Pick the right diet along with regular exercise to optimise your weight-loss programme, instead of resorting to fads or pills.
Recently, great advances have been made with regard to weight-loss pills and bariatric surgery. However, they are short cuts that must be avoided. The pillars of a healthy weight loss still remain weight-loss diets and increased energy expenditure every day.
It is a myth that long-term weight loss can be achieved with either dieting or with exercise alone. Both are critical. Moreover, often three to six months down the line, theres a decline in interest and consequent non-compliance in any strict diet or exercise regimen. Before trying any short cuts, do keep in mind that, of the several commercially available remedies for obesity, many make exaggerated claims and are based on non-scientific principles and can lead to more harm than good. Exercise regularly.
Blame it on our genes, we Indians need more exercise than other ethnic groups to maintain our metabolism. It is advisable that you do a combination of aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening exercises. Remember, when you have shed those unhealthy kilos (and inches), you need to stick with intensive and consistent exercise to prevent weight gain.
Eat a healthy diet.
Most diets can be subdivided into four categories based on the combinations of macronutrients recommended: very low-carbohydrate, low-carbohydrate, very low-fat and balanced diet (see table). These plans modify the typical macronutrient ratios by increasing or decreasing the intake of dietary fat, carbohydrate and protein.
High-Protein Diets (Atkins Diet): Higher protein intakes may have greater satiating effects than higher carbohydrate intakes, but further research is needed to prove their efficacy. High animal protein intakes have been linked to higher risks for coronary heart disease (CHD), cancer, as well as osteoporosis and kidney disease.
Low-Carbohydrate Diets (The Zone Diet): Low-carbohydrate diets may be accompanied by greater weight loss than other diets because of greater loss of water. However, these diets may be hard on the average Indian person because of the traditional high intake of carbohydrates.
High-Fat Diets (Atkins Diet): These diets are popular in the West, however, in India's vegetarian setting.it is often not possible to increase fat content of ones diet. Also, long-term use of very high-fat diets for maintaining weight increases serum cholesterol concentrations and the risk of CHD.
Low-Fat Diets (Ornish Diet): Long-term use of the Ornish diet decreases the risk of heart disease by nearly 60%. Weight loss through these diets is achieved mostly because of the reduction in calories and not because of increased metabolism.
Trends in Weight-Loss Therapies
Some promising tips that are being scientifically tested.
1. Sip on green tea and coffee more often to rev your metabolism.
2. Fill up on of water and fibre. It will keep you satiated and up your metabolism.
3. Eating more monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), found in avocados, olives, nuts, seeds, peanut butter, dark chocolate and olive oil, expedites losing inches in the core area. (Prevention's Flat Belly Diet embodies this research.)
4. Replace your meals with protein snacks to maintain muscle mass.