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EFFECTIVE AND SUSTAINABLE DIETS


Today with information widely available online and the large variety of nutritional opinions out there, most people get completely confused when trying to choose the right diet for themselves. It’s the reason why yo-yo dieting is so common too, as people try one weight loss method only to find it doesn’t work for them and then repeat the process. Thankfully, there is a simple method for judging diets and determining if they are effective for a person.

Consider the following when looking at any possible diet:

  •   Can you follow most aspects of this diet for the rest of your life?
  •   Does this diet severely restrict protein, fats or carbs?
  •   Are daily nutritional needs being met
?
  •   Is your hunger being satisfied?

These questions are designed to eliminate diets which are not going to help a person lose weight. Furthermore, answering these points will weed out diets that may only work in the short-term, but not lead to sustainable weight loss.


Change your lifestyle

The first point is the most important. “Diet” is actually a faulty term, since it’s often thought of as a short-term solution to a long term problem. No eating plan is going to permanently “fix” someone. This is why you’re going to need a plan that you feel confident you can follow the rest of your life, good days and bad. So an ideal diet isn’t really a diet at all, but more a change in lifestyle.

The body needs all three macronutrients

Next, steer clear of diets which completely cut out macronutrients (carbs, fat or protein). Low carb diets result in short-term weight loss (often due to fluid losses), but long-term is not sustainable nor are they healthy. When researchers gathered all the studies done on how safe low carb diets are in 2013, they analyzed seventeen different studies and they all showed an increased risk of early death from chronic conditions like heart disease (1). The body needs all three macronutrients and preferably a balance in each fat, carbohydrate and protein. ANY diet which completely restricts one of these three is flawed in its design. It's also important to note where these macronutrients are sourced from.

Incorporating macronutrients represents a very important aspect of a successful eating plan. No one is going to benefit in their health or in their journey to lose weight with a plan that leaves them hungry or deprives their body of daily nutritional needs. Nutritionally, if someone has daily deficiencies in vitamins or minerals, they’re bound to suffer fatigue, lacking concentration and many other side effects. So both hunger and nutrition are important for not just long-term health, but daily energy, mood and digestion. A diet simply cannot undermine a person’s daily needs for these basic bodily functions.



Sustainable diets are flexible and balanced

The most sustainable diets are successful specifically because they match up to the above criteria. One of the easiest diets that is gaining popularity is a whole food, plant based diet. This allows for lots of variety in food choices, but just mandates that food not be processed and that plants are largest emphasis in meals. Take a look at the foods for weight loss and good health article for some examples. Other hype’d up diets like Dukan or Atkins are going to leave a person feeling shorted and thus should be avoided. At the end of the day, each person is going to prefer a little bit different style of eating. Choose the diet which allows for flexibility to fit with your personal preferences and fulfills other important requirements to be sustainable. The end result will be a sound diet which will lead to the most sustainable weight loss.


References

1. Noto, Hiroshi, et al. "Low-carbohydrate diets and all-cause mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies." PloS one 8.1 (2013): e55030.


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