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Things the Best Weight-Loss Diets All Have in Common

When you feel that it is the time to do something to lose a few pounds the first step to take is to get a gym membership and then you must find a diet that will fit your needs. If the gym part doesn’t represent much of a challenge, finding that one diet which will work in your case is because the Internet and magazines are full of different pieces of advice on how to diet. Each is different, so if a person gives a great review to a specific diet, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will do the same wonders for you.

High protein, low-sugar, low-carb, low-fat or Mediterranean are just a few of the trendy diets right now which bring results on different types of people. There is a wide range of foods out here one can choose from, but each one comes with its theories and contradicting the others. Before starting any diet, it is essential to talk to a doctor or nutritionist who can evaluate your health and recommend you a personalized eating plan instead of a general diet.

Diet trends change regularly, and if we take a look back, there is an entire history to analyze. For example, two decades ago the National Institutes of Health concluded that low-fat diet was the best option for people who try to lose weight. Recently, just a couple years ago, American Health Association, in collaboration with American College of Cardiology and The Obesity Society presented 15 different diets, ranging from high-protein to vegan-style. But their recommendations come with a catch. In order to notice results, one must consume fewer calories. Some of those diets are specific regarding some calories intake, while others not so much. Studies showed that for a diet to be adequate it needs a low-calorie intake, but this one should come voluntarily and not feel imposed.

What to look for when considering a weight loss diet?

Nutritionists established outlines for the amounts of micronutrients an average person should include in the daily routine for keeping a healthy body and avoid triggering a large number of chronic diseases.  They are also known as “acceptable macronutrient distribution range” and say that an adult should have between 45 and 65 percent of carbohydrates in the diet, protein must range between 10 and 35 percent, while fats should remain between 20 and 35 percent. If a person manages to stay between these limits, the chances of losing weight or at least not gaining any, increase.

The majority of diets keep count of these recommendations. For example, Choose My Plate diet program promoted by the government respects the outlines stated by nutritionists and includes 55% carbs, 15% protein, and 30% fat. Meanwhile, many of the trendiest diets of the moment fall out of these ranges. Let’s take the Atkins diet for example which has 15% carbs, 35% proteins and 50% fats or some variations of the Paleo diet have 30% carbs, 30% proteins, and 40% fat.

Without getting the right amount of micronutrients a diet might help you lose some pounds, but it increases the risk of getting sick. Besides a drastic diet can’t be kept forever and when you return to the old eating habits, you will put back on double the amount of weight you lost with such great effort.

What do all diets have in common?

Even if some of the most popular diets of today seem to be in contradiction one with the others, there are certain things they all have in common. Diets are ways of eating and the primary focus for each one is to help you lose weight. Experts agree that the most effective diets are not those conventional, full of stereotypes diets, people turn to when they desperately try to lose some weight, but those who promote a sustainable eating habit. Regardless the approach, they all have some essential things in common. Each is unique and so are its body’s needs, and that is why nutritionists, doctors, and scientists should focus their efforts on finding the best diet for each person and not the one best for everyone. Even if American Health Association offers the possibility to choose from 15 different diets, the best ones have some factors in common: they all promote the idea of eating a lot of vegetables, avoid added sugars as much as possible, and reduce the intake on refined grains. Healthy food must be consumed in moderation. Otherwise, the results will not be those you would expect.

Even if they have different approaches to fighting extra weight all diets work around the same ideas:

Avoid the intake of refined sugar

For most people, there is no problem to tolerate small to moderate amounts of added sugar mainly because they have an active lifestyle. But some individuals enjoy it way too much. Large amounts of sugar are bad for the health not only for the silhouette because it overloads the liver forcing it to transform it into fats. Part of them stays in the liver, while the rest are sent out in the form of VLDL cholesterol and increasing the levels of triglycerides in the blood.

Sugar is also considered the leading cause of liver disease, after alcohol. It also has been associated with another dangerous illness like heart conditions and type 2 diabetes. This product can give the body a boost of energy, but with no real nutrients. Everyone is aware that refined sugar is bad for health, that is why most diets drastically cut back on this ingredient. Added sugar has some sneaky sources, like bread, pasta sauce, soups or condiments, so to keep control over the amount of consumed sugar on a daily basis, it is recommended to always check labels for added sugar or another sweetener. Another efficient manner to reduce the intake of added sugar in the meals is to try to replace high-sugar foods with healthier alternatives. For example, don’t drink soda with the lunch and try to have a club soda flavored with a lemon or other fruit you like, and instead of enjoying chocolate in the afternoon, snack on a fruit with yogurt or some nuts. In fewer words, there is not a single person unaware of the dangerous side effects of sugar, so most diets cut it back entirely or drastically limit the consumption amount.

Refined carbs are cut off

The second largest “enemy” of any diets are refined carbohydrates because they are obtained out of processed grains and have no nutritional value whatsoever. Wheat flour is the most famous carb consumed in large amounts in the Western countries. When prepared, the grain is pulverized and its nutritious elements, like endosperm and bran, are removed. That is why refined grains contain chain molecules of glucose. They provide the body with the fuel for energy, but it doesn’t bring nutritious elements at all. Starch doesn’t include anymore the fibers found in whole grain, so it causes a fast spike in the levels of blood sugar, which leads to cravings and overeating just a few hours later when the blood sugar dropped down. It was proved through many medical studies that carbohydrates are the main triggers for a wide range of chronic disease like type 2 diabetes, obesity or heart disease.

