Overweight and obesity became most common health problems for modern people all over the world. The number of obese people is growing. Everybody wants to find perfect solutions, recommendations and diet to lose extra weight. A lot of information is published in special diet journals and books, is posted all over the Internet, so people are confused when it comes to choose one thing from this huge range.
Unfortunately, most of published diets are nothing more than just a fiction made up by people who want to draw attention of others and make profit out of it. The other diets are old recommendations that actually never work well. People use these tips and buy diet books and expensive CDs but nothing helps them to lose weight.
The following diet plan was studied and proven to be one of the most effective ways to lose extra weight. Well, it is not actually a diet, but rather an eating plan that might help many people to get rid of unwanted kilograms.
Main principles of weight loss diet
Consumption of 4-6 meals a day
Some people would be surprised to know that to lose weight they should eat more often than usually. We are talking about small but frequent meals. When we eat large servings of food three times a day, our body cannot use all the energy produced as a result of digestion. Therefore, the body will store all the excess calories in fat deposits. So, the fat storage and fat burning processes will be fluctuating and that is no good for our bodies.
But if we consume 5-6 small meals throughout a day, all that food is going to be transformed into energy and there will be nothing to store as a fat tissue. If you eat less food (calories) than your body needs for energy, obviously it will start burning fat. Not mentioning that you will be full all the time and hunger will no longer bother you. Small portions consumed 4-6 times a day also help your gastrointestinal tract work properly.
Distribution of meals
Most part of meals should be eaten before 6:00 p.m. It is known that food is transformed into energy best of all at the first half of the day. But in the evening, our body stores fat from calories.
However, it is not namely the food we eat, but the number of calories in it that cause overweight. You can have a healthy supper just make sure it contains a lot less calories than your breakfast or lunch. At best, you should choose protein foods for supper (eggs, dairy, protein shakes, etc.).
One more important thing: make sure you eat at least 2 hours before or after each workout. A little amount of extra protein or amino acids is also acceptable to protect muscles, because your body will process the consumed proteins but not your fat storages into energy.
Caloric value of diet
If you have suffered from excess weight and you finally decided to lose some pounds, you should do it gradually, with small steps at a time. Many people are striving to lose extra pounds, but few of them have that willpower and a kickstart to do it eventually. There is one main thing to remember: you must never stop eating, even if you are on a diet. Diet means no starvation, diet means a healthy eating. Everybody knows that our food contains calories – a fuel for our body. Without food, we cannot move, think, work, etc. So when you start a low-calorie diet, it must be a smart reduction of calories in your menu, but not reduction of food, since this causes impaired metabolism and other possible complications.
Make up your personal calorie scale and weekly menu so it is much easier for you to lose weight. Please note that you should reduce your caloric intake by maximum 10% of the total amount.
Low calorie foods
More food less calories. 80% of your daily menu should contain low calorie foods if you are willing to lose any weight. The food will still reduce your hunger and keep your gastrointestinal tract healthy, yet you will not gain weight. Number one is fiber and products containing fiber. These foods are very good for your intestines and proper digestion (no constipations anymore!). Greens, fruit and vegetables contain a lot of fiber so you can eat them limitlessly. Fiber also helps to absorb all the nutrients your body needs: fats, carbs, proteins and vitamins.
Everybody, regardless of the diet regime, needs to drink a sufficient amount of water. Scientists say that at best we should consume about 3 liters of water (including water from food). Water is used for fat burning process; therefore, we need to drink it more, while we are losing weight. The lack of water may cause metabolic and electrolyte imbalance. One more thing: during your low calorie diet the feeling of thirst decreases, so you must keep in mind to drink water throughout the day.
Fats, carbs and proteins
Your daily meals must contain 40-50% of carbohydrates, 25-35% of proteins and 10-20% of fat. Yes, fat is also an important part of your diet, even when you are losing weight. Therefore, make sure you consume no less than 10% of fat (better vegetable fat or cod-liver oil).
These are only approximate percentage numbers and everybody is different. Start with these and later you will discover your best protein-carb-fat ratio. Thus, our bodies need more carbs, than proteins and the least our body needs is fat.
Please note that the body weight start decreasing only if people consume less calories from food than the body burns during the day. So, if you need to lose some weight, you just have to reduce your daily calorie intake gradually. Plain and simple.
Why gradually? Because if you sharply reduce the amount of food and hence the caloric intake, your body may think it is in a starvation mode. It will save your fat deposits and you will not have any weight loss. According to studies, a great number of people admitted that their weight did not change during the first month of their diet.
