The short answer: the one you can stick to! When it comes to the best diet for weight loss, there is no magic bullet. There are some shockers out there, but there are also some good ones. Beware the shockers.
Most diets in some way or another aim to reduce your energy intake. Whether it be a 30 day detox, a 12 week challenge or a cabbage soup diet. They all have one intention, to reduce your energy intake so that you lose weight. The trouble is sticking to a cabbage soup diet is hard, very hard! So you will soon find you can no longer stand the diet and go back to your old habits. And the weight you fought so hard to lose, starts to come back with a vengeance. In a lot of cases you end up heavier than when you started the blasted starvation diet!
Why do I feel so hungry when I diet?
It is thought our body has a set weight point that it will fight to protect. Even if that weight is not your most healthy weight, your body will want to stick at it. So you may find as you start to lose weight, your appetite increases. This is a result of your body releasing more hormones that increase your drive to eat. Making it harder for you to lose weight.
So does that mean we should just give up?
No, it means we should take a more sensible and sustainable approach. Weight loss or staying at a weight that you are comfortable with, takes a lifelong commitment to healthy behaviours. Be wary of any diet or regime that promises you quick weight loss, a cure to all ailments or treasure at the end of the rainbow! They are making ridiculous promises that they have no intention of keeping! Break the yo-yo cycle of dieting and commit to making changes that you can stick to.
It may be a slow battle but do not despair it can be an enjoyable one!
Top tips for a sensible and sustainable approach
- Weigh yourself: studies have show that regularly weighing yourself makes it more likely you will keep the weight off.
- Watch your portion sizes, if you are eating more than you need, that excess energy will lead to weight gain.
- Watch your energy intake, the recommendations for adults are around 8700 kilojoules per day. Or around 2000 calories. This varies between individuals so to get a closer estimate of your energy requirements check out this calculator
- Check out this NY times article to visualise what a typical days intake can look like based on different foods.
- Exercise to prevent weight gain. Learn more about why 60-80 minutes of exercise per day is what it takes to keep weight off.
- Avoid fad diets. They may lead to weight loss, but you will see the weight return when you can’t maintain the strict rules.
- Eat less of the obvious energy dense culprits, that pack a punch, but do not offer any good nutrition. This includes soft drink, cake, cookies, chips, fried goods and processed baked goods.
- Eat more of the good stuff. Boost vegetables, fruit, whole-grains, lean proteins, beans and low-fat dairy.
This is by no means an extensive list of what it takes to lose weight. This is just a thought starter on choosing a healthier lifestyle and feeling more in control of your weight loss journey.
Don’t forget to reach out to your GlycoLeap dietitians for support around your weight loss goals.