Specific diets, like Paleo or low carbs, take things to the extremes and entirely exclude any grains, but the most effective diets limit the intake of refined grains and replace them with whole grains. The main idea is that most of the diets substitute the use of refined grains with the whole version, while others eliminate them altogether. Choosing minimally processed foods like whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice is the most convenient way to reduce the number of refined grains in the meals. Also, it is essential to read the labels carefully to find the whole grains listed as the first few ingredients.

Not a single drop of industrial vegetable oil

Until a century ago humanity didn’t have the technical support to produce industrial vegetable oil, so this is a relatively recent addition to the human diet. This type of oil includes corn oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil and some others. Among the most significant problems with these products is their high content of polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acids which was proven to enter the body’s fat cells and LDL lipoproteins, increasing their chances of oxidizing and cause different heart conditions. These acids are also believed responsible to for endothelial dysfunction, another major cue for heart disease.The health dangers of industrial vegetable oil are still controversial as some studies revealed that constant consumption of this product could cause cancer and some other harmful effects. On the other hand, there are no conclusions on the benefits of these products. Vegetable oils are part of the “empty” calorie category, along with refined sugar and grains. Not only they don’t bring benefits for the health, but the making process is quite disgusting as well, and it removes all the nutrients. There is not a single diet plan which includes consumption of industrial vegetable oil, which is entirely different from coconut and olive oil. These two extracts are very healthy and full of nutrients.

The health dangers of industrial vegetable oil are still controversial as some studies revealed that constant consumption of this product could cause cancer and some other harmful effects. On the other hand, there are no conclusions on the benefits of these products. Vegetable oils are part of the “empty” calorie category, along with refined sugar and grains. Not only they don’t bring benefits for the health, but the making process is quite disgusting as well, and it removes all the nutrients. There is not a single diet plan which includes consumption of industrial vegetable oil, which is entirely different from coconut and olive oil. These two extracts are very healthy and full of nutrients.

Artificial Trans fats are eliminated

Everyone is aware of the fact that trans fats are not healthy at all because they are obtained from vegetable oils, which was already established, are extremely unsafe for regular consumption. When processed, vegetable oils result into trans fats which can increase the shelf life and harden at room temperature. Numerous studies confirmed that there is a high association of trans fats with heart disease and increased risk for inflammation. Trans fats are not natural products; they are obtained by processing various industrial oils which make them toxic and utterly unhealthy for the body.

Rich in fibers and vegetables.

There are thousands of diets and just as many eating plans. According to all of them, a healthy meal doesn’t include any carbs, fats, proteins and so on. It seems like nothing you eat is healthy, except vegetables. Many diets go against each other and promote different eating habits, but all have in common high quantities of vegetables. It is universally accepted that vegetables are the healthiest addition to the eating plan and medical studies support the idea with evidence. They are rich in antioxidants, fibers, and many other nutrients, which help with the weight loss, promotes the growth of probiotics in the gut and reduce the risk of developing the different disease. It’s always a good idea to include veggies in every meal you prepare for you and your family. For example, add some spinach to the omelet in the morning, eat a salad at lunch, and include a side of vegetables at dinner.

Vegetables could be transformed into snacks, like carrots, celery, hummus and almond butter. To avoid temptations, turn the fridge into a mini-salad bar, with fresh carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. Along with vegetables, the majority of diets include fruits because they are another important source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and many other nutrients. And very important, fruits are low carbs. Any successful diet finds a perfect balance between the intake of vegetables and fruits, to support the overall health. Increasing the amount of fiber and lean protein in the diet can also help naturally reduce sugar cravings. When it comes to staying full for longer, fibers are beneficial because they expand like a sponge in the gut like a sponge making you feel fuller for longer.

Foods are the primary focus, not the number of calories

Although there was established a recommended daily number of calories for people to consume in order to stay healthy. It is interesting to observe the fact that most diets focus on a number of foods and not a number of calories. The emphasis is put on the consumption of natural foods with one and whole ingredients. For weight management, it is essential to keep track of the daily consumed calories, but just counting calories without regard to the foods you eat might prove useful for short term, but ineffective for the long run. The primary goal of keeping a diet is to make sure the body gets all the needed nutrients to stay healthy and losing weight should come second. Most effective diets focus on changing the lifestyle and making it healthier by adding whole foods which will help naturally with the weight loss.

If you feel like you have tried all the diets available out there and results are temporary or barely noticeable, there is nothing wrong with you. Each is unique and has different needs, so a general diet doesn’t bring the same results on everyone. Managing weight is effective through lifestyle adjustments, not by following restrictive diets, so talking to a doctor could be a first step in finding out what you need. Even if most diets go against each other, they all agree on the importance of several health aspects. If you are tired of keeping diets and juggling with your weight, try to make some small changes in the eating habits and reduce the consumption of refined sugar, grains, industrial vegetable oil and eat more fruits and vegetables. For sure you will feel and look better.

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