Best Types of Diets to Lose Weight, according to Science

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    Losing weight is one of the purposes that is repeated the most with the entry of each new year. It is also the least fulfilled. The lack of physical activity and the inadequate diet do not allow us to fulfill that purpose year after year. In many cases we start January with great motivation, but it fades in subsequent months. What is the most effective diet that we should follow to lose weight?

    2022 is over, so we too are going to start at the end: the most effective fat loss diet is the one that allows you to create a sustainable energy deficit. In broad strokes, it does not matter if that is achieved with a ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, calorie restriction, or any type of diet.

    5 basic keys that every diet to lose weight must comply with

    A new 3-month study with more than 350 participants has once again shown this. Researchers compared 5 diet approaches with strong scientific evidence to see which one was best for losing fat.

    What was his conclusion? We have already exposed it, and as they say in my town: the chickens that enter, through which they leave. However, there are many nuances that come into play when it comes to losing weight, the most important being physical and mental health.

    Every first of January, one of the resolutions of the New Year is repeated: losing weight. In fact, obesity is one of the main current global health problems. The number of overweight and obese people has tripled in recent decades.

    Knowing that a sedentary lifestyle and diet are 2 of the main factors that cause obesity, much has been studied about them. However, if the number of obese and overweight people is increasing, something is wrong.

    Changing eating habits is a mandatory step to lose weight, but there are many ways to do it, some few correct, and many others that we should avoid. The Mediterranean diet and intermittent fasting are 2 strategies to lose weight and improve health that have a great scientific background that supports them.

    Mediterranean diet

    The Mediterranean diet is a beneficial nutritional model for health due to its reduction both in weight and in obesity-related comorbidities. As we have already said at the beginning of the article, any diet needs to create an energy deficit to lose weight, so no matter how good the diet is, if that does not happen, we will not lose weight.

    This Mediterranean diet carried out properly has been successful in losing weight in obese people. The main factors for this are 2: adherence to treatment by including healthy and appetizing foods; satiety by feeding ourselves with natural products that fill us up and ward off hunger.

    Our body “has a thermostat” that is regulated by food intake. We are capable of eating a chocolate palm tree with more than 1,000 calories in less than 3 minutes, but a Mediterranean dish of vegetables and fish will take us much longer and much less calories.

    Scheduled breaks in the diet

    Another of the strategies that has been very well received is the interruption of the diet after several weeks. Up until now she used to introduce herself to a cheat meal every few days, or once a week. A cheat day has also been used in which we ate freely, without stuffing ourselves with ultra-processed foods, of course.

    What if we rest from the diet for a full week? It is also effective if we look at the long term. Weight loss should be considered a very long-term endurance test, and these types of tests do not sit well with you if you are running at full speed.

    On many occasions we start the year and make a very abrupt restriction in the diet. That can be sustainable for a few weeks, but then we start to fail and give up. To avoid those thoughts of defeat, diet rest weeks can be established in which we will “relax” a little more.

    Diet break does not mean having croissants for breakfast, pizza and hamburger for dinner. This break, which can be a full week, will help us eat more, but within a healthy approach such as the Mediterranean diet.

    Intermittent fasting

    Intermittent fasting is another of the strategies that has been published the most in the last decade. Establishing a fasting window in which we do not eat calories is beneficial for human health and weight loss.

    There are different ways to carry them out, being the fasting time the main factor that differs between them. The most used by the general population are fasts within the same day, that is, we fast for a number of hours that usually ranges from 14 hours to 20 hours, and we eat the rest of the time until completing the 24 hours that a day has.

    Full-day fasts in which we do not eat food are also used, followed by other days eating ad libitum (at will). It can be done for 1 day a week, 2 days a week (known as 5:2), or the more aggressive one that would be alternating a day of fasting with one of eating at will (known as alternate day fasting). What there should always be, as we already know, is a sustained energy restriction throughout the week and months. If that exists, weight loss will occur.

    Mediterranean diet versus intermittent fasting to lose weight

    Recent research has compared the effects of the Mediterranean diet with continuous energy restriction and three different types of intermittent fasting on weight loss.

    The Mediterranean diet with constant daily energy restriction

    A more aggressive Mediterranean diet group for one week with one week diet breaks:

    An 18-hour intermittent fasting diet, known as the 18/6 fast

    A 16-hour intermittent fasting diet, known as the 8/16 fast

    A 5:2 day fasting type diet is that with 2 very low calorie days and 5 maintenance days.

    Which of them got the best results?

    The conclusion is clear: the effects of 5 different types of diet examined in our study on anthropometric measurements are similar to each other. What is clear is that the Mediterranean diet is the one that offers the best foods.

    Lose weight in a healthy way: This is how losing weight very quickly impacts your body

    Intermittent fasting usually focuses on a feeding window and a fasting window, but in those hours when we can eat it is more lax than the Mediterranean diet. This strategy can work very well on dates like Christmas, when we know that we are going to have copious dinners, so we can restrict food for the rest of the day.

    The calorie-restricted Mediterranean diet was the best stop. Weight loss is more controlled, includes quality foods and adds protein throughout the day, aspects that intermittent fasting may not achieve.

    Therefore, if you are looking to lose weight, a Mediterranean diet with most foods coming from vegetables, fruits, plants, nuts and whole grains is interesting. Dairy products, eggs, meat and fish are eaten in moderate amounts. Finally, red meat is occasionally eaten. The most important thing about any diet is that it creates adherence, fits into your lifestyle, and makes you eat fewer calories than you expend. If this occurs, weight loss will appear gradually, without abrupt weight gains or drops.

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