Diets That Work – Fast Results And Maintainable Weight Loss?
Dieting is really hard and many of us give up before we even start. Many times we are looking for diets that work fast but we have a hard time seeing results. Or worse yet, we have a hard time maintaining results.
We blame the diets, saying they are unhealthy and nothing but a fad, but perhaps we should stop and consider that all diets can actually work. What matters is our own personal preference and the circumstances we are in. It is not the diet’s fault if the cabbage soup diet doesn’t work for you (although I really don’t recommend that one), if you are the one who can’t stand cabbage, for instance.
It just means that that particular diet is not suitable for you. However, we also have to be honest and admit that many diets don’t seem to work for us, even if we try our very best. So why is that?
Why Diets Don’t Work
There are various reasons that diets don’t work. Some would actually go so far as to say that they are completely useless, because all they do is provide a quick fix that is nothing but a sticky plaster, and sometimes a dangerous one at that.
“The problem with virtually all diets is the short-term mindset into which they feed. Most guys approach diets as an all-or-nothing proposition. Rather than making small, even incremental changes in lifestyle that can last a lifetime, diets encourage you to turn your life inside out for two weeks or so.”- Active.com
It is certainly true that many diets, particularly those that actually can be considered as a “fad”, deliver exactly that. However, they aren’t designed to be followed forever but rather to help you get a kick start in terms of leading a healthier lifestyle overall.
However, there are also various diets out there that are actually full life changers. These are the ones that you can follow for the rest of your life, like being a vegetarian or vegan. Let’s take a look at some of the diets that are out there, what the barriers are and how you can overcome those.
A Low Carb Diet Plan
Low carb diets work on the basis that we eat far too much carbohydrates on a daily basis. We only need around 100 grams of carbohydrates, but we consume, on average 174 grams, nearly twice as much.
“The emphasis in your low-carb diet should be on eating natural and unprocessed foods. Cooking from scratch is always better, because in that way you can control the amount of carbohydrate you are consuming.” – Mumsnet
Many people struggle with this diet simply because they don’t know how many carbs are in each item of food. However, if you move away from anything processed and cook from fresh, you will already make the whole process a lot easier. Gather some basic knowledge about which pre-prepared foods contain what amount of carbohydrates and you will even be able to eat out.
Intermittent fasting is another diet that is actually a full lifestyle change. There are people who have done this diet in some way or another for decades and have nothing but positives to say about it. They say that it is easy to follow and the benefits are tremendous.
“It’s long been known that calorie restriction can increase the lifespan of certain animals. More recent research suggests that intermittent fasting can provide the same health benefits as constant calorie restriction, which may be helpful for those who cannot successfully reduce their everyday calorie intake.” – Peak Fitness
People fail at this one because it is hard to stick to just 500 calories per day, even if it is just two days a week. To overcome this, pick one or two days (as outlined in Eat Stop Eat) during which you aren’t overly busy, and pick days where it is unlikely that you will have a social event.
The first few times you do it, it will be very difficult, but you will also be amazed at how easy and natural it gets. And it won’t take long before it becomes second nature.
If It Fits Your Macro is seen by many as a fad diet. However, it is well respected in the world of fitness experts.
“IIFYM speaks specifically to fat loss from a macro nutrition and thus a caloric stand point and is purely a means to improve body composition. IIFYM does not address health concerns of the heart, brain or other organs and does not put an emphasis on so called ‘healthy eating’.” – IIFYM.com
The problem with this diet is that it can be quite complicated to get to grips with. So much so, in fact, that people could easily give up on the whole idea. Avoid this by reading and learning before you start.
Counting calories is all about trying to stick to the amount of calories you eat each day. After all, losing weight is a mathematical equation: eat more calories than you burn and you will gain weight.
“As Americans, we love easy sound bites, Bowden says. Counting calories (or fat grams) is far easier than actually understanding the complex effects food has on our bodies (and our waistlines). Calories do count, but they are far from the whole picture.” – WebMD
This diet or lifestyle is hard because most of us don’t really know where to start and find the calculations too complicated. Labels tell us the amount of calories in 100 grams, which means we then have to work out exactly how much that is. A good pair of scales and some low calorie recipe books will certainly help us find success with counting calories.
The Paleo Diet
Lastly, there is the Paleo diet.
“Disciplines indicate it is our modern diet, full of refined foods, trans fats and sugar, that is at the root of degenerative diseases such as obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression and infertility.” – Robb Wolf
The diet has been proven to work but is incredibly hard for some to follow. Because you cannot eat anything processed or anything with grains, some fail at this diet. Also, all meat should be organic so eating out becomes difficult when you are in a hurry. So yeah, this diet can be a challenge for some, but eating the Paleo style diet is actually really healthy and easy for others … so again, up to you as an individual.