“Can I take your order?”
Living in a first world country has many benefits. Compared to a large percentage of the world, to be stressed over “first world” problems can be considered a blessing in any context. One of the cons of not constantly being within an inch of starvation is having your food a little “too close.” With food no longer scarce and easily available, western culture is faced with a new epidemic that has swept the nation: obesity.
If you’ve ever reluctantly looked at yourself in the mirror and asked “what is the best diet for weight loss”, you would be joined by almost half of America! For example, NBCnews.com writes, “A troubling new report released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that almost 40 percent of American adults and nearly 20 percent of adolescents are obese — the highest rates ever recorded for the U.S.”
Obesity is the silent killer that eventually comes for us all. For example in an earlier post, we wrote :”Think about it. As your age increases, bills and responsibilities pile to the sky, its often no surprise how a person’s weight could get the better of them.” Weight gain is like that one enemy that will strike you the moment your vulnerable!
Excess weight gain can be caused from a variety of different things: stress, age, diet, sedentary lifestyle, pharmaceutical drugs, depression, eating disorders, etc. The extra weight is not only restricting and can be uncomfortable, it can come with a multitude of health risks that can be fatal.
Fatal indeed! Some of these risks include:
- Cojestive Heart Failiure
- Heart Disease
- Gall Stones
- High Blood Pressure.
As you can see, its imperative to not let your weight get out of control!
One of the first things to consider when looking to slim down is developing a workout/exercise schedule. I remember growing up as a fairly slender kid and never having to worry about things like weight gain or calorie counting. Honestly, considering the fact that both of my parents were also of the slender build, I worried more about gaining weight than losing it! As i started to get into my early 20s, my eating habits began to catch up with me. I started to gain excess weight at an uncontrollable rate and went from a 150 – 203 pounds of solid “beer belly.” The funny part about the dilemma was that i actually maintained a 4 day a week strength training schedule while I was gaining the extra weight! It led me to learn one of the most important rules when beginning an exercise or workout routine. Like starting wide receiver Odell Beckham JR is famously quoted for saying, “without a proper diet, exercise is pointless.” Considering that I’ve been working out for about 7 years now, I know for a fact that he is absolutely right. There are two types of weight: healthy and unhealthy.
- Healthy Weight Gain refers to the maintaining a balanced diet of eating “enough” and straying away from overindulgence.
- Unhealthy Weight Gain refers to the rapid intake of calories and fat that leads to pounds in unwanted places.
The moral of the story is that life can come at you fast and not of all us can fit in a 5 day a week workout program or have the budget to switch every bad eating habit to its healthy alternative. At the time of my 50 pound weight gain I was a college student. This greatly affected my buying power and time management regarding my diet and exercise regimen. The answer to this problem is learning how to integrate. We’ve all heard that saying :” you have to start somewhere.” We might not all have time for the gym membership, but we do have 20 or 30 min a day to incorporate a small workout routine. Check out our post on the Top 5 best workouts for at home or the office here.
The Market for Weight Loss
“In a country plagued by the effects of obesity, the market for weight loss never seems to run out of demand. Evidence of this is all around us considering the fact that we are subjected to thousands of ads per day! Ranging from homemade weight loss shakes, to plant based diet regimens, to 30 day fitness routines, to supplemental and even spiritual fasting programs: it’s all a lot to “swallow”.”(TheOrganicPlaylist.Com)
As to no suprise, one of the biggest markets in western culture revolves around weight loss. Everyone wants the “secret” to either the killer Hollywood six-pack or a slimmer healthier body.
With anything however, weight loss takes time, dedication, and discipline. Without considering risky surgeries, There is no magic elixir or program that will help you to loose weight without some type of change in your lifestyle!
As said previously, without the proper diet, everything you decide to try concerning loosing weight will be canceled out by fat tissues and health problems. When considering what is the best diet for weight loss, many factors come into play. Contrary to popular belief, genetics play a large role in which diet is best suited for you!
- A vegetarian diet consists of mostly plant biased foods: sometimes including poultry and dairy
- There a several types of vegetarian: Lacto, Octo, Lacto Ovo, Pescatariain, Pollotarian.
Ovo Vegetarian– A that diet prohibiting meat, seafood, poultry, and dairy products (eggs are allowed).
Lacto-Vegetarian– A diet that prohibits meat, poultry, fish and eggs(Allows Dairy)
Lacto Ovo Vegetarian– Prohibits fish, meat, and poultry. (Allows eggs and dairy)
Pescatarain– Prohibits dairy, meat, poultry, and eggs.(Allows fish)
Pollotarian– Prohibits fish, dairy, and meat (Allows poultry)
Benefits:”Because plants are low in calories but high in essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, vegetarian diets can be very nutrient-dense. Research published in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society found that “vegetarian diets are usually rich in carbohydrates, omega-6 fatty acids, dietary fiber, carotenoids, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E and magnesium, and relatively low in protein, saturated fat, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, retinol, vitamin B12 and zinc.” (Draxe.com)
Cons: Although proven to have many benefits, some vegetarian diets like essential nutrients like Vitamin B12, Protein, Iron, Zinc, Calcium, and Riboflavin.
- A diet where nothing is necessarily off limits.
- 3 meal, 2 snacks a day meal plan consisting of low-fat protein like fish, turkey, fish, almonds, avocado, and skinned chicken. Every meal plan must meet the zone diet criteria: 40% Carbs, 30%protein, and 30% fat.
- Favors pasta, grain, bread and other starches in small helpings.
- In the Zone diet, you get 3 meals and 2 snacks a day. Each is a mix of low-fat protein like skinless chicken, fish, or turkey. Fruits and vegetables with low fat protein are also encouraged.
