The eternal dispute – low fat or low carb diet?
Recent researches compared three popular dietary models in order to understand what is the most effective method for weight loss and good health.
322 people with human obesity (86% men) participated in the study as three dietary patterns and their effect on weight loss were compared. Of course, the overall physical condition was also taken into account. Here’s their description:
Low fat diet was with no more than 30% of calories coming from fat, 10% calories from saturated fat and 300 mg of cholesterol per day. The overall calorie intake per day was limited to 1500 calories for women and 1800 calories for men.
Mediterranean diet, which is defined as the average in fat also restricted calories (1500 for women and 1800 men). The purpose of this diet is to include less than 35% calories from fat by reducing the consumption of red meat replacing it with poultry and fish. Mono-unsaturated fats that are considered healthier were added to the diet using olive oil and nuts. This diet plan is based on the Mediterranean type of eating.
Low carbohydrate diet was not restricted in calories, while the other two diets were. In the first two months of the process of weight loss the participants had to reduce their carbohydrate intake up to 20 grams per day (equivalent of carbohydrates contained in a small banana) and gradually increased their intake up to 120 g per day (equivalent to 2 slices of bread per day, 3/4 cup of pasta and a medium apple). The participants in this diet had no restrictions to the total intake of calories, protein or fat.
Which diet was more effective?
In weight loss: Low-carbohydrate or Mediterranean: Although all participants lost weight, the percentage of weight loss in those of Mediterranean or low carbohydrate was higher. Average weight loss after two years of the Mediterranean diet was 4.4 kg, while the of low carb it was 4.7 kg. The Mediterranean diet showed greater effect in women while the low card diet-in men.
In cholesterol level- Low carbohydrate group showed the greatest difference in cholesterol profile. This was the most effective diet as to cholesterol.
The result ended in the advantage of low carb diet.
The final results of survey show that low carb diet is best for long term weight loss and improved cholesterol levels. However, it is important to note that this diet doesn’t require eating large amount of meat. The participants had to consume vegetarian foods rich in fat and protein.
Moreover, the results reported that women who participated in the study had more success following the Mediterranean diet.
How to make a successful diet plan?
There is nothing bad in the idea of losing some weight and shaping the body. But what to begin with? Which of the hundreds of popular diets to start in order to achieve your goals?
Here are some tips that can help you.
Before you try to change your habits, you must be aware of your body mass index. Start a diary of the foods you eat and training you do every day.
Most people will say “Why bother? I already know what I eat constantly”. But you actually do not know. Eating is something we do instinctively every day without paying great attention to it. For example, you can drink 5 glasses of water a day without being aware of it, but this is a large amount of empty calories. Thanks to the notes we make, we will have full information about our everyday diet plans.
The next step is particularly important. You should make a long term plan. If you change your eating habits and sports, this will not happen overnight. You need a long time to match the changes in your life.
Which commercial diets and plans work?
Virtually every diet will work for weight loss. In any book you read, you will see that there authors basically advise to take less food and thus lose weight. But the problem is that the body mass lost is soon returned.
You can choose any diet plan to lose weight. The question is how to maintain your new weight and this will probably require different strategies. Studies on people who have lost excess weight and kept it for years show that these people have controlled and watched their weight using different strategies like increasing physical activity or having balanced diets.
Is sport obligatory for losing weight?
No. If you reduce your calorie intake every day, you will lose weight. But if you want to keep your weight then you need to play sports. Physical activity, especially combined with a food diet, is a key to keeping the new weight and if you cannot spend time on sports, it is not advisable to make diets and lose weight that will soon return.
How many calories should I take?
To lose weight you should take 1200-1400 calories per day. Maintaining this amount of calories will definitely help you lose weight. The problem is that such diet plans can be done for several months, but not permanently.
However, if you work out there will be time when you will not have to count calories and will be able to eat what you want. What’s important is to find the balance between sport and nutrition.
How to stay motivated in losing weight and keeping it?
At first everyone will tell you how fine you look. But with time you will stop receiving compliments because people just get used to your appearance, then you should rely on your internal motivation, which is much more difficult. However, the longer you hold your weight, the more motivated and accustomed to it you become. Therefore you will have greater chance to succeed.
What foods should include my diet plan?
People, who maintain their weight for years, include in their diets foods rich in fiber and average amount of fat. But the most important thing is to love the food you eat.
Take the challenge and try!
