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What is the best diet for weight loss?

Updated: Aug 21, 2022

There’s no shortage of diet plans and all have different pros and cons. Some can help you shed pounds quickly but may not be best for long term and some can be added into your life gradually so the pounds can stay off. Eating foods rich in nutrients can make us feel better and more energized, and it lets us know we are taking steps towards a healthier life. So of course you want to find the best diet for you. We have all seen the fad diets that come and go, and for most people quick fix weight loss doesn’t last. But when you start researching the best ways to lose weight, your head can start spinning with all the different “miracle” diets out there—keto, paleo, 5-2 fasting.

To understand what the best diet out there is for you we need to look at what you want out of it. If you’re looking at long term weight loss solutions and adjusting your diet so it’s not only sustainable but will help you improve your habits and focus on becoming healthier than an extreme diet such as ‘keto’ or any diet which restricts and eliminates whole food groups may not be for you!


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Healthy weight loss is a commitment that takes time.

To get a better understanding of what you want to ask yourself these questions; Is this diet sustainable for you? (Can you carry it on for a long period of time?) Is this diet overly restrictive? (Will it make you feel deprived and having cravings for a certain food, this can lead to binging)? Will you be able to live a normal life on it? ( Will it allow you to eat out with friends on social occasions and eat that ice cream if you want to? If it stops you from living your normal life and restricting the things you can do such as a couple of glasses of wine with a friend then is it the one for you?) Finally, does it provide you with the essential nutrients and energy? (Diets that put you on very low calories are not the one, if you have to restrict food that much it will have an impact on your health and energy).



A diet must include foods you love and the occasional treat or meal out, this is how you will adapt it into your life so it can be a long term plan.


Following a diet such as the Mediterranean diet is an example of a good diet for improving health and aiding weight loss. Based on the heart-healthy lifestyle of Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal, Mediterranean-style diets include healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil, nuts and fish, beans, fruit, leafy greens and whole grains (some even have a glass of red wine regularly). This diet plentiful of nutrients and non-restrictive is great! Of course, when you are trying to lose weight you need to look at your calories, and make sure you are in a calorie deficit, but by eating foods rich in healthy fats, proteins and good whole foods this should make it easier. Hopefully the Mediterranean diet is one you can stick to! On top of this it also holds many health benefits such as lowering risk of heart disease.


The flexitarian/ plant based diet is also a popular choice when it comes to healthy weight loss. Popular plant based diets include veganism and vegetarianism which eliminate animal meats for ethical/ health reasons. However, similar to this there is a diet called the flexitarian diet in which the majority of your food should be plant based however, it allows for some fish or poultry to be eaten in moderation. Typical vegetarian diets restrict meat of all kinds but allow dairy products. Typical vegan diets restrict all animal products, including dairy and butter. Both of these two diets focus on plant based proteins and leafy greens.

The flexitarian eating plan does not have clear-cut rules or recommendations about calories and macronutrients, so it’s considered more of a lifestyle than a diet. By filling your plate with more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and plant proteins, and sticking with the low-calorie plan, you can lose weight and improve your health. A recent review found that people who followed a flexitarian diet had lower BMIs and lower rates of metabolic syndrome than people who regularly ate meat[1].


Plant-based diets like veganism and vegetarianism can have real health benefits, such as a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. However, they can also feel restricting for some people. The flexitarian diet is a less strict version of a plant-based diet that allows for minimal meat and animal product consumption.


Diets that we recommend skipping for healthy weight loss include –

The keto diet, yes you can lose weight quickly, as this high fat low carb diet puts your body into a state of ketosis (As there are no carbs to burn off for energy your cells burn off stored far), by doing this long term keeping your body in a crisis state is not viable.


A second diet I would recommend skipping is the paleo diet. this diet strictly adheres to foods that would have been hunted or gathered such as lean meats, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables. It completely cuts out processed foods while also eliminating dairy, grains, beans and legumes. Any diet that states food is not allowed is hard to maintain, a diet needs to be balanced. Whilst eliminating some junk food is good eliminating healthy and whole grains can leave you with a shortage of important vitamins and minerals.



Ultimately finding the right diet for you is about seeking the correct support to ensure you are not eliminating any key nutrients. You also need to ensure you are balancing all your meals and not letting what you eat control your life and prevent you doing things that you love!


Download our free weight loss guide below!




References


[1] Derbyshire, E. J. (2016). Flexitarian diets and health: A review of the evidence-based literature. Frontiers in Nutrition, 3, 55. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2016.00055

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