This is probably the most hotly debated health and fitness topic out there. You will likely have heard all kinds of approaches and supposed secrets to achieving weight and fat loss.
If you wish to get to my advice and skip the rationale behind it, then skip to the part where its says; How do I lose weight already??!!! If you have a couple of minutes spare, then read on.
From cabbage soup diets, to atkins, low fat, low carb, cambridge, paleo, dukan, the traditional government approved food pyramid, vegan, eating little and often, weight watchers, slimming world and general calorie restriction are just a few of many! Which approach is best you ask?
I will let you in on a secret. All of the approaches and many others have worked well for plenty of people as many times as they have not for others. How does this work? How can one person excel with low carb or low fat and someone else doesn’t.
The answers to that will take far longer than most of you will care to read, but in summary, it can be down to things like the bias of whoever is reviewing a given study. It’s not uncommon to find that people tend to fall into camps that propose that a single approach that worked for them will work best for others too and be able to find studies to back their statements up. Many people at this point will remain convinced and blind sighted to any study to the contrary of their belief which their inevitably will be.
How does this happen? It doesn’t matter. Many supposed weight loss dietary approaches are simply riding on the back of very popular search terms like; ‘best diet to lose weight’, ‘ best diet for fast weight loss’ and more or less any permutation of those to simply have a greater chance to essentially in a round about way, sell you a product that you probably don’t need. A lot of time can be wasted worrying about which is the best when in truth, there probably is no best way in terms of the holy grail of all diets.
Ok I get it, it’s complicated! But what should I do??!! I hear you say.
Well… I’ll give you my two penneth’s worth. What is worth considering before you choose any approach, is food quality. If you have around about a couple of hours spare on your hands, I would highly recommend watching Paul Chek’s video’s on youtube named; Nutrition, the dirt facts. My guess would be almost none of you will actually go and watch it all and I wouldn’t blame you, that’s quite a long time about a subject you’re probably indifferent to anyway. But almost everything you need to know about Nutrition regardless of your goal, is covered within it.
It basically starts off explaining how soil biology works. Turns out an understanding of that is somewhat important when it comes to understanding how we and other living organisms even gain nourishment in the first place. Every living organism on land relies upon the health of microorganisms found in soil. If they are not being well maintained, the whole chain beyond them will be impacted. It is the microorganisms that in conjunction with sunlight, temperature, water and a number of other elements that provide nutrients for any plant matter that grow within the surrounding soil. Whether that be grass, trees bearing fruit or vegetables, we and animals we consume rely upon soil that is able to effectively provide nourishment for the plant matter growing in it.
I won’t go too much further into that as this blog post would never end. Plus Paul Chek will explain it better! But food quality and your health and therefore most probably your weight, go hand in hand.
How do I lose weight already???!!!!
Fine! Go with these approaches and you will lose weight:
– You could chop off a limb, this is a sure way to lose some weight. Perhaps not healthy nor the best way, but you would certainly lose weight. I don’t want you to actually do that by the way, just in case you were about to head to the kitchen, that would be foolish. But not every way of losing weight is necessarily good for you is the take away here…..
– I’ll offer some helpful advice now, choose whole foods where possible as a start. Organic ideally. I know most won’t go for it but at least stay away from ready meals and cheap, poor quality foods.
– Find or contact a professional (I can do this!) that can help you calculate the amount of calories you need per day to function and then the idea would be to create around a 500 calorie deficit. That can be achieved through 250 calories less from your diet and around 250 being used for exercise. Or days that you are not active or if haven’t done any weight training in the last few days, aim to achieve around a 300-500 calorie deficit in the diet. A greater deficit may well achieve a more immediate weight loss but isn’t optimal for vitality, you will struggle to maintain, let alone develop muscle mass if you’re goal is to appear ‘toned’ or ‘ripped’. Some say that you may become resistant to losing body fat also as the body may enter a ‘starvation mode’. This could be true but it’s yet to be confirmed like a number of claims.
– Focus meals around protein, plenty of veg and a small amount of complex carbs e.g. cous cous, rice, pasta etc. This will work for around 7/10 people (a made up stat by me roughly based on what I have had reported with actual people) If you end up being a part of the other 3, you will want to consider seeing a professional to potentially address allergies/intolerances or a more in-depth look at your diet and lifestyle.
– Make lunch and breakfast your most liberal meals of the day. You needn’t completely scrimp on dinner either provided you are consuming food that might actually deliver some useful nutrition and have been at least reasonably active.
– Use my fitness pal or apps similar to help keep track of the amounts of protein, fats and carbs you are having over the course of a day and week. These apps can usually help keep track of a fairly accurate number of calories you are consuming also.
– Drink plenty of water. You’ll have a hard time getting too much to be bad for you. Grab a six pack of big Evian bottles and consume those over the course of a week. Don’t leave them exposed to sunlight though!
– Make goals realistic and expect results to take time but approach your goal with vigour nonetheless and see what happens when you truly apply yourself.
– Contact a professional that can analyse more thoroughly your diet if need be. Often generic and blanketed advice such as you’ll find on blog posts (oh the irony!), many online diet plans or diet groups will not be able to sufficiently gather enough information about you individually to get the best for you.