The fastest diet to lose weight is also the fastest diet to regain it. Any diet that promises quick results in a short period of time is a fad diet. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, it's better to lose it at a rate of 1/2 to 2 pounds a week. So instead of looking for a quick temporary fix, eat the foods you enjoy to lose the weight and stay slim forever.
Why Fast Weight Loss Is Not the Way to Go
When trying to lose weight, you do not want to lose more than 2 pounds a week, says FamilyDoctor.org. Losing too much weight too quickly means you're mostly likely losing water, muscle and bone, not fat. This type of weight loss may affect your energy levels and leave you feeling drained. Plus, losing weight too quickly means you're likely to gain the weight back quickly, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Control Those Calories
To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit by eating fewer calories than your body burns. To lose 1 pound of fat a week, you need to decrease your daily calorie intake by 500 calories. You may be able to cut calories from your diet without feeling the effects by making simple changes to your meals. For example, use fat-free milk in your cereal or coffee instead of whole milk and save 63 calories per cup of milk; omit the cheese and some meat from your sandwich at lunch and add more veggies to shave off an extra 150 calories; drink calorie-free sparkling water instead of a can of soda to save another 130 calories. In general, women can lose weight safely by limiting intake to 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day, and men and women who exercise regularly can lose by limiting intake to 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day.
Fill Up on Energy-Dense Food
Hunger really puts a damper on weight-loss efforts. Eating a diet filled with low-energy-dense foods keeps you feeling full while helping you limit calorie intake. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it's the amount of food you eat that keeps you feeling full, not the number of calories. Low-energy-dense foods have a high fiber and water content, which helps decrease calorie content and increase satiety. This includes fruits and vegetables prepared without added fat or sugar, broth-based soups such as vegetable or chicken noodle soup and whole grains such as whole-wheat bread or popcorn.
Eat Breakfast and Lunch and Dinner
Most people who have lost weight and kept it off eat breakfast every day, according to the National Weight Control Registry. Making breakfast a regular part of your weight-loss plan is important for hunger control. But it's not just breakfast, it's important to eat regularly and not skip meals to keep energy levels up and prevent extreme hunger, which may lead to overeating. A healthy eating plan for weight loss should include three meals, each about the same size, and one snack.
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Staying Away From Fad Diets
- FamilyDoctor.org: What It Take to Lose Weight
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Cutting Calories
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: Cutting Calories
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Eat More, Weigh Less
- National Weight Control Registry: NWCR Facts