I’ve been helping thousands of everyday people successfully lose weight for more than 10 years. Recently, I’ve undertaken a study on what’s going on in the weight loss industry, only to find that 95% of diets fail.
We’re told that, in order to lose weight, you must do 60 – 90 minutes of physical activity and eat a balanced diet (Surgeon General of the USA), if it’s really that simple, why are 68% of Americans overweight? (Lancet Journal of Medicine)
I’ll cover 5 strong reasons why diets fail and how you can achieve fast weight loss that is both safe and healthy.
1) Carbs are NOT the Enemy and Carbs ARE the Enemy
There are two types of carbs, simple carbs such as sugar and complex carbs, such as pasta/fibre/rice.
Let’s talk about complex carbs first, they are not the enemy! It’s all about portion control, here’s a great example, the recommend serving size of pasta is only half a cup, when you order pasta at a restaurant, you are serve 4 cups of pasta! Complex Carbs are not the enemy, ridiculous portion sizes are (Miller, RD LDN).
Simple carbs are the enemy. They create massive spikes in blood sugar levels, your body’s natural response is to increase insulin levels. As a result, the foods high in sugar are stored as fat (O’Brian Ph.d) The science is a bit more complex than that, but you get the idea, simple carbs are bad.
2) Diet Results DON’T LAST
The problem with diets, they’re only short term. A study by the by Harvard School of Medicine researchers found that 80% of people on a diet, over a three year period, actually put more weight on. Meaning, they lost weight at the beginning – after a few months, they gain it all back.
The reason for this is simple, with a diet, you’re restricting the foods that you eat, so once you’ve lost weight, you go back to your normal eating habits and thus, gain weight. (Surgeon General of Michigan State)
An interesting study: researches at Flinders University, in Adelaide Australia, found that dieters who changed eating habits by following a smart meal plan, were 27 times more likely to experience weight loss over a 3 year period, compared to those that followed a crash diet.
3) Avoid diets that recommend calorie or points counting.
Calorie counting is one of the worse methods to lose weight, simply because it’s not practical for you to be weighing and measuring all the food you eat. An average recipe contains 8 ingredients, are you really going to stand there and measure all the calories in 8 ingredients before you cook them? You might when you start the diet, but over time, almost everybody gives up.
4) High Protein/Low Carb Diets Screws Up Your Health
Diets such as the Atkins diet promote high protein, low carb meals can be extremely bad for your health, usually, all protein sources are high in saturated fat, which can cause clogging in the arteries. It’s actually recommend by the American HeartAssociation to limit the intake of saturated fat to less than 10% of your daily intake.
By limiting the amount of Carbs you eat, the end result is you feel lethargic and constipated, which is not much fun. In fact, 60% of your daily intake of calories should consist of carbohydrates and the majority of that 60% should be complex carbohydrates.
5) Diets are EXPENSIVE
An article published in the Wall Street Journal estimated that Americans spent 32 Billion Dollars on diet and health food supplements. Obviously diet supplements are not helping if 68% of Americans are overweight. (Lancet Journal of Medicine)
The problem with these is as soon as you stop buying the food, 98.7% of people regain the weight (Tann, 2011). These types of diets have a higher failure rate then other general diets.
Here’s what to look for in a diet!
From my study, I’ve concluded that there are 5 main points that you should look for in a diet, to ensure that you are one of those 5% of dieters that succeed.
1) The diet must acknowledge that sugar is the enemy. It should also list foods to avoid that have the potential to spike your blood sugar levels.
2) The diet must NOT be a diet; rather, it should be a selection of meal plans. As we’ve discussed, diets don’t work in the long term.
3) These meal plans must focus on a variety of food. For example, don’t use a diet that only recommends boiled cabbage. Bad idea.
4) You must be able to adapt the diet to suit your own needs. (E.g., if the meal plan recommends a food that you don’t like, you don’t have to eat it)
5) A diet that recommends you buy supplements, shakes or pre-packaged meals is NOT a diet I recommend.
Which diet do I recommend?
After careful consideration, I’ve decided that the best diet which meets all these criteria is a diet I bet you’ve never heard of before. It’s called The Diet Solution and its main focus is on changing eating habits in clever ways. There’s really not point me going into too much detail, it’s all mentioned on their website.
