Weight Loss Diet is the special diet plan designed to help an individual lose weight in a systematic and scheduled manner so as to improve his/her health status and enhance the self-image. This is easily one of the most common health goals that maximum number of persons aspire to achieve and the degree of success a particular weight loss program promises depends to a large extent on the will-power and determine of the individual. One needs to be patient and committed to the weight-loss goals and better eating practices only prove to be a stepping stone. Successful weight loss brings with it a number of positive health impacts.
Clearly, for different individuals different weight loss techniques bear satisfactory results; it is not always possible that what works for one will necessarily produce the same results in another person. Crash diets and improper dietary practices only cause more harm to the body. One should aim for a realistic weight-loss target so that health is nowhere compromised. Being healthy translates into maintaining one’s weight within the ideal weight range depending on age, height, sex, activity levels, lifestyle and other physiological and behavioural parameters.
Laws governing Weight Loss Diet
- The first step is to understand the energy balance equation. When Energy Intake exceeds Energy Expenditure, the body stores excess calories in the form of body fat, thus resulting in weight gain. Therefore, when we speak of weight management, we should seek long term success. It should include carefully planned strategies to overcome the tendency to consume excess calories, rather it should stress on burning excess calories to promote weight loss. People who lose weight rapidly by following unhealthy diet practices tend to regain all the weight lost as they have not instilled critical behavioural and lifestyle modifications within themselves that could result in more lasting changes.
- A simple but helpful way to assess the rights and wrongs of one’s diet pattern is by maintaining a food record. The time at which a particular food is eaten, the quantity and the type of food, all need to be explained in detail. This could prove to be an exercise in self-analysis which helps an individual realize his/her mistakes and work on them. Such a diet record could reveal major mistakes like skipping breakfast. Studies have proved that consumption of a nutritionally sound breakfast results in ingestion of proportionally fewer calories during the rest of the day. This single step goes a long way in discouraging mindless, impulsive eating and can make a person more accountable for his/her choices.
- Eliminating temptations is a tough but effective step one must practice because avoiding temptations is a better strategy than resisting it. Temptations abound in the world we live in. Replacing all unhealthy finger-foods like chips, fries, cookies with more nutritious low-calorie counterparts can be an effective step to ingest lesser calories even while snacking. Instead of opting for the calorie-dense French fries loaded with salt and fat, opt for carrot, cucumber, asparagus sticks that can be dipped into tasty hummus or garlic and parsley flavoured yoghurt dip.
- Emotional eating also needs to be controlled as some people tend to eat excessively when either sad or happy. Taking a walk instead of reaching out for a bar of chocolate is wiser.
- Making appropriate choices in diet as well as lifestyle are important. Eating healthy home cooked meals is certainly better than gorging on pizza from a fast food joint. Similarly taking the flight of steps up or walking to the grocery rather than taking a ride helps burn more calories.
- Persistence is key to make a weight loss diet successful. One may not see projected weight loss within the first week itself, but one should keep at it and not lose hope or give up easily.
Easy Weight Loss Diet tips
The easier it is to follow the weight loss diet, the more successful one would be at realizing adequate weight loss goals by the end of it.
- Family involvement: Studies reveal that teenagers who have parental support tend to exhibit better results on their weight loss diet programs. Parents who can also actively participate in diet and lifestyle modifications could benefit the entire family in the bargain.
- Starting with small changes first like drinking water instead of cola can go a long way in losing weight, especially for a habitual cola consumer.
- Similarly exercising portion control definitely helps in cutting calories. It is important to pay attention when the brain signals that the stomach is full.
- Rather than eating a large amount at a single meal, having smaller portions and then including 1 or 2 healthy snacks like a fruit or a raw salad can help boost the metabolism and is also likely to keep one satisfied eating smaller quantities.
- A daily exercise regimen needs to be put in place and other sporting activities like swimming, basketball; tennis or other sports of interest can assist in weight loss and improve stamina and endurance.
Weight Loss Diet Plan
- Depending upon the current weight status, one needs to work out the calories that may be consumed in a day’s time. A 1200-1500 kcal diet is suited in most cases for weight loss but individual needs differ.
- Including more complex carbohydrates like whole grain cereals, whole wheat breads, vegetables and fruits, which are less-calorie dense, would assist in weight loss rather than simple carbohydrates that have higher calorie-density. Percentage of daily calories available from carbohydrates should be approximately 50%.
- Fat intake should be minimal with greater focus on consumption of essential fats that are required by the body e.g. poly unsaturated fatty acids such as omega-3-fatty acids are important for brain function, cardiovascular health, improved vision and skin and a host of other functions. Also adequate intake of monounsaturated fats like avocados, nuts, and olive oil have a cholesterol lowering effect. Saturated fats as present in red meats, butter, cream etc. must be avoided. Percentage of daily calories from fat should be less than 30%.
- Protein is essential for growth and repair in the body, hence high quality proteins may be consumed on a daily basis such as egg whites, non-fat dairy products, lean meat, poultry, fish, legumes and nuts. Proteins in the diet lend a feeling of satiety thus preventing excess intake. Percentage of daily calories from proteins should be approximately 20%.
- Fibre intake should be maximised by consuming plenty of raw salads, oatmeal, fruits, green leafy vegetables etc. that have numerous benefits other than weight loss. As much as 40g of fibre intake is recommended for a weight-loss diet.
- Multi-vitamin, multi-mineral supplements can be added to the diet if necessary following Doctors instructions in order to prevent any deficiencies.
It is not only about losing weight but also continuing to maintain the weight afterwards. The important fact remains that once an individual has managed to lose weight, it is entirely his/her consistent effort that is involved in keeping off the weight lost.