Don’t eat this, eat plenty of that, watch the weight fall of you. Sound familiar? If you are investigating how to lose weight then I am sure you will have had digested a huge amount of conflicting advice on the subject of weight loss. You may have even heard about quick weight loss fixes, a ‘magical’ pill or other such refuse.
With so much contradictory weight loss advice, often it is difficult to tell what diet or eating patterns will work, are healthy, and will achieve long term fat loss. Particularly as many diets will demonstrate preliminary weight loss (through fluid loss), even the unhealthy diets that you should steer clear of.
So. How do you tell a legitimate dietary option versus an unhealthy and potentially dangerous fad diet. Below we detail our view on the worst types of diets.
Diets that focus on avoiding certain food groups or focusing on one or two food groups
Examples of these types of diets are The Atkins Diet, The Cabbage Soup Diet, Vegan Diets or other low carbohydrate options.
A healthy diet requires a variety of macronutrients including carbohydrates, proteins and… believe it or not… fat. A diet that focuses on a single food group will not provide the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that your body requires.
What’s more – this type of diet is extremely hard to maintain. Imagine eating one particular food group for a prolonged period (take Cabbage for example). Your palate will quickly become tired of the taste and the temptation to binge develops. You may also experience extreme hunger and any preliminary fat loss that you may experience will be short lived as the diet begins to have a heavy mental and physical impact.
Cleansing or Detox Diets
In just a matter of days your body will be cleansed, will have rid itself of toxins and you will have lost weight as well… sorry, but this is pure baloney.
Diets that focus on flushes and cleansing the body are nonsense. The body is designed with key organs – the liver, kidney, the immune system etc… and the role of these organs is to rid the body of toxins without the need for flushes. The key is to eat healthy and to minimize intake of bad foods. Achieve this and the body will cleanse itself. Examples of cleansing or detox diets are the Lemon Detox and the Master Cleanse.
Fasting Or Calorie Restriction Diets
While to many it will seem logical… fasting for weight loss (like the Hollywood Diet recommends) is actually counter productive. If you eat too few calories, rather than losing weight – your body will actually think its starving and will slow its metabolism to suit.
Go back to eating normally post fasting and the metabolism doesn’t adjust. The result. You end up over eating and will put on fat more easily.
What’s more… these diets are horrendously difficult both physically and mentally. You may see results initially (mainly fluid loss) but you WILL binge and you WILL put the weight back on… and some.
OK then. What should you do?
First and foremost – your shouldn’t really aim to lose more than a pound or so per week. You may see more initially – particularly if you are significantly overweight – however over time your weight loss goal should be 1 pound a week.
How to find a diet that works
1. The best ‘diet’ may not even be a diet at all.
2. It should be flexible enough to fit into your lifestyle – for the long term.
3. It should encourage healthy eating and balance, variety and moderation.
4. It should enable you to manage your appetite effectively.