Effective weight loss is usually not quick weight loss. It’s not about starving yourself to lose extra pounds only to gain them back as quickly as you lost them. It’s also not about spending money on useless gimmick and fad diets. Extreme weight loss methods do not work for long-term weight loss. Effective weight loss means finding a permanent way of eating that is not only suitable to you, but also keeps you slim and healthy for the rest of your life.
Here are the best strategies according to health experts for the most effective weight loss techniques:
1. Avoid processed foods, sugar and refined carbohydrates. Just avoiding these foods will probably help you lose the bulk of your extra weight and keep it off permanently. It doesn’t mean you have to avoid these types of foods all the time and forever. It’s okay to indulge once in a while in your favorites treats; however, these foods should definitely not be the foods that make up the bulk of your diet. They can be eaten sparingly once in a while. Just make a concerted effort to avoid them on a regular basis.
2. Opt for a diet that consists of natural whole foods and plant foods. More and more research reveals that a mostly raw, organic plant-based diet is the best way to lose weight and improve health. The good news about filling up on plant foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and legumes is you probably won’t have to count calories to drop pounds.
Health experts like Dean Ornish, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., state that a natural, mostly raw plant-based diet is the most effective way to lose weight and avoid chronic illnesses. For more information about Campbell’s and Esselstyn’s research, check out Forks Over Knives Diet or rent the documentary film, Forks Over Knives. Dr. Campbell is the famous author of The China Study: research that shows the relationship between food and health among different populations, and Dr. Esselstyn is famous for his research about the Heart Attack Proof Diet. Other documentary films that will help motivate you are Food Matters and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.
3. Consider going vegan or eating very little meat, fish, dairy and eggs. Many have lost a lot of extra pounds simply through vegan weight loss. Contrary to many beliefs, there is enough protein in a plant-based diet for you to get more than enough protein every day. Plant-based foods supply enough nutrition to not only to help you lose weight, they also improve many types of chronic illness like heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Keep in mind, however, that vegans and vegetarians usually take supplements like vitamin B12 and omega 3s to get extra nutrients they may be lacking in a plant-based diet.
4. Make your diet a lifestyle habit. Too many dieters believe that once they lose weight, they won’t have to worry about diet anymore. This idea is a common fallacy among dieters. Effective weight loss is not a quick fix. It is a permanent lifestyle change. In order to make a permanent lifestyle change, you must make a commitment to yourself and accept the fact that what you’ve been doing to get slim has not been working.
Why is a lifetime commitment to health and fitness is the best way to lose weight? According to the National Weight Control Registry, 98 percent of people who lose weight and keep it off modify their diet permanently. The National Weight Control Registry is the largest investigation of people who have lost weight and kept that weight off for long periods of time–typically five years or longer.
5. Eat four or five smaller meals throughout the day. Eating smaller and more frequent meals throughout the day will help keep you feeling satiated and help you prevent binge eating. Choose mostly vegetables and fruits for meals along with some nuts and legumes. Adding high-fiber foods likes nuts and legumes to your meals will help you stay fuller as you drop extra pounds.
5. Exercise regularly. It’s common knowledge that regular exercise will not only help you lose weight, it will also keep you fit, improve your health, and make you feel better emotionally.
6. Get enough sleep each night and avoid stress. Research shows that sleep deprivation causes the metabolism to slow down. Stress raises cortisol levels, which increase visceral fat. A study published in the journal Sleep shows an association between five hours or fewer of sleep and increases in visceral fat. Visceral fat is the fat that accumulates around the organs in the stomach area.
7. Keep a food journal. Keeping a food journal is one way to practically guarantee permanent weight loss. According to Linda Knittel in the Natural Health article “Write Yourself Thin,” writing down everything you eat each day “practically guarantees weight-loss success.” Dieters who write down what they eat every day drop double the number of pounds compared to those who don’t track what they’re consuming each day, says Knittel.
8. See your doctor. It’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor about effective weight loss and your health before starting any diet or beginning a weight loss program.
In the United States and in many other countries there are too many easily available and inexpensive foods that are harmful to health. Much of these fast foods, processed foods and junk foods are laden with calories, carbohydrates and fat. They also lack nutrients. By following a whole foods, plant-based diet and exercising regularly, you can lose weight effectively and permanently.
Forks Over Knives. Documentary. Directed by Lee Fulkerson.
Knittel, Linda. “Write Yourself Thin.” Natural Health. May/June 2003, Vol. 33 Issue 4, p72.
National Weight Control Registry.
Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead
Forks Over Knives