What is the best kind of diet to lose weight?
Patients ask me all the time what diet is best for weight loss, and the truth is there is no “one-size-fits-all” diet.
Trends like eliminating gluten, eating only protein or detoxing on juices isn’t a healthy solution for achieving the optimal weight for your body.
Many diets today focus on avoiding or reducing one of the three dietary macronutrients – carbohydrates, fat, and protein. While low fat and low carbohydrate diets are the most popular, for most people it is unnecessary to significantly change the composition of their diet to lose weight.
The best strategy for weight loss is simply taking in fewer calories than you burn throughout the day. If you’re able to do this consistently you will lose weight.
The human body metabolizes carbohydrates, fat and protein to provide the body with energy, but the key is eating quality nutrients in appropriate portion sizes.
In my experience the best diet is one you can follow. Try to make simple changes that are sustainable for your lifestyle. Most people will not be able to adhere to a diet plan if it does not align with their eating habits, cultural practices, and personal preferences.
Here are some quick tips that are easy to incorporate into your daily routine:
1) Try to exercise at least 30 minutes each day, if possible. This is helpful for both weight loss and your overall health and well-being.
2) Choose whole grains, lean protein, fruits, and vegetables to increase the nutritional value of your meals. Try to avoid processed foods, fast food, and eating frequently at restaurants.
3) Drink at least eight large glasses of water per day. Adding fruit such as a slice of lemon or lime can give your water a flavor boost.
Another important point is to not think of it as a “diet.” Diets are usually considered temporary; something that will end once you have reached your goal weight, which often leads to regaining the lost pounds. Think of eating well as a lifestyle change that is permanent, because that will that will result in a healthy weight that you can maintain for the rest of your life.
Be sure to check with your doctor or health care provider before starting any weight-loss plan, especially if you have any health conditions.
Lauren Sweetser, M.D., practices internal medicine at Hoag Medical Group in Aliso Viejo. She has special interests in weight management and women’s health, and is currently accepting new patients. Dr. Sweetser is located at Hoag Health Center Aliso Viejo and can be reached at 949-485-2308.