Find out what is the proper way of losing weight. Learn about basics of successful weight loss in this article.
Factors for successful weight loss
Successful weight loss is mainly affected by the following factors:
Optimization of these factors will provide ideal circumstances for most effective weight loss.
In the first part of the article we will be focusing primarily on the impact of diet.
Weight Loss Diets
First of all, forget all about miraculous diets!
The result of these so-called miraculous diet, which you can find in your favorite daily magazine, is fast weight loss. But you must realize that by following such diet you will not lose a lot of body fat (which should be the primary goal of your diet). On the contrary, you will mostly lose water out of your system in addition to emptying your glycogen stores and your digestive tract.
That is not the weight you want to lose.
There are no magic diets and no magic pills that will make your body look beautiful over night. It takes time, patience, common sense and some planning to achieve such results.
The end result is a massive reduction in metabolic rate, which eventually leads to weight gain. This usually means that after finishing your diet you most likely gain even more extra weight that you had before starting diet.
It is the so called boomerang effect.
Most of these diets usually do not provide all the necessary nutrients that your body needs. This will result in lack of energy and overall bad mood!
Also remember that extreme hunger and drastic reduction in calorie intake is not good for your body as it is a shock – and your body does not like shocks.
And one more thing – each strict diet is to some extent a great psychological challenge which can also backfire. Starvation or overeating is never a good thing.
How to do diet properly?
Proper dieting means that you decrease your calorie intake slightly below your daily requirement (about 10 to 20 percent decrease) and that you eat all the nutrients that provide your body with all the necessary elements (minerals, vitamins, essential fats, amino acids, trace elements, etc..).
This tool will help you calculate your required daily caloric deficit – weight loss calculator.
The aim of your diet should not be just a temporary loss of body weight (body fat), but maintaining low levels of fat after diet finishes.
Having a low percentage of body fat (under 15% for men, under 25% for women) is not just good for your appearance and definition of muscles, but also reduces the chances of developing some serious health problems.
A necessary change in eating habits
For many people the first few days or weeks of dieting are hard. Not just because of the hunger, but also due to the lack of certain “artificial” flavors in your diet which your body was used to.
It has been proven that after a few months of healthy eating junk food is not an option anymore (or at least very rarely). You will come to a conclusion that it is much better to eat healthy, fresh and natural foods than consuming calorie rich (with added sugar and fat) foods.
In addition to lower caloric intake you must be very careful in planning your diet. This means you need to pay some attention to nutritional ratios (protein vs fat vs carbohydrates).
Weight loss, for example, requires an increased intake of protein. You need to increase the protein intake in order to prevent your body from burning your own muscles to obtain energy which leads to physical weakness and decreased metabolic rate.
In addition to increased intake of protein carbohydrates intake should be decreased. Carbohydrates stimulate the secretion of insulin, a hormone that prevents the degradation of body fat and helps converting unused calories into fat cells.
Insulin also regulates blood sugar levels.
Consuming too much carbohydrates will also reduce growth hormone secretion rate (especially during exercise), which is a very important factor in weight loss and also has an impact on preservation of muscle mass.
So, to summarize:
For weight loss you should decrease the intake of carbohydrates while increasing the intake of protein. Fat intake should be slightly lowered.
For weight gain (for building muscle mass) you should increase carbohydrates intake as well as protein intake. Fat intake should be slightly increased (with an emphasis on consuming healthy fats – omega 3 fats).
Do not reduce fat intake to a minimum
Not all fat is bad. In fact fat is very much needed and should be consumed daily! Your body can and will produce most of the types of fats that it needs from other raw materials (or fats). That isn’t the case for omega 3 fatty acids (also called omega-3 fats and n-3 fats).
Your body needs fat. Do not reduce the intake of fat below required minimum.
Consuming omega 3 fatty acids which are mainly found in flax seed oil, fish oil or different types of nuts will help you lose weight. You should include omega 3 fat in your diet if you want best results!
Related: Best sources of omega 3 fatty acids.
Weight loss does not necessarily means fat loss. Be smart about it. Eat less, exercise more and supply your organism with everything it needs. Less calories is not always the way to go, although it seems logical.
And most importantly – listen to your body. If you find a diet too hard to follow then rather quit it and find a more suitable one. After all – your health is very important!