How and What to Eat if You Want to Lose Weight

You want to learn how to lose weight by improving the way that you eat. You’ve already tried several different diets but so far, you’ve always ended up frustrated with the results.

The main problem is that the more tips you read, or the more “experts” you listen to; the more confused you get.

This article will not attempt to reveal any secret shortcuts or market a magic diet. Instead, it’s aimed towards real people who are looking for honest and helpful guidelines on how to eat for achieving effective weight loss.

What’s The Best Diet?

Protein

The easiest way to answer this question would be to give you the shortest and quickest solution possible. However, there are several reasons to why that would be unjust:

  • There is no universally “correct” diet
  • Most diets lack sufficient variety and flexibility to keep up motivation
  • What and how you should eat depends on your unique situation, such as background, lifestyle, and personal goals

If someone is trying to sell you a specific diet with the argument that it’s the best one, you should question whether their intention is to help you; or just to put more money in their own pocket.

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In fact, when reviewing research, there is no evidence supporting the claim that a certain diet is more efficient than any other:

“Head-to-head RCTs, providing the most robust evidence available, demonstrated that Atkins, WW, and Zone achieved modest and similar long-term weight loss. Despite millions of dollars spent on popular commercial diets, data are conflicting and insufficient to identify one popular diet as being more beneficial than the others.” [1]

Furthermore, numerous studies show that basically all methods – apart from gastric bypass – tend to work poorly on general population after a period of one-two years [2, 3, 4].

In other words, even if some people manage to lose weight through these diets, the majority will encounter relapse and end up regaining what they lost – sometimes adding even more weight than originally.

So, What Method Works?

If there is one key ingredient to finding a stable diet and losing weight, it’s this:

Your ability to stick to the plan!

Sure, some methods can lead to that you drop weight – even rapidly so – however, drastic and restrictive diets are rarely very sustainable.

After all, who wants to count calories for rest of their life? Thus, the best diet simply seems to be the one that you can maintain long-term.

For this to fall into place, it needs to be:

 ✓ Easy to apply in your everyday life
 ✓ Yield results
 ✓ Enjoyable 

Recommendations

As discussed, the most optimal diet will always be the one that’s tailored according to your individual needs and demands. With that said, there are certain recommendations that anyone who aspire to lose weight should keep in mind.

1. Eat Enough Protein

Animal Protein Low Carb

Eating a diet rich in protein will make your weight loss more qualitative by helping you to lose fat, while maintaining muscle mass [5, 6, 7, 8, 9]. Exactly how much protein you need to eat depends on your lifestyle:

World Health Organization (WHO) recommends all adults a daily intake of 0,8 grams of protein/per kg of bodyweight [10]. For individuals who are more active and that exercise regularly, the protein requirement is 1,4-2 grams of protein/per kg of bodyweight, per day [11, 12].

If you are attempting to lose weight and are on calorie deficit, you should aim for at least 2,0 grams of protein/per kg of bodyweight, every day [13]. Apart from keeping your muscles happy, protein also increases your saturation level, which makes it easier to avoid snacking.

2. Consume Sufficient Vitamins and Minerals

When you follow a restrictive diet that limits you to just a few food sources, it’s easy to miss out on vitamins and minerals that are essential for your health and well-being:

“These findings are significant and indicate that an individual following a popular diet plan as suggested, with food alone, has a high likelihood of becoming micronutrient deficient; a state shown to be scientifically linked to an increased risk for many dangerous and debilitating health conditions and diseases” [14]

The same goes for if you are on calorie deficit, which means you eat less than you normally would [15]. That’s why it’s extra important that you choose nutrition dense food – and avoid refined food – when you try to lose weight.

3. Make Your Plate More Green

fruit salad

One of the best ways to ensure that you get all the vitamins and minerals that you need is by eating a lot of veggies. Not only do they add more flavor and color to your meals; but veggies are also generally very low on calories, which means that you can eat great portions of them – even when you try to lose weight.

Here are a few examples of how many calories you’ll find in some of the most common veggies:

Broccoli: 33 kcal/100g    Spinach: 23 kcal/100g    Paprika: 20 kcal/100g
Carrots: 41 kcal/100g    Tomatoes: 17 kcal/100g    Onion: 39 kcal/100g

In comparison, here’s what some of our typical snacks contains:

Crisps: 536 kcal/100g    Chocolate Chip cookies: 488 kcal/100g
Peanuts: 567 kcal/100g    Snickers Bar: 487 kcal/100g

As you can see, weight loss doesn’t have to be about starving yourself; it’s about choosing the right food sources.

Summary

When your goal is to lose weight, it’s easy to get obsessed about the numbers that you see on the scale. This can be damaging for your motivation since it may lead to that you associate your “success” purely based on how much that number decreases.

In such cases, it’s important to remember that qualitative weight loss doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a process that requires patience and dedication. It also means that you’ll have to make some changes and adjustments from how you’ve been living and eating until this point.

Start by covering the three recommendations in this article:

  • Eat a diet rich in protein
  • Eat sufficient vitamins and minerals
  • Eat more veggies

For the best results:

  • Aim for calorie deficit (consume less energy than you put to use)
  • Perform regular strength-training (which helps to maintain your muscle mass and enables you to eat more, without gaining weight)

If you can keep these habits up over time, you WILL achieve your goals.

Don’t Miss : The DASH Diet: Everything You Need to Know 

References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25387778, [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12119984
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26527511 [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15632335
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24092765 [6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23739654
[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19927027 [8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16469983
[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15640518 [10] http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/nutrientrequirements/WHO_TRS_935/en/
[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22150425 [12] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20048505
[13] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24092765 [14] https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-7-24 [15] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20573800

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