Weight Loss – the best way to achieve lasting weight loss

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Posted by Linda O'Byrne (Atkins Nutritionist)

This article will help you to understand the best ways to lose weight fast, the different types of diets available and best weight loss foods

What is weight loss?

Weight loss is the act of reducing your body weight however the type of weight loss is significant. Scale weight measures not only body fat but also muscle mass, water weight, the foods & drinks you’ve consumed and can vary due to factors such as whether you’ve exercised, hormonal changes etc. So, yes, you want to know how to lose weight fast but you also need to make sure you’re losing fat which will make the significant difference to how you look and feel.

What is the best way to lose weight fast?

This is a difficult question as we are all individual and what works for one person may not work for another. Outside factors also influence which weight loss plan will work for you, factors such as genetics, whether you exercise, your food preferences etc. So read up about the various weight loss plans out there, think about your lifestyle and food preferences and see which one fits with you. 

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What are the best weight loss meal plans?

There are many types of weight loss plan, or ‘diet plan’ but here are some of the most popular:

Low fat

This is reducing the amount of fat in your diet. Most low fat diets don’t differentiate between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ fats, but; instead; ask you to reduce overall fat in your diet. Fat is the most calorie dense of the macronutrients so, by reducing fat, you are taking in less calories overall and this is the premise behind the low fat weight loss plans.

The problem being that you tend to eat more carbohydrates which can cause weight gain in some people, especially those who are insulin resistant or are sensitive to carbs. Plus dietary fat is generally more filling so, by eating less fat, you might be hungrier and tend to eat more in general.

Atkins / Low carb

these diets are low in carbohydrates but higher in fat and with moderate protein intake. They work by changing the way your metabolism works, so you burn more fat for fuel; instead of glycogen, from carbohydrates.

Low carb diets stabilise blood sugar levels which tend to take away any food cravings, so can be easier to stick to after the first few weeks, once your body has adjusted to burning fat for fuel.

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This weight loss plan is based on the Mediterranean lifestyle where you consume healthier, natural foods such whole grains, fruit and vegetables, plus healthy fats from fish, nuts and olive oil. Much of the fat content on this diet comes from the healthier ‘monounsaturated’ fat but may not suit people who choose a lower fat intake.

This diet is very balanced in the types of foods you eat and can be very satisfying, which makes it easier to stick to for many people. 

Intermittent fasting

This weight loss plan is less about ‘what’ you eat, and more about ‘when’ you eat. There are several variations but the most popular type of intermittent fasting is the 16/8 diet. On this weight loss plan, you eat within an 8 hour period and fast for the remaining 16 hours. This leads to weight loss due to a lower calorie intake but also a stabilisation of blood sugar levels.

Weight watchers or other ‘points’ based diets

Weight loss plans, such as Weight Watchers, tend to offer various different weight loss plans – based on a personal assessment. The idea behind the plan is that each food has a score (some foods are zero so you can eat unlimited amounts) and you have to stick to a certain level of food, based on your plan.

Some people find the weight loss plan – Weight Watchers – too restrictive and time consuming. However, others thrive on the idea that you’re tracking your own food intake and have control over what you eat. 

Why are there so many weight loss plans?

Some people find it easier to count points, whilst dieting, whereas others find it easier to cut out certain foods; or eat during a restricted period during the day. So it’s important to see what works for you and what type of plan you can stick to – as sticking to your chosen plan is the most important factor of all. 

No weight loss plan will work overnight.

What are the best weight loss foods?

This all depends on which weight loss plan you are following. There’s no doubt that foods that contain healthy fats are great for your health, yet they are a big no-no on some plans like Weight Watchers or a low fat diet. 

On low fat diets, you can eat a higher amount of carbohydrates but they are very restricted on plans like Atkins, or the Paleo diet. 

So it’s difficult to say that particular foods are good for weight loss. However, most weight loss plans agree that protein is king and tend to base their idea around having a higher protein intake from foods like chicken, meat or fish, eggs or vegetarian sources such as tofu and tempeh.

Will I have to follow a weight loss plan forever?

Most plans will guide you through to your ultimate weight loss goal and where to go from here, some even let you add more foods as you get closer to your goal. However, it’s important to realise that if you start to eat the way you did, prior to your diet, then the weight will be re-gained. 

So it’s less about staying on a weight loss plan for life and more about making a permanent lifestyle change that allows you to maintain your ideal weight. Start your Atkins journey today!