- This diet doesn’t favor corn, carrots, bananas, raisins, egg yolk, and red meat.
Benefits: Diet is extremely rich in protein fiber, and natural carbohydrates.
Cons: Some diets can be time-consuming, and encourage a loss of stamina. There isn’t enough scientific evidence as to whether or not the 40/30/30 intake is actually beneficial.
- A keto diet mainly consists of consuming low carbs. By lowing the carbohydrate intake, your body uses another form of energy besides glucose.
- This regime is called the ketogenic diet because it forces the body to a point of ketosis due to the lower consumption of carbs. During this stage, the body produces ketones which manifest from the breakdown of fat in the liver. This metabolic state is the goal of a ketogenic diet and results from the starvation of carbohydrates, not calories.
Benefits : Encourages weight loss, more focus, lower blood pressure, treat epilepsy and increase daily stamina.
Cons: Requires a great about of self restraint, can effect stamina in people who live athletic lifestyles, and can be very difficult to start as your body adjust to the new lifestyle.
- A diet consisting of all plant based products. Excludes any animal made foods like poultry, fish, meat, eggs, and dairy.
- The Vegan diet is more a philosophy than your traditional diet. Its goal is to end animal consumption and cruelty in popular markets.
There are many factions of vegan lifestyle. Some of these include:
- Raw Food Vegan Diet- A diet composed of mainly raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
- Raw till 4 Vegan Diet– A diet comprised of consuming raw food until 4p.m. Diet does include cooked plant biased meals for dinner time.
- Whole Food Vegan Diet– A traditional vegan diet containing plant biased foods such as whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
- 80/10/10 Vegan Diet– A Vegan diet made up eating raw fruits and soft greens while limiting fatty plants like avocados and nuts.
- The Starch Solution Vegan Diet– A vegan diet comprised of low fat high-carb starches like rice, corn, and potatoes.
Benefits: The vegan diet shines in its low calorie intake program that is great for weight loss, protecting against illness, protecting the environment and helping with mental disorders like depression and anxiety .
Cons: Similar to a vegetarian diet, vegan diets can lack vital nutrients like Vitamin B12, Protein, Iron, Zinc, Calcium, and Riboflavin.
- The paleo diet harbors the idea that we are disconnected from the rich and nutrient filled foods of our ancestors.
- Instead of focusing on calorie or carb intake, the diet is composed of eating only foods you can hunt.
- This diet favors foods like meat, fish, and plant based foods. Strays away from modern meals like pasta, cereal, and processed foods.
- This diet limits the intake of grains which convert to sugary stored fat.
Benefits: This diet plan offers a large dose of iron, hunger blockers for cravings, inflammatory aid, and weight loss due to the strict choices of sustenance.
Cons: It can get expensive and can lack the necessary carbs for an individual who lives an athletic lifestyle.
The Atkins Diet
- A low carb diet that limits the intake of fuel (sugar) in order to force the body into using fat instead.
- Fatty foods like steak, bacon, and butter are encouraged in this diet.
This diet is split into 4 phases for maximum integration.
Phase 1- Phase one consists of consuming 20 grams of carbs for 2 weeks while eating high protein and fat vegetables.
Phase 2– This stage deals with adding more nuts, small amounts of fruit and low car vegetables to your diet.
Phase 3– This stage is used when you’ve somewhat reached your goal weight. It allows you to add more carbs back into your diet until your weight loss partially decreases.
Phase 4– The final stage where you’re back to eating normal amounts of carbs proportional to your body’s size and weight.
- Benefits: The Atkins diet offers very quick and long-lasting weight loss results coupled with a very flexible eating list. If your not good with calorie counting, this is a perfect diet to eat almost as much as you want.
- Cons: Some Atkins diet are too severe on the average American eater. They can cause decreased energy levels, constipation, dehydration, and halitosis.
Intermediate Fasting Diet Program
- This diet deals with WHEN one should eat and not What.
- A meal plan that flat out limits the calorie intake by not taking them in at all.
The intermediate fasting diet can be carried out a multitude of ways.
The Warrior Diet: Consumes low amounts of vegetables and raw fruit during the day and one giant meal at night.
The eat-stop-eat diet: encourages a full 24-hour fast day once or twice a week.
The 16/8 Diet: Consists of no breakfast and an eating time frame of only 8 hours. You are expected to fast the other 16 hours.
The 5:2 Diet: In this diet, for two days a week you are requested to limit you calorie intake to between 500-600 calories.
- Benefits: “Intermittent fasting may reduce markers of inflammation, cholesterol levels, blood triglycerides and blood sugar levels.” (Healthline.com)
- Cons: This diet has been scientifically more suited for men than women. This program can cause drastic drops in blood sugar levels.
Honorary Mention: Juice Diet Plan
- Consist of protein packed juice blends that vitalize the body. This diet plan combines the nutrients of fruits and vegetables and blend them with other high protein , low fat products.
- A good way to incorporate a large quantity of fruit based diet in half the time.
- Check out this post on the top 10 homemade weight loss shakes!
Benefits: Juicing is a very flexible diet that can offer a wide variety of nutrients associated with traditional fruit and vegetables or other dairy products.
Cons: A large majority of these diet diets tend to lack fiber and have been proven to not cause weight loss. Some Juicing diets contain large amounts of sugar and high fat products.
As you can see, each diet has their own ups and downs. I’d recommend not becoming too extreme in either diet. Take and use whats best you and your body. Don’t be afraid mix it up out there and become a paleo atkin vegetarian beast!
What is the best diet for weight loss? Well, that is up to you!
Hope you enjoyed,