Dieting for weight loss

There are many ways of dieting to lose weight and many more books written about them. It can sometimes seem confusing and those offering a ‘quick win’ quite often aren’t quite what you may think. Some are very restrictive; some seem too good to be true and others require lots of different products it can become quite confusing to follow. A number of the common ones will be discussed below, but the important thing is to find a strategy that works for you

High protein – made popular by Dr. Robert Atkins, the high protein diet was extremely popular in the early 2000's. The basic premise is to sacrifice carbohydrates but eat as much protein and fat as you want. So, does it work? Well yes. And no. It depends on the individual. Its true many people find success with this diet but it’s no magic bullet. Carbohydrates make up to 60-70% of the average persons diet. If you remove these calories it leaves a lot to back fill. Fats and proteins can make you feel fuller for longer and aren’t particularly enjoyable to eat. So what often happens is people aren’t able to eat enough protein and fat to make up for the calories they’re skipping by not eating carbohydrates and they lose weight. The problems with this method of dieting however are that the high fat content, which usually come from animal sources and so are predominantly saturated fats, can have detrimental effects on cholesterol as well as leading to other cardiovascular concerns in the longer term. Additionally, the lack of variety means people struggle to maintain the diet as they end up craving carbohydrates. These are, after all the, most satisfying foods, leading people to go back to old habits. Finally, fruits and vegetables, which are not encouraged on the diet contain many important vitamins and minerals as well as fibre which will be missed when following a very restrictive diet.

Keto – a more modern version of the above, but working on the same premise of low carbohydrate, high protein and fat, the keto diet proclaims to put people into ketosis. Ketosis is a state your body goes into when it is using primarily fat (as opposed to blood sugar) as its fuel source. Now although this will happen when protein content is moderate (around 60-70g per day) much more, and the body starts to use the proteins for fuel and not the fat. This then prevents ketosis from occurring. Again, it works on the same principles as above for weight loss in that it is hard to make up for the lack of carbohydrates with fats and proteins, and that’s why you lose weight.

Juice diets and “detoxes” – the first thing to say here is that your body needs no help in detoxing itself provided proper nutrition is observed. The fad for detoxes and juices has no scientific basis. In fact, many juices and smoothies contain lots of sugar and the fruits have been blended to release them. These are quickly released when consumed, even though it is fruit based sugar, which can lead to a spike in insulin and cravings, leading to more eating and potentially weight gain. On top of this fruits contain very little protein and fat so are not nutritionally complete either.

All three of the examples above rely on cutting out one of the 3 major nutrients – protein, carbohydrates and fats. These overly restrictive diets are difficult to stick to and long term may result in health complications or deficiencies. A more sustainable approach is to eat all types of foods in smaller, calorie-controlled amounts. NewWeigh MRP foods provide all essential nutrients in a low-calorie meal and so are ideal for sustainable weight loss or maintenance of a healthy weight and your NewWeigh Pharmacy is always there to help.

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