Sticking To A Weight Loss Diet
If you’ve tried dieting before, you’ve likely experienced how hard a restrictive weight loss diet is to stick to. With any diet, it’s necessary to rigidly adhere to the guidelines of the diet in order to lose weight. By cheating on your diet, you will be consuming more calories than you should be. Sometimes this will result in you maintaining your current weight at the end of the week; in other cases, it may result in you actually gaining weight. In order to lose weight effectively, it’s important to follow your diet religiously.
You will find it hard to stick to a weight loss diet if you feel the urge to overeat or if you eat as a response to stress. It’s impossible to live in a vacuum while you are dieting; you cannot put your life on hold while losing weight. Stressful life events can crop up in your life which can lead to you turning to food as comfort. If you habitually binge eat as a response to stress, you will find yourself unable to lose weight steadily since you are always at risk to overeat and consume a large amount of calories. Binge eating as a result of stress or depression often causes a feedback loop where you cheat on your weight loss diet, then feel guilty about cheating on your diet which causes you to be more likely to binge eat again. If you feel that you have a problem with compulsive eating, you should seek the aid of a therapist; since compulsive eating is now recognized as a major problem, many therapists are knowledgeable about strategies you can use to break the cycle of stress eating.
There are several tips you can use to reduce the temptation to overeat and snack on junk food while on a weight loss diet. One tip is that you should never purchase junk food at the store. If you have junk food laying around the house, it will obviously be much easier for you to succumb to temptation and for you to cheat on your diet. Try to keep any food that isn’t approved by your diet away from your house. Get the support of your family members during the time you are on a weight loss diet and convince them to stop buying junk food so that you can avoid the temptation that easy access to unhealthy food brings.
Overeating brings momentary pleasure, but will result in you being unhappy with your weight loss in the long term. Keep your long term weight loss goals in mind at all times when on a weight loss diet. Even though it may feel pleasurable to eat the wrong kinds offoods and cheat on your diet now, it will result in you feeling sad or guilty when you realize the results of cheating on your diet when you step on the scale. Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t losing weight as fast as you think you should be. The rate of weight loss from dieting varies from person to person; as long as you are steadily losing weight, you will eventually reach your weight loss goal.
The Atkins Diet for Fast Weight Loss
The Atkins diet has been a popular choice for dieters who want fast weight loss. On the diet, you put your body in a state of ketosis. In ketosis, your body converts stored fat in your body to ketones which are used by your body as fuel. On a normal diet, your body would use glycogen as fuel which comes from the carbohydrates that you eat. However, by restricting your carbohydrate intake your body must use ketones instead of glycogen in order to fuel your body. The conversion of fat into ketones by the process of ketogensis will result in fast weight loss.
In order to correctly follow the Atkins diet, you must reduce your carbohydrate intake until you are in a state of ketosis. The maximum amount of carbohydrates that you can eat each day and still have your body go into a state of ketosis varies from person to person, but a good general guideline is to eat under 100 grams of carbohydrates a day. You can purchase ketosis testing strips from the internet or from vitamin stores, which analyze your saliva to determine if it contains ketones. If ketones are detected in your saliva, you are definitely in a state of ketosis. Other indicators you can use to determine if you are in ketosis or not is to check if your breath or urine smells fruity – the presence of ketones will give both the odor of fruit. By confirming that your body has entered into ketosis, you will know that you are setting yourself up for fast weight loss.
You should make sure to take vitamin supplements while on the diet, as it will be hard to get all the vitamins and minerals you need while eating a diet that is low in carbohydrates. You won’t be able to eat many fruits and vegetables and still keep your carbohydrates consumed per day low enough to go into ketosis, which means you will need to take supplements to fill in the gaps. Healthy foods you can eat on the Atkins diet include chicken, turkey, and fiber-containing vegetables. Fiber is a carbohydrate that is not processed by the body, so it does not affect whether or not you go into ketosis. It’s important to eat a lot of fiber to keep your digestive system well-regulated. You should try to minimize the amount of dietary fat you consume while on the Atkins diet, as it adds calories that can slightly slow down the rate of your fast weight loss.
Make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids while on the diet. Being on a low-carbohydrate diet and in a state of ketosis can be very taxing on your liver and kidneys. In order to avoid health complications, you will need to drink at least a gallon of water a day while on the diet. This helps move things along in your kidneys and liver and reduces the amount of damage done to them by the state of ketosis. Drinking lots of water also helps you feel fuller throughout the day, reducing the urge to binge eat and thus increasing the rate of your fast weight loss.
