Diet is absolutely the most important part in any weight loss regime. If you eat a diet rich in fatty foods and regularly consume over 2500-3000 calories per day, you will end up putting on weight.
If you eat a diet rich in healthy foods and regularly consume your recommended daily intake of calories per day (1800-2000 calories for women and 2500-2700 for men), you are much more likely to be slim or at your recommended weight and healthy.
There are thousands of diets out there – some that are structured versions of generic healthy eating and limited calorie intake and others that are incredibly limited and others that offer wacky tips for losing weight.
It’s important to note that none of the diets that include wacky tips have been proven to help you lose weight. For example, some recommend you have a cold bath before eating to boost your metabolism.
One wacky diet even recommends that you consume nothing but glasses of water mixed with cayenne pepper, honey and lemon juice. But the truth is, there is no research or evidence to back up the claims that any of these diets work.
Many of these wacky diets and diet tips could also be incredibly harmful to your health, especially if they cut out ‘proper’ foods with vitamins and nutrients as this could lead to a deficiency of all sorts of things, such as iron, calcium and vitamins, which could cause a detrimental effect to your health.
So called ‘celebrity’ diets that involve celebrities dropping weight very quickly due to them following a new miracle diet are more than likely the result of a celebrity employing a personal trainer and dietician, working out for several hours a day and drastically restricting their calorie intake.
If a magazine says that a celebrity has lost weight using a new miracle diet, it’s probably best to take that information with a pinch of salt. Celebrities have a team around them and so their weight loss will be much quicker and because they have that support system, it will be much easier for them to sustain it.
The best ways to lose weight
The best way to lose weight is to follow a healthy eating diet and sensible exercise plan like the ones you can see here. Generally, you need to ensure a calorie deficit of 3500 to 7000 calories per week to lose weight, which is between 500 and 1000 calories less per day.
The amount of calories you should be eating per day depends on your starting weight. If you’re just a few KG overweight, then eating 500 calories less per day should be enough to help you lose weight. If you’re more than 12kg overweight, you will probably need to take in between 500 and 1000 calories less per day to kick start your weight loss. How much of a calorie deficit you need depends entirely on your current weight and BMR. To work out your BMR click here.
Look to improve the quality of the foods that you are eating too, so that you can improve your overall health. Essentially, you could use your calories per day on chocolate bars and still lose weight, because you are still taking in a deficit of calories.
However, this is obviously not good for your health, so be sure to include lots of healthy foods in your diet, including fruit, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, lean protein, low fat calcium and a little fat.
If you want to, include the occasional treat such as a glass of wine or a dark chocolate, but be sure to count these treats in your daily calorie intake. Make things easier for yourself if you’re new to cooking from scratch by cooking up a batch of food at the weekend, then freeze it in portions and eat those portions over the week.
It’s also an excellent idea to make double of the food when you cook foods such as curry or chilli – you can simply pop the other portion into your fridge to eat the following day, which makes things super simple for you in terms of food preparation.
Finally, sensible exercise has been proven to improve the effects that diet has on your weight loss. Exercise will speed up your weight loss, and will also help you to become healthier, stronger and fitter. It will also improve your heart health. You could start by walking around the block a few times a day. You could then start going to the gym, playing on an exercise game, going to a dance class or going swimming. Anything that gets your heart rate up is suitable.
If you have any existing health conditions, you should speak to your doctor before changing your diet.