What is the Best Diet to Lose Weight?

by - 10:17 PM

If you run a quick Google search on the best diet to lose weight you'll get 1,750,000 results.  One would think with all that information, finding the best diet would be easy.  The problem is many of these articles conflict each other.  Is a low carb better or a low fat diet better?  Should I be keto or vegan? And what's that intermittent fasting?  

Truth is, if you are consistent with almost any diet, you are going to lose weight...at least in the short term.  However, many fad diets can, in the long term, actually lead to muscle loss, rebound weight gain, decreased performance (in sport, work, even in the bedroom), and poor overall health.

If you are looking to lose weight and keep it off while also maximizing performance and overall health, these three principles will help:

1. Create a calorie deficit
A calorie deficit is simply a state in which you burn more calories than you consume.  The amount of calories you need per day is roughly based on your height, weight, and activity level.  A good rule of thumb to start out with a 500 calorie per day deficit in order to lose approximately 1 lb per week.  

For example: A 150 lb female whose caloric needs are determined to be 2500 calories per day would need to decrease her caloric intake to 2000 calories per day for 20 weeks in order to reach her goal weight of 130 lbs. If coupled with burning 500 calories per day from additional exercise the time would drop to 10 weeks. 

If you do not see a change in the scale in 2-3 weeks, you may need to adjust your calorie deficit accordingly. You can find an excellent calculator at this link to estimate your caloric needs for weight loss.  This excellent weight loss calculator also takes into account the adaptive nature of metabolism and gives more accurate information on how hard you’ll have to work (and how long it may take) to reach your goals.

2. Eliminate deficiencies
In decreasing your total caloric intake, you are typically also decreasing the amount of vitamins and minerals you are taking in which can negatively affect weight loss and energy levels.  For this reason, I highly suggest either ensuring you are eating a variety of nutrient dense foods and/or taking a multivitamin to help meet your micronutrient needs.

3. Increase your protein intake
As you begin to lose weight, it is very likely that along with weight loss from fat, you are also losing pounds of lean tissue.  This is one reason many have a rebound weight gain after dieting.  To minimize this, the NSCA suggests consuming 0.81 to 1.27 grams of protein per pound of body weight along with a moderate calorie deficit of 500 calories.  

Applying this principle to the example above a 150 lb female should consume 121 grams of protein per day in order to maintain lean body mass.

Maintaining, and even gaining, muscle during this time can be greatly influenced by weight training which will maximize metabolism and reducing rebound weight gain.

If you consistently apply these three principles, you will begin to see improvements on the scale, in the mirror, and in performance.

Disclaimer: You need to consult your physician or health care provider before beginning any diet or fitness program.

For more information on exercise technique or tips on how to look, move, feel, or perform better contact me at jswilliams0659@gmail.com

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