The Best Fast Weight Loss Diets
For achieving the most rapid weight loss results, you will need to go on a very low calorie diet, or VLCD. There are a variety of different VLCD diets out there, but all will be successful fast weight loss diets. Many of them rely on drinking protein shakes that supply the balance of nutrients that your body needs to function while also containing vitamins and minerals. The common characteristic of these fast weight loss diets is that you restrict your daily calorie intake to only 800 calories.
Very low calorie diets should ideally be monitored by a health care practitioner such as your general physician. It’s very difficult to try to get all the essential nutrients that you need while only consuming 800 calories a day. Your physician can help tailor fast weight loss diets to your specific nutrient needs. Going on a very low calorie diet without consulting a physician first can be very dangerous, as you may not be getting all the nutrients that your body requires. You may end up doing damage to your body and your internal organs by going on such a restrictive diet for a long period of time. In order to stay safe and avoid damaging your body’s organs, you should only do a very low calorie diet under the supervision of a physician who can correctly assess your body’s requirements and how your body is adjusting to the diet.
Since you are eating such a low amount of calories, your body has no choice but to burn the stored fat in your body as fuel. Your body needs to naturally burn a certain number of calories per day in order to survive. If you aren’t consuming enough calories for your body to use the food you consume as fuel, then it will turn to the fat stores in your body in order to fulfill your energy requirements. The extreme fat burning properties of very low calorie diets are why they are fast weight loss diets that can help you drop pounds faster than any other type of diet.
You should slowly ramp up the amount of calories you are consuming after coming off of the diet, as your body will be in starvation mode and immediately reverting to your past eating habits may result in massive weight gain. When you restrict the amount of calories you eat for a long enough period of time, your body will go into starvation mode. In starvation mode, your body will naturally want to store all the excess calories you can consume as fat. While on a very low calorie diet, this isn’t a problem as you are not consuming any extra calories. However, if you immediately revert to your old eating habits after reaching your ideal weight, your body will still be in starvation mode and your body will take all the calories it can get in order to build up its fat stores again. By slowly increasing the number of calories you are eating after reaching your ideal weight, you will avoid the rebound weight gain that you would otherwise experience.
The Easiest Weight Loss Diets
If you want to lose weight and keep it off, choosing a diet that is easy to stick to and is maintainable for the rest of your life is the best way to do it. Sensible weight loss diets teach you healthy eating habits that you can carry with you even after you have reached your ideal weight. Diets that are severely restrictive and that cannot be adhered to for the rest of your life are not good choices for lifelong weight loss. You may be able to quickly reach your ideal weight on one of these weight loss diets, but you will most likely find yourself quickly gaining weight once you return to your old eating habits. The less you weigh, the less calories your body will expend per day maintaining your vital organs and generating body heat. If you return to your old high calorie diet after losing a large amount of weight, you will undoubtedly experience weight gain due to this fact.
You should select a diet that allows you to eat a wide variety of food; there is no need to deprive yourself of the foods you love as long as you eat them in moderation. A diet that heavily restricts the types of food you can eat will be stressful to follow. The urge to cheat on your diet will grow stronger and stronger if you deprive yourself of the foods you love. After the first time you cheat on your diet, it will become easier to cheat again and again until eventually you’re no longer on the diet at all. The easiest weight loss diets are more about portion size and preferring healthy foods over unhealthy ones, not about rigidly adhering to a list of foods you can and cannot eat. You can eat chocolate cake, but you can’t eat it very often and you can’t eat an entire cake in one sitting. You should see the opportunity to eat appetizing foods that are unhealthy for you as a rare treat, not as something that you should be doing on a regular basis.
Many dieters have found that the No S diet allows them to achieve safe and steady weight loss. It’s one of the easiest weight loss diets to remember the rules for. On the No S diet, you only have to follow three simple rules: you don’t eat sweets, you don’t eat snacks, and you don’t go back for seconds. Remembering these simple rules is easier than memorizing lists of approved and unapproved foods. Not eating sweets will cut a large amount of empty calories out of your diet, as sweets are often full of simple sugar and have very little in the way of nutrition. Not eating snacks will help you better know how many calories you have eaten in the day; it’s easy to get carried away when mindlessly snacking on food. The no seconds rule is all about portion control and stopping overeating. The other property of this diet is that you are allowed to cheat on days that begin with an S, just as long as you are sensible about it.