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Top 5 Weight Loss Diets and Why They Work


Keto diet for beginners

A quick google search will tell you that there are a ridiculous number of weight loss diets that exist and they all have one thing in common: they claim to be the best.

 

But how good are they, really?

 

Let’s find out.

 

This blog will help you cut through the fad diets and focus on weight loss diets that actually work.

 

First, let’s start off by understanding the basics of nutrition.

 

Research suggests that the estimated calorie requirement for adult women range from 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day and for adult men 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day based on the lifestyle. These caloric requirements are fulfilled by macronutrients which are of three types - Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats.

 

Calories in Macronutrients

 

1gm Carbohydrates = 4 kcal (kilocalories)

1gm Proteins = 4 kcal

1gm Fat = 9 kcal

 

Now, without further ado, let’s dive into weight-loss diets.

 

Top 5 Weight Loss Diets and Why They Work

 

Low Carb Diet - A low-carb diet limits carbohydrates and focuses on proteins, such as meat, poultry, fish and eggs, and some non-starchy vegetables while excluding or limiting most grains, fruits, bread, sweets, and starchy vegetables.

 

Sample diet plan

Breakfast: Omelet with various veggies.

Lunch: Smoothie made of coconut milk, heavy cream, protein powder and berries.

Dinner: Grilled chicken with some raw spinach.

 

Vegetarian diet plan

Breakfast: Full-fat yoghurt with berries.

Lunch: Baked cauliflower.

Dinner: Grilled mushrooms, with buttered vegetables.

 

Why it works: It decreases carbs which lowers insulin levels causing the body to burn stored fat for energy resulting in weight loss.

 

Paleo Diet - A paleo diet is a diet consisting of foods eaten during the Paleolithic era. It includes eating lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds and limiting dairy products, legumes and grains.

 

Sample diet plan

Breakfast: Vegetables and eggs fried in coconut oil with some fruit.

Lunch: Chicken salad with olive oil and some nuts

Dinner: Burgers fried in butter without bun, with vegetables and some salsa.

 

Vegetarian diet plan

Breakfast: Cooked vegetables and tofu scrambles

Lunch: A variety vegetable heavy salad

Dinner: A roasted vegetable power bowl with half an avocado, mixed greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, and alfalfa sprouts.

 

Why it works: While a paleo diet does not involve counting calories, it still restricts the food groups which are major sources of calories in the modern diet leading to weight loss.

 

Atkins Diet - The Atkins Diet restricts carbs and emphasizes protein and fats. It involves four phases wherein you start off by cutting out almost all carbohydrates and then introduce a small amount of carbs through each consecutive phase.

 

Oils like extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil are incredible sources of fat and can be included in your meals.

 

Sample diet plan

Breakfast: Vegetables and eggs, fried in coconut oil.

Lunch: Chicken salad with olive oil, and some nuts.

Dinner: Steak and veggies.

 

Vegetarian diet plan

Breakfast: Scrambled Paneer with lots of vegetables

Lunch: Tomato soup and simple salad with paneer chilly made in very little oil

Dinner: Mix sprout dosa made in butter or coconut oil

 

Why it works: Since carbs provide over half of calories consumed, Atkins Diet lowers the overall calorie intake and causes fast weight loss.

 

Ketogenic Diet - The popular ketogenic diet is a high-fat, sufficient-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. It involves a moderate-protein approach as opposed to the Atkins high protein approach. The diet consists of fish, meat, healthy fats and oils, and raw full fat dairy.

 

Sample diet plan

Breakfast: Mushroom omelet.

Lunch: Mutton Seekh Kebab and Blanched Broccoli with Salt and Pepper

Dinner: Spinach egg omelette

 

Vegetarian diet plan

Breakfast: Cheese pakora fried in peanut or coconut oil

Lunch: Egg omelet with lots of cheese cooked in butter and olive oil

Dinner: Cheesy scrambled egg with capsicum cooked in butter and olive oil

 

Why it works: Keto diet gets the body into the metabolic state of ketosis, during which you use fat rather than carbs for energy, resulting in fat loss.

 

Intermittent Fasting Diet - It requires fasting between two big meals with a duration of 12 to 48 hours. During your meals, you’re free to eat whatever you want.

 

Why it works: It automatically reduces caloric intake and also changes hormone levels to facilitate weight loss. It adapts the body to burn fat for energy instead of glucose leading to fat loss. It may increase your metabolic rate by 3.6–14%.

 

Keep in mind that since all the above mentioned diets involve restriction of nutrients to a certain extent, they may lead to vitamin or mineral deficiencies. You can resolve this by using multivitamins and having cheat days.

 

Remember, the best diet is one that’s comfortable for you. If you can’t get used to a diet even after 4 weeks, change it immediately. A diet is not a short term plan, it’s a lifestyle choice.