There are some great articles, studies & celebrities that promote a Very Low Calorie Deficit diet or intermittent fasting. A low-calorie diet is a structured eating plan that restricts a person's daily caloric intake commonly for the goal of weight loss. There are those who say these are faddy, and whilst they get short term results, they can be difficult to maintain for the long run.
On the other spectrum, there are those that advocate a well-balanced diet, mixing the main food groups but ensuring you're getting the healthiest versions of those foods.
So what is the best kind of diet to have when you're trying to lose weight?
In short, none of them are the best per se, however one of them will be best for you! It also depends on what you are looking for. Are you looking for short term results which can be tricky to maintain in the long run, or longer term results that can be maintained more easily?
Everyone is different but we all have one thing in common - we are here to lose weight. If we are spending money on a weight loss programme, we want to lose the weight & keep it off, right?
For weight loss, it's ok to start slowly with just a small reduction in calories. After all, diets should be approached as a lifestyle modification—not a quick fix. For fasting & low-calorie diets, if you're too strict in the beginning, you might find the calorie restriction too difficult later on as your body tires due to the lack of calories.
Various academics, nutritionists and fitness experts will tell you that when it comes to healthy, long-term weight loss, one of the secrets to success is to eat a balanced diet. Balance here means eating the right amount of nutritious food and replacing the bad foods with the good ones.
In our fast food world, it is easy to get the quantities wrong and also miss out on the quality as well. Sometimes we just crave those quick-fix carbs to give us that much needed energy boost or satisfaction. That's how the jab/tabs help you - they reduce your hunger & carb cravings so you naturally reduce your portion sizes without starving your body or forcing yourself not to eat.
But what about when you finish the jabs/tabs? Well, the goal is to be able to sustain these new portion sizes. By reducing your calories to a sensible level when you're on the medication, once you stop the medication you should naturally be able to keep it up, even if your calories do rise slightly, it shouldn't be too much to risk putting weight on. This is simply because your mind & stomach will be used to sensible portion sizes that are enough to sustain & feed your body, without starving it on a very restrictive diet which you wouldn't be able to keep up with after you stop the medication.
Another way to ensure your hunger is satisfied is to look at what types of food you are eating as part of a well-balanced diet. Instead of snacking constantly during the day, do your best to eat three regular meals, something that we advocate. Cook or have your food cooked using wholesome, natural ingredients and then eat with others in a relaxed manner, making meal times as normal as possible without the restrictive & sometimes anti-social fad diets or fasting.
This leads into the whole issue of how you eat your food. When a family sits down together, it helps them handle the stresses of daily life and the hassles of day-to-day existence. As we all know, stress can lead to comfort eating and those pesky hunger hormones going into overdrive to help us deal with the stress.
Eating together tends to promote more sensible eating habits, which in turn helps family members manage their weight more easily. So, sit down with your family and eat nice meals together - that is why we advocate eating up to 3 meals a day so that you can keep this highly sociable and much needed interaction at dinner time. Fasting can take this aspect away and make dinner less sociable, less fun and more torturous having to sit & watch others eat.
Studies have shown that if you want to lose weight on a long term basis, you have to change your diet or your pattern of exercise or both with the key ingredient being a change that is not only doable but also enjoyable. A low-calorie diet can be effective, but it requires a lot of discipline in order for it to work and be safe.
"While there are lots of fad diets out there, it is much better if you can settle into a way of life that you can follow for the long run. Fasting just isn't that good for mental wellbeing, socialising or long term weight control - once you stop fasting, the weight is more likely to start to creep back on" says Natasha, our in-house nutritionist.
GQ noted that whilst fasting has shown a great initial result for 67% of it's Fasting Challenge, it was found that fasting is more likely to be unsustainable in the long wrong, as it means you are on a constant restricted intake for life. "Diet for life? That is something we as humans find very hard to stick to" says Natasha.
So what is the verdict?
We advocate a heathy, balanced diet, utilising the main food groups and having up to 3 meals a day. Simple changes, such as swapping white processed foods for wholegrain natural foods, can make a massive difference in the long run, not only for your weight but also for your general health & wellbeing.
You have to do what is sustainable and what will give you a semblance of normality & happiness. We are always here to advise or have a quick chat if you feel the need to.
Thanks for reading,
The Slim Transformation Team