Many people resort to ‘quick-fix’ diets when trying to lose weight. This is, however, not a good idea – and far less effective than a long-term healthy diet. Here is why.
The Quick-Fix Diet
Typically based on completely cutting out certain foods, quick-fix, or ‘fad’ diets do result in rapid and often substantial weight loss. There are, however, two major drawbacks to this type of diet:
- Firstly, different foods provide different nutrients essential to the body. Cutting out certain foods or food groups altogether could mean you are not getting many of these nutrients. This, of course, means your body will not be able to maintain optimal health.
- Secondly, totally avoiding specific foods often involves avoiding ‘favourite treats’. Once you have achieved your target weight and start reintroducing these favourites back into your diet, it is all too easy to ‘splurge out’ in an unhealthy manner – and piling the pounds back on in no time at all.
What’s more, even without ‘splurging’, resuming ‘normal’ regular eating habits after following a rapid weight-loss diet usually means you will regain the weight you lost quickly – negating your efforts and most likely putting you off trying again.
The Healthy Diet
Involving long-term lifestyle changes combining physical activity with eating healthy, predominantly plant-based foods, a healthy diet, on the other hand, will provide slow, steady and sustainable weight loss.
Reducing your level of body fat while maintaining strong, lean muscles and your ability to effectively exercise, a healthy diet also allows you to continue enjoying foods from all food groups. This, of course, eliminates the risk of severe cravings likely to ruin your efforts.
While there are no specific foods that will aid weight loss in a ‘miraculous’ way, some foods are more effective in helping you to lose weight than others. These foods include:
- Healthy Fats (i.e. the fats provided by avocados, nuts, oily fish and seeds)
- Lean Protein (i.e. eggs, chicken, fish, legumes and tofu)
- Vegetables (especially those low in starch)
- Wholegrains (i.e. wholemeal pasta, oats and brown rice)
Helping to fill you up, these foods will keep you satisfied for longer and subsequently make it less likely for you to snack on unhealthy foods later.
Healthy Plate Model
Ensuring you get all the nutrients your body needs to remain fit and healthy, basing your lunches and dinners on the so-called ‘healthy plate model’ will help you achieve optimal, healthy weight loss and maintenance. This model suggests filling:
- 1/2 of your plate with carrots, tomatoes and capsicum; zucchini, lettuce and similar vegetables
- 1/4 of your plate with carbohydrates (wholegrain!) like, for instance, brown rice quinoa, sweet potato, potato, bread or pasta.
- 1/4 of your plate with healthy, lean protein (i.e. chicken, eggs or fish; legumes, meat or tofu)
Then, of course, there are the ‘sometimes’ foods, which should be enjoyed (in small amounts!) occasionally to minimise cravings and ensure you achieve your weight loss goal and/or help you maintain your perfect weight.
Low in nutrients and high in calories, ‘sometimes foods’ include, for instance:
- Takeaway foods
- Chocolate bars
- Biscuits, cakes, cookies and muffins
A massive weight gain contributor, alcohol is something you need to be especially careful with.
Eating mindfully can also assist in losing weight (learn more) and it is, of course, vital to ensure you get a minimum of 60 minutes’ worth of physical activity (moderate intensity exercise) most days. Finally, adding formoline L112 to your healthy diet can help you lose weight quicker and assist you in your long-term weight maintenance regime.