If you are looking to lose some weight and lower your body fat percentage then changing your diet is one of the fastest ways to achieve that. Most people will either do something drastic (like almost starve themselves) or something ineffective like giving up bread (¹). In this article, we are going to look at some of the types of quick diet plans that are out there and review their effectiveness.
Let’s get some inches on you now.
How Effective is a Vegan Diet?
Vegan diets can be very healthy as they tend to eliminate a lot of unhealthy foods such as processed meats. There are also a lot of fruit and vegetables in this diet which is a great way to get all of the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs.
The downside to vegan diets is that they can contain a lot of carbohydrates, and low amounts of protein. Not that there is anything wrong with carbs, it’s just that a high carb low protein diet will usually lead to high body fat and a lack of muscle size.
If you are currently obese then a vegan diet could be a great solution, particularly if you supplement your diet with vegan protein shakes (as an alternative to whey protein). Also look for foods that are high in protein that are suitable for vegans such as lentils.
Do Low Carb Diets work?
If your diet is currently very high in carbohydrates and you decide to restrict them you will lose weight quite rapidly. If your diet contains the correct amount of carbs and you then almost eliminate them completely, you will also lose weight but not in a healthy way. The diet does work, but mostly because lowering carbs leads to lowering your calories for the day. Being in a calorie deficit is the only way to lower body fat.
If you are going to lower your carbs, just make sure that you are still eating enough to exercise properly. Keep protein levels very high, and make sure that you are still getting your fruit and vegetables whatever happens.
One diet that does this properly is the diabetic diet, here your carbohydrates will be lowered but not removed completely. What the diabetic diet does is try to replace starchy carbs with whole grain carbs which makes this a high fiber diet.
Interestingly, one of the most successful diets out there is the Mediterranean diet, which actually allows a lot of starchy carbs such as bread and pasta. So if you love your starchy carbs then make sure you follow this diet.
Do Detox diet plans work?
Sadly not, whilst you may lose weight very fast in the first 2 weeks or so long term it is mostly water weight and there is no evidence that detox plans such as the fruit diet or other similar programs have any long-term success. A lot of these detoxes only work by severely restricting foods until you are following a sub 1200 calorie meal plan. If you are usually eating 3000 calories then, of course, you are going to lose weight! But it won’t be healthy or sustainable.
Are there any foods that burn fat?
No. You can eat certain foods for weight loss, but they are not fat burning. Good foods for weight loss are foods that increase satiety (fullness after a meal). For example, eggs are great as they are quite a low calorie but will leave you feeling full afterward, preventing you from snacking or over-eating.
Other examples of foods that will increase satiety are potatoes and for some reason, decaffeinated coffee also helps. Products that contain caffeine can also be beneficial as they can increase your metabolism.
What should I eat to lose weight?
Discovering exactly what to eat to lose weight is almost impossible as everyone is different. However, keeping it simple and creating meals that contain the following types of food will work for most people. Make sure that your diet has a lot of fruit and vegetables (more veg than fruit), lots of protein coming from (fish, lean meats, dairy, and foods like lentils etc), and whole grain carbohydrates that are high in fiber.
There are also a lot of diet tips out there, but the best one is this: Track your calories using a calorie counting app. What’s great about this is that it gives you control over your diet, and teaches you about what foods may be higher calorie than you were expecting. You can also find great replacement foods using this method.
Search the internet for weight loss recipes for meals that you actually enjoy (²). There are millions of recipes out there. Try looking for a lower calorie version of a meal that you already know that you like. For example, if your favorite meal is beef chili with rice, then see if you can find a chili recipe that uses turkey mince instead of beef (which can lower the calories by 200 per person).
Do Meal plans for weight loss work?
They can do, but they need to be personalized, you are a unique individual with your own relationship with certain foods. Downloading a random meal plan off the internet might work, but on the other hand, it might be filled with foods that you don’t like, worse still it might be designed for someone on a higher calorie diet than you, in which case you would end up gaining weight!
The trick to dieting is to analyze your current diet, work out whether you are currently gaining weight on it, losing weight on it, or maintaining weight. If you are losing weight on it then keep it the same (or add exercise to lose even more weight). If you are maintaining or even gaining weight then cutting calories out of your diet will help you begin to lose weight.
Using a calorie tracker you can identify where you are eating too many calories, maybe it’s dinner or through snacks. Maybe your love of fizzy drinks is costing you 300 calories per day. Find out where you can safely lower calories and then do so.
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