Most of us will lose weight (initially) on any diet because most restrict calories. Numerous studies have found however, that dieting actually promotes weight gain in the long term. In fact, studies that have looked at this relationship consistently find that both men and women who participate in formal weight-loss programs gain significantly more weight over a two-year period than those who do not participate in a weight loss program. Yikes!! So what do you do if you need to lose weight? There is hope, but it is not a quick fix.
You need to find a "diet" that is nutritionally sound that will help you adopt healthy eating habits over time. This means the weight loss will be more gradual, but you will also be much more likely to stick with it and keep the weight off over time. Many of the fad diets that pop up are not well researched and many are not nutritionally sound. Additionally, restrictive diets that eliminate an entire food group (such as carbs) are rarely sustainable. You are better off choosing a dietary plan rather than a diet, one that has been studied and deemed safe and heart healthy by experts in the field. Most importantly, choose a plan that you can stick to for the rest of your life.
If you have difficulty figuring out a healthy eating plan for yourself, take a look at one of these solid choices that are well-regarded by nutritionists and Cardiologists alike:
- DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, http://dashdiet.org/)
- TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes) http://tlcdiet.org/
- Mayo Clinic Diet (http://www.mayoclinic.org)
- Mediterranean Diet (http://health.usnews.com/best-diet/mediterranean-diet)
- Flexitarian Diet (http://health.usnews.com/best-diet/flexitarian-diet)
These diets all provide good general guidelines and you can find recipes on the internet based on the guidelines for each of these. Really it is about incorporating more vegetables and fruit, eating mostly real, whole foods, and lowering your intake of added sugar and processed foods and focusing on what you can add in to improve health rather than what you should avoid. So before you go on yet another crash diet, consider making sustainable lifestyle changes that can help you to lose the weight and actually keep it off.