Excess weight gain and obesity are a global concern and a serious medical problem with a greater risk for various chronic diseases, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers. If you want to lose weight healthily, I’m sure you’re wondering what is the best diet for weight loss.
The best diet for weight loss:
And while most people are aware of the dangers of putting on too much weight, many are stuck as to how they can let the weight off.
Most people want to shed it off quickly, which is only natural for anyone wanting to lose weight; however, most methods that give drastic weight loss promises are not sustainable long-term and definitely not healthy.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends losing 1-2 pounds per week for better long-term weight management. This is because weight loss should be a journey of lifestyle change and healthy practices rather than a “regime” or a “diet.”
This article takes you through various healthy practices that have been proven to promote progressive weight loss while improving health and wellbeing.
1. Eliminate ultra-processed foods
Research shows that ultra-processed foods such as sweetened breakfast cereal, soft drinks, low-fat potato chips, canned foods, processed meats, muffins, sugary yogurts, and sweets are significant contributors to weight gain and obesity.
This is mainly because most of these foods are affordable and convenient. But, they have zero nutrients, are less satisfying, and are high in calories, causing them to get stored as fat.
These foods are also high in added ingredients such as salt, fat, sugar, and artificial flavors that promote inflammation, increasing your risk of chronic conditions.
2. Avoid refined carbohydrates
Like ultra-processed foods, refined carbohydrates have been shown to promote weight gain. And unlike their whole counterparts, these have been reaped of their fiber and nutrients. This makes their digestion faster, leading to a spike in blood glucose followed by a drastic fall.
High glucose levels in the blood trigger the release of insulin to help carry it into the cells. But with refined carbohydrates, you’re probably eating more calories than the body needs. So any extra amount will be converted into fat and be stored in the body.
So to lose weight, you’ll have to avoid any form of processed carbohydrates. Go for whole foods such as whole bread, brown rice, etc.
Whole foods are high in fiber, which will slow the process of digestion and the release of sugar into the blood. But again, everything should be in moderation as too many carbohydrates can still cause you to consume excess calories.
3. Incorporate intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is the most popular and the fastest way to lose weight. It involves a fasting window where you go without food for some time, followed by a period of eating.
Intermittent fasting is especially beneficial because it keeps insulin and glucose low, increases insulin sensitivity, and promotes metabolism, which supports the fat-burning process during your fasting window.
According to a 2014 review, intermittent fasting can cause a 3-8 percent weight loss within 3-24 weeks.
Unlike dieting, where you restrict your calorie intake, intermittent fasting allows you to have just enough during your eating window. This prevents unnecessary cravings that may cause more calorie intake and weight gain. The trick is to consume enough protein, healthy fats, and vegetables.
Intermittent fasting may provide other benefits, including fighting inflammation and reducing oxidative stress, improving heart health by lowering blood pressure, bad cholesterol, and triglycerides, promoting cellular repair, preventing cancer, and enhancing brain function.
4. Eat enough protein
For protein to effectively enhance weight loss, replace your carbs with them or at least reduce your intake while increasing your protein consumption. In one study, increasing protein-calorie intake from 15 percent to 30 percent can result in less calorie intake without any intentional restriction.
While protein promotes fat loss, it can help you increase muscle mass and strength.
5. Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep increases ghrelin, a hunger hormone that makes you feel hungry while reducing leptin, a satiety hormone that makes you feel full. This causes you to consume more calories, especially from high-sugar and high-fat foods.
According to research, sleep-deprived individuals are likely to consume 385 more calories each day.
More studies show that a lack of good quality sleep may increase your body mass index (BMI) and cause weight gain, including belly fat. Contrary, with every more hour spent sleeping, BMI status has been shown to decrease.
Getting enough sleep of at least 7 hours each night may moderate your appetite and prevent the increased calorie intake associated with a lack of sleep.
Adequate sleep also promotes decision-making, which may help you make healthier food choices that will further facilitate your weight loss journey.
6. Decrease your carbohydrate intake but increase dietary fats
Research shows that a low-carb diet can promote weight loss in older adults with obesity.
This type of diet can also reduce your appetite and cause you to eat fewer calories. However, slowing down your carb intake with nothing to fill the void can only cause you to yo-yo diet with no success in maintaining a healthy weight.
The best way to win at a low-carb diet is to include dietary fats such as avocado and olive oil. You can add them to your salad dressings or sprinkle on food or spread on toast instead of butter, etc.
Fats initiate a feeling of early satiety and cause you to feel full longer. This can give room for your body to burn the stored energy, causing you to lose weight.
7. Engage in physical activity
Exercise alone may not facilitate a healthy weight loss journey. But, in addition to a healthy diet, proper sleep, low-stress levels, and other health practices, exercise can cause weight loss, control weight gain, and prevent obesity.
One of the best exercises for weight loss is walking. It’s easy, beginner-friendly, and doesn’t require any equipment. According to Harvard Health, a person weighing 70kg or 155 pounds can lose up to 167 calories per a 30 minute walk done at a moderate pace of 6.4km/h.
In a 12-week study, walking 30-70 minutes 3 times a week reduced body fat by 1.5 percent and waist circumference by 1.1 inches in women with obesity.
Other exercises that promote weight loss include running or jogging, cycling, weight training, interval training, and swimming.
8. Sprinkle some chili
This may sound odd, but sprinkling some red chili pepper on your food may promote weight loss. Capsaicin in chili increases metabolism, causing you to burn calories and lose weight.
In addition to a healthy diet, chili may further reduce your appetite, causing you to eat less without feeling starved.
9. Manage stress
Stress affects not only your emotional and mental health but also your physical health.
When stressed, most people find comfort in food. This is because stress increases cortisol levels which stimulate appetite, causing you to eat more, leading to weight gain or difficulty losing weight.
Easy ways to reduce stress include engaging in regular exercise, addressing your stress triggers, being kind to yourself, talking to someone you trust, etc.
Final thoughts on the best diet for weight loss:
Obesity is a major health concern. This awareness has caused most people to seek various ways to ensure they shred off any extra inch off their bodies.
However, to effectively lose weight and keep it off long-term, you must consider safe and healthy weight loss methods that have been proven to work.
The tips discussed in this article will enable you to lose weight and maintain it while living a healthy and fulfilling life.
Other Related Articles
- Top 10 Benefits Of Getting Enough Sleep
- 6 Best Sleep Inducing Teas To Drink At Bedtime
- 7 Foods You Must Never Eat
- Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
- How To Boost Cortisol Levels Naturally?
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