You should cut off your caloric intake until your weight loss is 800 – 1000 calories a week. To monitor your weight loss, make sure you weigh yourself at least two or three times a week. If your body weight does not change, then you should reduce your calories a little bit more. If this doesn’t help either, and you have not lost a gram of fat tissue, then you probably are doing something wrong, or you have some thyroid or any other disorders. In this case, you should visit a doctor.
Why people fail to lose weight
Any type of diet involves changes in everyday menu. No matter what diet you stick to, it means that you have to eat differently, not the way you used to. That is a great stress for your body. Thus, many people feel hungry all the time when they reduce the number of calories in their diet. If this is the case, then try some anorectic agents (appetite suppressant drugs), like Sibutramine also known as Meridia. This medication suppresses hunger pains, increasing your satiety. Please note any drug has side effects.
Another reason is lack of willpower or determination. Many people find it very hard to fight their hunger pangs and eventually they slip up and return to their old eating habits. If you really want to lose weight, you must be willing to change your lifestyle. Weight loss is a long-term process and a lifelong struggle. If you consider your weight loss as a temporary task, we must disappoint you: you will gain weight back again.
Finally – excuses and indulgences. This is your life and your body, no excuses for you. If you know you are a “weak” person and it is hard for you to stick to a new healthy diet, then you should be very persistent. Because one excuse or one reward candy (or whatever you are tempted to) for you might be the end of the whole weight loss journey and you will have to start it all over again. So, make your own rules and stick to them no matter what.
Weight loss menu
Fat loss occurs due to energy deficiency in the body. Please remember that.
Usually carbs are found in the same foods that contain vitamins, minerals and fiber – fruit and vegetables. As mentioned above, your daily diet must contain at least 70% of carbs. All legumes and veggies are good: carrots, beetroot, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and garlic, etc. Fresh or boiled, steamed or stewed – they are good for your health. NB! Potato contains lots of starch and carbs, so you should be careful with it.
Fruits are a great source of vitamins and minerals, some of them even contain special agents able to burn fat tissue. But be careful, some fruits are high in sugar: grapes, figs, currant, banana, etc.
Cereals like buckwheat, rice, wheat or oatmeal are also rich in carbohydrates. Cook a healthy porridge using these cereals mixing them with raisins, fruit or yogurt. White rice, corn or cornflakes affect the blood sugar levels, so you should better avoid them.
Durum wheat pasta and bran bread are better than white bread and other pastry foods. Make sure you eat fresh, boiled, stewed or steamed food. Avoid fried and fast food.
Although your new diet means that you reduce the consumption of fat and carbs, this does not mean that you should reduce proteins as well. Our body needs a sufficient amount of proteins even when we keep a diet. When we suffer from protein deficiency, our immune system is getting weak, the skin becomes less elastic, dry and saggy and the hair is thin and brittle. The most important thing is that the body starts to break down your muscles when it experiences the lack of protein.
Fat burning process involves many substances, including proteins. Actually, fat burn is impossible without proteins. You should eat white meat, fish and eggs, beans and dairy products. Low-fat yogurt, kefir or cottage cheese should be in your diet list every day. You may use sports nutrition (protein shakes) between your main meals, or when you feel like you don’t want to eat heavy food.
It is better to refuse from animal fat (butter, margarine, mayonnaise and other foods containing saturated fat), replacing it by vegetable fat (oil, avocado, seafood). You must not cut off all fat from your diet; otherwise, the work of the entire body is violated.
Other means that help to lose weight
Appetite suppressants (anorectic drugs) help to get rid of constant hunger. You may use them only if you cannot deal with hunger on your own.
Thermogenics are the most popular fat burners that can enhance your metabolism and help burning fat. Usually these means are used before workouts. This way they help your body to consume 80% more calories than usually. You may use fat burners without physical training as well. They increase thermogenesis during the day, suppressing the appetite. Moreover, these agents can improve your mental state.
Scientists found out that L-carnitine accelerates the transportation of fatty acids to mitochondria where they are destroyed. This way L-carnitine breaks down the fat tissue, while your muscle tissue remains intact. In addition, L-carnitine strengthens the cardiovascular system, increasing your body tone and reducing the blood cholesterol.
Wu B. H., Lin J. C. Effects of exercise intensity on excess post-exercise oxygen consumption and substrate use after resistance exercise //Age (yr). – 2006. – Т. 20. – С. 1.8.