Weight gain, the scourge of modern Western society…In this day and age the question in the title above has probably become an auto-complete form on Google all on its own.
Type the first five words in that search bar and check for yourself if you want. Among health related problems, weight loss is a definite top 5, hence you will find an endless number of websites on the issue. And that, of course, is only online. In day to day life you get nutritionists, food coaches and advice from medical professionals of all kinds, whether you want it or not.
When it comes to weight loss, you have so many options available you may think there are too many. Most of them work more like general advice for diet adjustments, that is long term planning. Others offer you the shorter version: a diet you need to strictly follow for a given amount of time. Let's see what options there are out there and which suit you best.
Long term planning: lifestyle and diet adjustments
Gaining weight is not necessarily a matter of cause and effect. You can keep the same eating habits and the same daily schedule and yet find yourself gaining weight with no explanation whatsoever. You have to remember to add stress as part of the equation.
You can ask yourself what is the best diet to lose weight but the truth is there is no universal answer to that. Sure, you can go with the classic options (eat your veggies!), give up fatty meats and carbohydrates, cut the portions in half and hit the gym more often and all of that is actually recommended for a healthy life but sometimes it is not enough. As I said, there are countless diets you can try. Some are not so much diets but general guidelines as to what you should eat and what you should avoid. A good overview of the most common healthy diets can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healthy_diet.
Others give you a certain dietary schedule for a fixed amount of time, along with a number of kilograms you are supposed to lose if you follow them to the letter. Some work, some do not. You have to remember that there are no universal solutions. Your body is your own. It reacts in its own way to whatever you choose to do to it. In regards to that dietary schedule option…well, let's see what it would involve
Short term planning: fast diets
This other option involves going with a fast diet, that is, a radical change in your eating habits for a set period of time. No one could deny the efficiency of this method but you should always take the risks into consideration. What kind of risks, you wonder? Think about it. You have a certain lifestyle, a certain daily routine with good and bad habits, just like any one of us. A radical change in that routine can make your organism go haywire.
Not all diets in this category are bad for you but the best thing is to ease yourself into such a diet instead of going for it all the way, all at once. Everyone's organism is different but, physical effects aside; you have to agree it's kind of hard to go cold turkey on turkey. Which brings us to the other issue involved, that is…
Why diets are hard to follow to the letter
We all have our dietary quirks. Whether or not our favorite foods are good for us hardly matters. Really. Let's be honest, it's hard to give up on chocolate. Or beer. Or all the other delicious things that are bad for you and you know it. It's not only about that. The big problem is that diets in popular perception suffer from bad publicity: you think diet and you think boiled chicken and steamed vegetables with no spices to save the day. Of course, it is not always the case and we shall discuss this further on but that's really the general image.
You say you are on a diet and you get compassionate looks. And in a way that is actually normal. A healthy diet involves a measure of restraint. It means you have to abstain from things you would consider a part of your daily eating routine. And besides this change you also have to deal with those compassionate looks from your social circle.
Hey, no one said it is going to be easy. I would say that the most important part when it comes to choosing a suitable diet for you is the research. You have so many options available there's really no way for you not to find your own, the one that suits you best. All you have to do besides the research itself is to have a complete medical exam, one that is up to date. Choosing a diet will affect your body in more ways than one and there is no reason for you to go in blind.
Choosing your diet: what is the best weight loss program?
A lot of weight loss programs go with the quick, radical version of a diet. The disadvantages, well, those we've discussed above. Overall it's a matter of one's organism. It's also a matter of how drastic the diet is, along with how long it is supposed to last. I would say that the best time frame for a diet, that is a change in your lifestyle and eating habits, ranges between 10 to 12 weeks. Whether it works or not, that is for your own body to decide, but if you are to look for, let's say, a 10 week weight loss plan, on average, that is your best option.
A 10-week diet plan is sufficiently lengthy to give a visible result, yet short enough not to affect your health in the long run. When you ask yourself what is the best diet to lose weight you have to remember how to fit said diet into your long-term dietary habits. Remember you are looking for a long-term solution. Most of these are available online. One that comes to mind is http://www.metaboliccooking.com.
Give that link a shot and you will see how you can integrate a healthy diet into your daily routine without any significant change to your lifestyle. I mentioned this before: diets get a bad rep. But the thing is they don't have to. It's just the popular image (you know, the one with the veggies and the tasteless chicken) but there are a million recipes you can use and enjoy while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Losing weight is, after all, a matter of health first and image second.
We all look up to Hollywood stars and try to attain the same statuesque proportions but, in the end, weight loss is a matter of one's health. You don't lose weight because you want to achieve Hollywood proportions; you do it because you know there are at least a handful of problems related to being overweight. You do it because you do not want to go through weight related problems when you are in your 40s. You do it because there is truly no reason you should not.