World best diets to lose weight
These days we are saturated with information about diets and weight loss programs. Whether you are looking on the internet or on social media, you have a new item coming up every month and some of the info is just plain contradictory. For example, do not eat eggs as they increase cholesterol, then eat eggs as they are the packed with essential nutrients.
So, what should we believe in ?
Here are the top 5 diets, approved by experts internationally and these have been rated in terms of results, sustainability and ease to be incorporated into your daily life. We have added the pros and cons of each diet to help you in your decision.
- The Mediteranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is inspired by the countries surrounding the Mediterranean sea that promotes eating whole foods and traditional home made dishes. In general, it is high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil. It usually includes a low intake of meat and dairy foods.
The Mediterranean diet has been linked with good health, including a healthier heart.
How to make your diet more Mediterranean
You can make your diet more Mediterranean-style by:
- eating plenty of starchy foods, such as bread and pasta
- eating plenty of fruit and vegetables
- including fish in your diet
- eating less meat
- choosing products made from vegetable and plant oils, such as olive oil
Pros : Research has shown that as well as having a positive impact on overall health including improvement in cardiovascular diseases, better management of Type 2 diabetes, and improvement in mental health, the Lediterranean diet was the best for weight management. This type of diet promotes a healthy diet therefore, not only will you lose weight but you will keep it off. In comparison to drastic weight loss program where you run the risk of gaining more weight in the next 2-5 years, with this type of diet, it is a life long process.
Cons : As this diet promotes home-cooked meals, it can sometimes be an inconvenience if you are not keen on cooking. However, there are a lot of easy recipes available and with the new age of automated cooking, you may find various recipes available to ease your mind.
- The Keto (Ketogenic) diet
A “typical” ketogenic diet consists of at least 70 percent of calories derived from fat, less than 10 percent from carbs and less than 20 percent from protein. The ketogenic diet, long used to treat epilepsy in children, calls for 90 percent of daily calories to come from fat, with the amount of protein or carbs varying as long as it’s 4 grams of fat for every combined 1 gram of carb and protein, according to the American Epilepsy Society.
The goal of the ketogenic diet is to enter a state of ketosis through fat metabolism. In a ketogenic state, the body uses primarily fat for energy instead of carbohydrates with low levels of carbohydrate, fats can be converted into ketones to fuel the body.
So, what does it consist of ?
There are several versions of the ketogenic diet, including:
- Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): This is a very low carb, moderate protein and high fat diet. It typically contains 70% fat, 20% protein, and only 10% carbs
- Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This diet involves periods of higher carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high carb days.
- Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This diet allows you to add carbs around workouts.
- High protein ketogenic diet: This is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.
Do I lose weight with the ketogenic diet ?
A ketogenic diet is an effective way to lose weight and lower risk factors for disease.
In fact, research shows that the ketogenic diet may be as effective for weight loss as a low fat diet.
What’s more, the diet is so filling that you can lose weight without counting calories or tracking your food intake .
One review of 13 studies found that following a very low carb, ketogenic diet was slightly more effective for long-term weight loss than a low fat diet. People who followed the keto diet lost an average of 2 pounds (0.9 kg) more than the group that followed a low fat diet.
The ketogenic diet can boost insulin sensitivity and cause fat loss, leading to significant health benefits for people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. Also, you feel better supported throughout the day and do not feel too restricted in the program.
Whilst your body gets into ketosis, some people have complained of bad breath and keto flu as your immune system is a bit low. To prevent this from happening, consult a health professional for immune boosting supplements.
- The Paleo diet
A way of eating that truly goes back to basics, Paleolithic diets are all about eating like our ancestors did. The Paleo diet is said to promote a more natural way of eating with low levels of sugar, salt plus the elimination of processed, refined foods. The idea is that this is more in tune with how our bodies have evolved and how over the centuries we would have fuelled ourselves. As a consequence the plan typically (but not always) omits dairy foods, cereal grains, starchy vegetables as well as sugar in favour of wild, lean animal foods, non-starchy fruit and vegetables and honey. Healthy fats are encouraged such as the unsaturated varieties and specifically oils like olive, flax, walnut and avocado.
The following is a summary of foods generally permitted on the diet:
- Allowed: Fresh lean meats, fish, shellfish, eggs, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, olive oil, coconut oil, and small amounts of honey. Certain root vegetables like sweet potatoes and cassava may be allowed in moderation because of their high nutrient content.
- Not Allowed: Whole grains, cereals, refined grains and sugars, dairy products, white potatoes, legumes (peanuts, beans, lentils), alcohol, coffee, salt, refined vegetable oils such as canola, and most processed foods in general.
Studies show that the Paleo diet is effective for healthy weight loss with concurrent reductions in total fat mass, liver fat, belly fat, BMI, waist circumference, and hip-to-waist ratio. And this weight loss success occurs with study participants eating as much as they want!. Studies also go a long way to explaining why: the Paleo diet provides higher satiety per energy per meal, meaning we feel fuller after consuming fewer calories.
Calorie counting and portion sizes are not emphasized. Some plans allow a few “cheat” non-Paleo meals a week, especially when first starting the diet, to improve overall compliance.
- Meal planning. Because the diet relies heavily on fresh foods, expect a time commitment to plan, purchase, prepare, and cook meals. This may be challenging for busy lifestyles or for those less experienced with cooking.
- Higher cost. Fresh meats, fish, and produce tend to be pricier than processed versions such as frozen or canned.
- Excluding foods. The exclusion of entire categories of commonly eaten foods like whole grains and dairy requires frequent label reading in the supermarket and in restaurants. It may also increase the risk of deficiencies such as calcium, vitamin D, and B vitamins, if these nutrients are not consistently eaten from the allowed foods or a vitamin supplement.
Chrononutrition is a method developed in 1986 by Dr. Alain Delabos and medically tested by scientists at the IREN (European Institute for Research on Nutrition), it allows to lose weight without depriving itself .
Chrononutrition takes up the old adage: ” king’s breakfast, prince’s lunch and poor man’s dinner”. The body secretes hormones (insulin and cortisol) about every 4 hours . That’s why whenever our body requires food to function properly, it’s important to bring the right foods at the right time.
This translates into: from fat to breakfast , a dense meal at lunch , sweet to taste and light to dinner (those who are not hungry can even skip dinner because in the evening, the body consumes a lot less energy).
The breakfast must be rich after the night, the body needs energy to attack the day. We allow ourselves a cheese, bread with a little butter, 1 egg and a hot drink (no milk and no sugar).
We take care not to eat too much at lunch and focus on animal protein and starchy foods. For example one can take, white meat or fish associated with pasta or rice and a few green vegetables. For dessert, we can end with a white cheese with red fruits.
The snack is very important, the goal is to steal the appetite not to throw on the dinner. We give way to dark chocolate, or a handful of hazelnuts or almonds. You can enjoy nibbling fresh fruit or a glass of natural fruit juice.
For dinner, we opt for a very light diet and easily assimilable food: fish, seafood, white meat with a small bowl of vegetables.
This diet allows you to eat nearly everything with two cheat meals per week. You feel happy and better supported with this program and you may lose up to 5kgs the first month. Furthermore, this lifestyle has shown benefits in reducing cardiovascular diseases, lower cholesterol and improve Type 2 diabetes.
Breakfast is a big meal and not everyone is happy to eat cheese in the morning. Also, chrononutrition involves specific food consumption that may impact your social life but is easily adjusted. And finally, items may become quite costly as you are required to eat a good amount of meat and cheese that may add up quite quickly.
When strating a new diet, it is important to seek professional help because nutrition is a very complex subject and may cause complications if not properly advised.