Healthy Weight Loss
Dieting to Lose Weight & Reduce Body Fat
How to Choose a Good Weight Loss Diet
Choose a Realistic Healthy Weight Loss Diet
We all want to lose weight fast, preferably by eating our normal favorite foods! Unfortunately, successful weight loss means slow but steady weight loss and a change of eating habits. Here are a few suggestions to help you choose a successful weight loss diet.
1. A Healthy Weight Loss Diet
The emphasis of any sensible weight reducing diet plan should be healthy weight loss, not fast weight loss. So the best type of weight loss diet is a calorie-reduced version of a healthy balanced diet, using foods from all food groups as outlined in the Food Pyramid Guidelines and Diet Guidelines
Weight Loss Pyramid
The weight loss pyramid (see below) is a replication of the Food Guide Pyramid, except that the number of servings from each food group is reduced to the minimum amount for good health. Generally speaking a weight loss diet should be viewed as a normal diet minus calories, leaving a nutrient-dense eating plan calorie controlled for slow but steady weight loss.
Table 1. Weight Loss Pyramid
Healthy Weight Loss Diet - In a Nutshell
Weight loss diet theories are everywhere. So let's ignore the High-Protein Low-Carb vs. Low Fat diet argument and focus on what constitutes a healthy weight loss diet plan.
In terms of total calories, and calories from fat, carbs and protein, here are ballpark figures for a healthy weight loss diet.
2. A Weight Loss Diet Written by a Qualified Doctor/Dietitian/Nutritionist
Even the most qualified doctors and so-called experts can create unhealthy weight loss diets. Nevertheless, it makes good diet sense to choose a weight loss diet written by a professional. Ideally, it should provide a healthy diet plan plus advice on nutrition and exercise, plus a weight loss support service.
3. A Weight Loss Diet with Sufficient Calories
Many weight loss diets are based on gimmicks. For example, they advise you to restrict certain foods, or they tell you to eat a specific combination of diet-foods. However, the reason such diets help you to lose weight is because their calorie-level is very low. In other words, you lose weight because these diets are feeding you a very low level of calories, NOT because of their magical restricted-food or food-combination formulas.
For sample diets at three different calorie levels, and advice on serving sizes: see Food Pyramid Guidelines
4. A Weight Loss Diet that Offers Slow but Steady Weight Loss
A sensible weight loss diet offers a healthy rate of weight reduction. After all, the human body can only sustain fat loss of 'about' 2-3 pounds per week - more rapid weight loss won't be fat-loss but water or water-and-muscle loss. Water loss is regained almost immediately, while loss of muscle or lean body tissue is unhealthy and causes a drop in metabolic rate. A lower metabolism can lead to weight gain.
5. A Weight Loss Diet that Focuses Exclusively on Real Food
Diet and weight loss supplements and 'essential extras' are big business. But usually these diet and weight loss extras are unnecessary and expensive. Instead, choose a diet that focuses just on real food.
6. A Weight Loss Diet You Can Follow for Life
Some diets offer short-term weight loss only. Their eating plans are too restrictive for long term use. These diets are not ideal and cannot improve your long term eating habits. Ideally, choose a weight loss diet you can follow for life and which teaches you lasting eating habits.
Weight Loss Diets that Are Less Reliable - Summary
Sources include: US Dietary Guidelines & Food Guide Pyramid (FDA). UK Health Service.
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