When it comes to weight loss there is no one size fits all miracle solution. It also seems every celebrity out there has their own ‘special’ diet that solved their weight loss problems for them. However, understanding that not every diet will work for all of the people all of the time is one of the first steps to helping yourself find a weight loss solution that does work for you. It’s also important to understand all the various diets and weight loss programs, how they work, and how they may benefit you.
A fixed menu style diet is one that tells you what to eat. Whilst this certainly removes the confusion of having to know what is allowed and not allowed (just consult your list) it may cause nutritional imbalances. We’re designed to eat a wide range of different types of foods in order to get all the nutrition we require and this type of diet will remove some of those. It also doesn’t teach you anything about making healthy food choices for yourself.
Pre-packaged meal diets are meals that you can order ready to serve and they’re delivered to your home. The advantage is that you don’t have to think about what to cook, plan your own meals, or make decisions about portion control. However, this can also end up being a disadvantage because once again you never learn to make your own healthy choices, although it does give you some idea of what constitutes an appropriate portion size. If you need to travel, you’ll also find trying to stick to this type of diet difficult. It’s also an expensive way to eat!
An exchange diet allows you to choose certain items from different food groups. For example, you could choose between rice, pasta, or bread from the starch group, or 2 different pieces of fruit from the fruit group. This diet offers a lot more variety than others, and teaches you how to mix n match to come up with a varied and healthy diet.
Formula diets are, as the name suggests, diets in which a certain percentage, or even the bulk of your food intake, will be via specially formulated ‘shakes’. Whilst these formulas are designed to provide essential nutrients, and are convenient for busy people (make, shake and drink on the way to work) they’re also bland and may be unsustainable for long-term weight loss.
Flexible diet plans often advocate limiting one or other of the main food groups. You’re usually free to choose what you eat and how much, hence the ‘flexible’ but only in so far as those choices must come from the ‘allowable’ food groups. The Keto diet and Angelina Jolie weight loss plan for example advocates removing all carbohydrates from the diet. Then there are diets that restrict fat intake, diets that don’t allow any processed sugar or flour, and so on. The issue with some of these diets is that you may wind up missing out on essential nutrients only available in those ‘banned’ food groups.
Whichever type of diet you end up going with, the important rule of thumb for successful weight loss is to ensure that what you consume in energy (calories) never exceeds what you use up. Excess calories inevitably wind up being stored as fat. If you lead a sedentary life, either restrict your calorie intake accordingly or start doing some exercise to burn them up. As always, seeking professional advice is always your safest option, even when it comes to weight loss.