With a New Year on its way it can be easy to be lured into the latest diet fad or craze yet with so many different diets out there even if you do want to approach a New Year healthy eating regime the right way it can be nothing short of confusing. So if you are planning to give your lifestyle an overhaul in 2017, here are some easy questions to ask as you look for the right diet.
How much weight do you need to lose?
If you only need to lose a few kilos, any diet is likely to work and in fact, strict regimes which cut the carbs are most likely to do the trick, as long as you stick to them. New research has shown that low carb diets are best for quick weight loss, although they are best followed for 6 months or less in order to avoid the long term issues associated with a high protein diet. This means if you are happy to cut back on your bread, cereals, starchy vegetables and processed foods for a few weeks, you are likely to get a few kilos off easily, if of course you can stick to it. In my experience counting carbs and keeping them to just 80-100g in total per day will still get good weight loss results without you needing to cut the carbs entirely.
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Are you looking for a strict diet or a lifestyle?
Diets work when people follow them but the issue is that people have a lot of trouble following them for long periods of time. For this reason, more moderate diet approaches that may not see you lose kilos each week, rather a more sustainable 1/2 -1 kg each week tend to be a better long term option. For this reason, regimes such as the Mediterranean Diet, which is packed full of fresh foods but allows rooms for a little indulgence are better and more appealing weight loss options long term.
Do you have hormonal issues?
A significant number of individuals needing to lose >15-20kg have underlying hormonal issues such as PCOS and insulin resistance which can make weight loss challenging especially when following popular diets not catering for these underlying metabolic issues. For this reason if you have IR or PCOS you are best to see a dietitian who is experienced in these areas if your goal is long term weight loss.
Do you only want to diet part time?
Of all the evidence for effective diet solutions that has been released in recent years, intermittent fasting has emerged as one of the key areas of interest. It appears that giving the body a break from calories for extended periods of time has significant benefits for our metabolism and the hormones that control fat metabolism. For this reason, if you find it difficult to diet all the time but can bee strict for occasional periods, intermittent fasting via the 5/2 Diet or The Fast Diet may be right for you. You will not lose large amounts of weight quickly but over time you will lose some weight and potentially lower your cholesterol, blood glucose and blood pressure.
Do you want to order your food online?
With plenty of meal delivery services out there, ordering your meals online and waiting for the kilos to drop off can appear to be the easy option. While there are some great options such as Eat Fit Food which offers a range of different calorie controlled plans keep in mind that many of the popular meal options are carb heavy with heavy rice and pasta bases which are not conducive to weight loss. For this reason, if you can,preparing your own meals will always trump pre-prepared options as you cannot go wrong with salad, lean proteins and vegetables when it comes to weight loss.