I see on social media every day, so many health care professionals and self proclaimed professionals having their say about weight loss. I’ve heard “weight watchers/slimming world/5:2 are bad” “count nutrients not numbers” “you should eat regularly” “you should have periods of fasting” “don’t count calories” “just listen to your hunger”. There are so many varying opinions, what should I believe? In short:
Weight loss will only happen if there is an energy deficit. It actually doesn’t matter necessarily how you achieve that, whether it’s watching calories each day, intermittent fasting(ie. 5:2) or following a well known plan (I.e slimming world or weight watchers) Although I don’t endorse a ‘diet’ mentality, you should choose a way of a achieving a calorie deficit that works for you.
◽️Of course there are more healthy behaviours than others, I don’t recommend counting calories for most people - but I CERTAINLY suggest calorie AWARENESS. What is high in calorie? What should I be mindful of? (Examples include nut butters, nuts, fats, processed meats, cheese, pastries, chocolates, chocolate spreads, butter etc). .
◽️OK but surely I need to count ‘macros’ or watch amount of fat/carbohydrate? Eating lower (not low) carbohydrate can help to aid fat loss (from a biological and physiological perspective - and preserve lean mass). However this doesn’t mean that you need to eat no carbohydrates to achieve weight loss. Eating just less of a balanced diet is completely acceptable. .
◽️There are pros and cons for everything weight loss related, and actually research for and against everything (literally too much to mention) . So in summary?
Do whatever works for you. Things that CAN help?
- low GI (to help balance sugar spikes, insulin and energy)
- losing weight with friends (support helps)
- mindful eating - making sure you drink lots of water
- moving more and keeping active
- eating protein at each meal (meat, fish, legumes or dairy)
- cut visible fat off foods
- change cooking methods to grilling, baking and boiling
- eat with ceremony (eat off a plate where you can, make your food look nice)
- be mindful of your portions