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Weight Loss – Dieting

Woman at the gym | Healthier Me Today

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of the adults in the United States try to lose weight every year. One of the best ways of shedding off those extra pounds is through a proper diet change. Dieting for weight loss is often frowned upon. People see it as a shortcut when you don’t want to put in the work at the gym. When done right, dieting can help you achieve remarkable results. The process is slow compared to working out but one with tremendous effects on your health. There are so many diet plans available that it becomes difficult to get started. Some diet plans help curb appetite. The restrictive ones restrict the intake of such things as carbs and fats. The results vary from one diet plan to another. 

Factors to Consider When Dieting For Weight Loss

If you are trying to lose weight by following a specific diet plan, here are a few factors that you need to consider;

Number of Calories

Weight loss, even when working out, is all about the number of calories you consume compared to the ones you burn. For any weight loss program to succeed, you need to burn more calories than you eat. This creates a calorie deficit that helps you lose weight in the long term. By creating a calorie deficit, the body burns through fat leading to gradual weight loss. 

The Diet

If you are dieting for weight loss, stick to a diet that you feel is sustainable in the long run. The goal is to consume fewer calories than what your body needs to maintain an ideal weight. Common strategies include eating low carb diets, high protein diets, or Ketogenic diets. Most of these diets will result in weight loss but you have to reduce the calorie intake gradually. Also, include whole foods and nutrient-rich foods to promote healthy weight loss.

Types of Diet Plans

When dieting for weight loss, here are some diets that you can try;

Atkins diet

The Atkins diet focuses on insulin level control by sticking to low-carbohydrate meals. Usually, insulin levels in the body rise and fall depending on the diet. Consuming a lot of refined carbs, for instance, has a direct impact on your insulin levels. When insulin levels rise, the body triggers a reaction where the food you eat becomes the main energy source. To lose weight, the body must generate energy from already stored fat. This can’t happen if you are on a high carbohydrate diet.

Ketogenic diet

The Ketogenic diet has been popular for decades and has even been effective in treating epilepsy. It involves reducing the carbohydrates you eat and increasing fats instead. This allows the body to generate energy from fats instead of carbohydrates thus putting your body in ketosis. When on the Ketogenic diet, the kinds of fats you consume matter. Healthy fats like coconuts, avocados, fish, olive oil, and Brazil fat are the best. While the diet promotes gradual weight loss, it can cause problems if you have certain medical conditions. For instance, type 1 diabetes patients can go into a diabetic coma and sometimes die. 

Vegetarian diet

Most people who opt for vegetarian diets do so for ethical reasons but others do it for health reasons. There are various types of vegetarian diets. They include lacto-vegetarian, lacto-ovo vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian, ovo-vegetarian, and fruitarian vegetarian. The most common is the lacto-ovo vegetarian diet. It involves eating plant-based foods and no animal-based foods except honey, dairy, and eggs.

Raw food diet

This diet involves consuming only plant-based foods and drinks that are raw and organic. Most raw foodists are vegans who don’t consume animal-based foods. Raw foodists are categorized into raw vegans, raw vegetarians, raw carnivores, and raw omnivores. 

Mediterranean diet

This Southern European diet involves majorly diets consisting of fat. This kind of diet is popular in countries like Greece, Create, and southern Italy. Of late, Spain, Portugal, and Southern France diets have also been included. The diet consists of plant-based foods like fresh fruits for dessert, whole grains, beans, and olive oil as the source of fat. Yogurts and cheese are also included with a moderate intake of poultry, fish, wine, and a low intake of red meat. 

The Paleo diet

This diet focuses on the elimination of Western diets, especially processed foods, grains, dairy, and sugar. The diet instead advocates for the consumption of whole foods, vegetables, lean protein, nuts, seeds, and fruits. 

Low-Carb diet

This diet has been popular for decades. Low-carb diets involve limiting the carbs you take to about 20 to 150 grams a day. The main goal is to force the body to burn fats for energy rather than carbs. When on a low-carb diet, increase your intake of fats and protein and limit your carb intake. 

Ultra-Low-Fat diet

While most diets emphasize the consumption of more fats and fewer carbs, the ultra-low fat diet does the opposite. Fat consumption is restricted to only under 10% of your daily calorie intake. The diet focuses on plant-based foods while limiting the intake of animal-based products. The effectiveness of the diet raises questions with experts claiming that it is not effective in the long term.

The Zone diet

Like the Atkins diet, the Zone diet also focuses on controlling the insulin levels in the body. While on the Zone diet, you consume nutrients in moderation in the ratio of 40:30:30. That’s 40% of unrefined carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% healthy fats per meal. 

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting alternates between periods of eating and fasting. Rather than not eating at all to lose weight, you instead control the potions you eat and when you eat. The main goal of intermittent fasting is to consume fewer calories. This is as long as you don’t over-consume after your fasting period. Intermittent fasting can be hard to stick to when you get started but it’s doable. 

How to Lose Weight and Keep It Off

Dieting for weight loss happens gradually and you may not see results as fast as you may want to. If you choose a diet and stick to it, it will pay off eventually. 

With diets, the weight comes back almost immediately after you stop dieting. So how do you manage weight loss?

  • Know beforehand how much weight you want to lose. If you are looking to lose a considerable amount of weight, dieting and exercise should do. If you only want to lose a few pounds, dieting alone will work.
  • Some diets like intermittent fasting involve periods of eating and fasting. Most people tend to overeat when they break their fast. This has a direct effect on your weight loss outcome. 
  • Always consume fewer carbohydrates than what you are burning.
  • Even when on a diet, make sure that you remain active. You don’t have to work out intensely but even walking a few minutes a day can help keep the weight off. 
  • Focus on healthier foods like whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins.
  • Set realistic goals. With weight loss the fewer calories you consume the faster you will lose weight. Reducing your calorie intake to unhealthy levels, however, can have negative effects on your health.

FAQ

  1. How fast will I lose weight while on a diet? Dieting for weight loss is a gradual process. It is slower than working out for weight loss. That’s why most people tend to limit their calorie intake to unhealthy levels to lose weight fast. Don’t hurry the process. If you want to lose weight fast, you can combine diet with exercise.
  2. Are diets effective in the long run? Most people, who go on a diet, regain the weight lost within a year while others have managed to keep it off for years. According to experts, most dieters eventually grow tired of low-carb and low-fat diets. That’s why you must choose a diet that you are sure you can stick to the long term.

Healthier Me Today is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment, always consult with your healthcare professional. Stay healthy!

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