If you do attempt a low-carb diet, you can reduce your risks and limit your consumption of saturated and trans fats by choosing lean meats, fish and vegetarian sources of protein, low-fat dairy products, and eating loads of leafy green and non-starchy vegetables.
3. Cut fat It’s a mainstay of many diets: if you do not want to get fat, do not eat fat. Walk down any grocery store aisle and you will be bombarded with reduced-fat snacks, dairy, and packaged meals. But while our low carb options have exploded, so have obesity rates. So, why haven’t low-fat diets worked for more of us?
Healthy or”good” fats can actually help to control your weight, in addition to manage your moods and combat fatigue. Unsaturated fats found in avocados, nuts, seeds, soy milk, tofu, and fatty fish can help fill you up, while adding a little tasty olive oil to a plate of vegetables, as an instance, can make it easier to eat healthful food and enhance the overall quality of your diet.
We often make the wrong trade-offs. A lot of us make the mistake of swapping fat to the empty calories of sugar and processed carbohydrates. Rather than eating whole-fat yoghurt, for example, we consume low- or no-fat versions that are packed with sugar to make up for the loss of flavor. We swap our greasy breakfast bacon for a muffin or donut that causes rapid spikes in blood glucose.
4. Adhere to the Mediterranean diet The Mediterranean diet emphasizes eating good fats and good carbs along with large amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, nuts, and olive oil–and only small amounts of meat and cheese. Regular physical activity and sharing meals with others will also be major elements.
Whatever weight loss strategy you try, it’s important to stay motivated and prevent common dieting drawbacks, such as emotional eating.
Control emotional eating
We do not always eat simply to satisfy hunger. All too often, we turn to food when we’re stressed or anxious, which can wreck any diet and pack on the pounds. Do you eat when you’re worried, bored, or lonely? Recognizing your emotional eating triggers can make a big difference in your weight-loss efforts. If you eat when you’re:
Try yoga, meditation, or soaking in a hot bath.
Low on energy — locate other mid-afternoon pick-me-ups. Consider walking around the block, listening to energizing music, or taking a brief nap.
Lonely or bored — reach out to others instead of reaching for the fridge. Call a friend who makes you laugh, take your dog for a walk, or visit the library, mall, or playground –anywhere there is people.
Avoid distractions while eating. Try not to eat while working, watching TV, or driving. It is too easy to mindlessly overeat.
Pay attention. Eat slowly, savoring the smells and textures of your food.
Mix things up to focus on the experience of eating. Consider using chopsticks as opposed to a fork, or use your utensils with your non-dominant hand.
Stop eating before you are full. It takes a while for the signal to reach your brain that you’ve had enough.
To stay motivated:
Social support means a lot. Apps like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers use group support to impact weight loss and lifelong healthy eating. Look for support–whether in the form of family, friends, or a support group–to get the encouragement you require.
Slow and steady wins the race. Losing weight too fast can take a toll on your mind and body, making you feel lethargic, drained, and ill. Aim to lose one or two pounds per week so that you’re losing fat rather than water and muscle.
Short-term goals, like wanting to fit into a bikini for the summer, usually don’t work as well as needing to feel more confident or become healthier for your children’s sakes. When temptation strikes, focus on the benefits you will reap from being fitter.
Use tools to track your progress. Smartphone programs, fitness trackers, or just keeping a journal can help you keep an eye on the food you eat, the calories you burn, and the weight you lose. Seeing the results in black and white will help keep you motivated.
Get a lot of sleep. Deficiency of sleep stimulates your appetite so you want more food than normal; at precisely the same time, it stops you feeling satisfied, making you want to keep eating. Sleep deprivation may also affect your motivation, so aim for eight hours of quality sleep a night.
Keeping the weight off
You may have heard the widely quoted statistic that 95% of people who lose weight on a diet will regain it within a few years–or even months. Even though there isn’t much hard evidence to support that claim, it is a fact that lots of weight-loss plans fail in the long run. Often that’s just because diets that are too restrictive are extremely tough to keep over time. However, that doesn’t mean your weight loss efforts are doomed to failure.
Since it was created in 1994, The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) in the United States, has tracked over 10,000 people who have lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off for extended intervals. The study has found that participants who’ve been successful in maintaining their weight loss share some common strategies.
Successful dieters in the NWCR study exercise for around 60 minutes, typically walking.
Recording what you eat each day will help to keep you motivated and accountable.
Eat breakfast daily. Most commonly in the analysis, it’s cereal and fruit. Eating breakfast boosts metabolism and staves off hunger later in the day.
Eat more fiber and less unhealthy fat than the typical American diet.
Regularly check the scale. Weighing yourself weekly may enable you to detect any small gains in weight, enabling you to promptly take corrective action before the problem escalates.
Cutting back on the time spent sitting in front of a screen may be a key part of adopting a more active lifestyle and preventing weight gain.