Couple diet – a great path to perfect body
Did you know that after five year relationship women gain 2 kg and the men 4 kg? And this is not surprising at all. When in love, we are more likely to give in to tempting dishes, cook more often to the beloved one and forget about dieting. Furthermore, we tend to work out less.
So rather than let the excess weight gain, why not make a diet plan to get rid of fats along with our partner? We all know that couple diets are much easier.
Having a couple diet has a great advantage- no one feels deprived of food-think about how unpleasant it is to watch your boy/girlfriend eat the last parts of chips while you chew steamed vegetables. If this is repeated regularly, there is a great chance not to resist the temptation and forget about the healthy diet meals. You should try to support each other. If one of you gives up, the other should convince him/her this is bad idea. If you get to the conclusion together that you should lose weight it would be easier to cook healthy and remove bad food from the refrigerator.
Unfortunately, Mother Nature has made us different in this aspect:
Men naturally burn more calories than women. They have more muscles and less fat (men have about 10-15%, women-20-25%).
Men lose weight faster than women. If you make a couple diet women are expected to lose 3 kg, while men-5 for a given period of time.
Men use dieting much less than women that’s why they lose weight easier.
Science shows that women have different nutritional needs than men.
Males are larger and stronger than women, so even when trying to lose weight, they should not reduce the daily calorie intake below 1600-1800 calories. Women who want to lose weight should maintain a level of 1400-1500 calories a day.
Women are influenced by hormones and should take more iron, calcium, zinc, vitamins D, B6 and B12, to maintain proper balance.
Men need a varied diet to get more fiber, carotene, magnesium, vitamin B9, C, E.
Golden rules of couple diets:
-Once you choose the goals be serious about your diet, do not lie and hide from your partner if you have broken the diet.
-Do not compete. Diet is not a race. Men anyway lose weight faster. Do not chase periods no matter how slow the results show.
-Eat together. The whole point of the couple diet is to take the same food. Even if you do not eat the same amount, you receive the same dishes, so cook together and enjoy the healthy menu.
-Support each other – you will see that the most difficult thing is to give up when he / she is not next to you. If the temptation is too great, call your partner and share the idea. So he / she will help you overcome it.
Maintaining the weight
Do not try to lose weight quickly. Those kilograms you have lost too quickly are always the first to gain back. If your partner’s diet ends faster than yours, do not rush. Continue eating lots of fruits and vegetables. 5 servings per day are useful even if you’re on a diet.
Even if you lose weight easily, do not stop the diet. You should fully change your eating habits during and after the diet in order not to return to the old ones. Keep the amount of accepted cheeses, cakes and alcohol low and drink plenty of water.
Some of the worst eating habits for your waist
Although all of us have good intentions, sometimes it appears that starvation caused by surfeit is a trap for which we have not even thought about. Even when our meals and diets are well planned, hunger is stronger than us. Yet, if we want to lose weight, we must learn how to adjust our body to the signals of hunger.
Hunger is a signal telling the brain that the body needs energy. It may be our best ally, if we learn to listen to our body and eat a little food every time we feel hungry. However, if get too much hungry we can take quite more food than we need- thus hunger becomes our biggest enemy when dieting.
Here are some simple tips that will help us control the feeling of hunger:
You are too busy for breakfast
You do not have time to eat something healthy for breakfast so you grab a croissant or high-calorie muffin on the way to work?
Solution: Prepare oatmeal with low-fat milk as soon as you wake up. Get an apple or banana which to eat quickly in the car.
You do not have time for lunch and go for some fast food
Solution: Load with protein bars in case. They are rich in fiber and protein, easy to wear and will satiate you.
Feel acute lack of energy in the afternoon
Do you feel loss of energy and long for sweets in the office?
Solution: Bring a pack of dried fruit or raw nuts and eat them in the afternoon when you feel low energy and fatigue. Nuts are extremely necessary for any kind of diet.
There is pretty much time till dinner but you want food NOW
You have a reservation for dinner later, and now is only 5 PM and you are starving?
Solution: Choose a snack with about 150-200 calories like yogurt, some fruit or 2 tablespoons peanut butter a few hours before dinner. This will help you.
Go to the fridge late at night instead of go to bed
You decide that just before going to bed you should eat something because it’s late and you’re hungry?
Solution: Eat something light like yogurt or apple before reaching for the chocolate in the refrigerator. And even better solution – go to bed anyway. Recent studies among middle-aged women showed that approximately 32% of those who spent about five hours sleeping are much more prone to sudden weight gain than those who sleep at least seven hours per night. So do not forget to have regular good sleep!