Obesity is an epidemic in the developed world, with over seventy percent of adults over the age of twenty being overweight or obese in the US. With fast food on every corner and access to any sugary, fatty or salty treat we could possibly desire twenty-four seven, it’s probably not that surprising. Combined with a sedentary lifestyle, health issues caused by being overweight are currently out of control. If you’ve decided that you want to make a change, whether it’s to lose a little weight or a lot then good on you. Losing weight is difficult, but when it makes you feel happy and healthy it’s so worth the effort. Here are a few plans you could consider, with the pros and cons of each.
A low-calorie plan is your ‘traditional’ diet. When you want to lose weight, it makes sense to stick to the method that fewer calories in will mean a drop in weight. The benefits of a low-calorie plan are that you will be eating lots of fresh and healthy foods, meals are centered around fruits and vegetables with whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy. These are the kinds of ingredients your body loves and will leave you feeling light, clean and energized. To take things a step further you could even incorporate a detox tea into your plan, brands like Skinnytea state that they can boost metabolism and reduce bloating which is always a good thing. On the downside, calorie counting can be hard. You will need to keep a food diary or use a food tracking app to make sure you really are eating a deficit in calories or it won’t work. It’s easy to underestimate the calories in food, even healthy ingredient contiain them (more than you’d think in a lot of cases!) Plus, a lot of people report feeling hungry on low-calorie plans. You need to ensure you’re eating the right foods to fit within your calorie intake, that nourish your body and leave you feeling satiated.
Another option which has been shown to be very effective for weight loss is low carbing. The science behind this is if your body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to use as fuel, it will switch to burning its own fat supplies. This is a normal and perfectly safe process called ‘ketosis’ and is what we humans were designed to do; we store fat to use as energy during leaner times. However, if you reduce carbohydrates in your diet you can tap into this process without having to actually starve yourself! Atkins and the Ketogenic diet are two to look into if you want to use this method. The downsides are you will be eating a lot of fat and moderate protein which is bad news for anyone that’s not keen on meat- plus it can get a little sickly over time. And while you will be consuming limited amount of low carb vegetables, you won’t be eating them in abundance like on a low-calorie plan. But on the plus side, you get to eat substantial foods meaning you don’t feel hungry, which is ideal for those who fail on other plans as they can’t deal with the hunger. Fitness Crest has a list of over 120 low carb recipes that you can check out.
Sometimes bad habits with food can last for years. It can spiral into a cycle of eating junk food on a regular basis- takeaways, sweet treats, ready meals. You might have even got to the stage where you don’t enjoy food unless it’s very unhealthy and there’s a lot of it. If you’ve become blindsided by food, giving yourself a break from it entirely can be incredibly useful. Instead of having to shop for food, cook it or deal with it at all you can go on a full meal replacement diet. Here you will usually consume three to four shakes, soups or bars a day which are specially formulated to give your body everything that it needs. As with the low carb plan, they force your body into ketosis, so you’re burning through your own fat supplies. And as an additional bonus, this process reduces hunger hormones and blood sugar spikes meaning you don’t feel hungry. This method can help to ‘reset’ your appetite and your whole view towards food, which can be useful for some people. Plus you lose around a stone a month, so the fast losses can be very motivating. If you follow the diet’s maintenance plan correctly, you will reintroduce food gradually and won’t regain the weight lost.