It is like going to a mega shopping mall to buy a pair of socks and seeing hundreds of varieties. It would take ages for you to decide which one to buy – you are spoiled with choice. Well, that’s the case with a diet plan to lose weight.
It can get quite frustrating if you Google search for a diet plan. And, if you look for advice from new age diet companies that have cropped up, you will be given a lot of baloney of how you will lose weight with their plan.
Honestly, tell me; would you like to sacrifice your daily dal chaval/roti and your weekly biryani? Most of us would definitely say no. This is because we are Indians and right from our childhood we have been accustomed to Indian food. So, any diet plan to lose belly fat better be Indian!
There is immense research going on in the field of nutrition, diet, and weight loss. The number of diet plans that come out daily are like the variants of a latest car – for a single model you have around six to seven variants. As I said before, you are spoiled with choice.
Let us just take a look at the number of diet plans. Some of them are outright crazy and some of them are fads. There are a few that seem to work, but are not backed by science and evidence. There are also others that work in the short term, but are harmful in the long run.
So, without much ado, let’s jump into the world of diet plans. Here are some fad diets that no one should be trying.
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Baby food diet
Whoever came up with this idea thought it was a cracker, but consuming only baby food instead of getting a nutritious diet is unhealthy. Imagine a full-grown adult eating only baby food thrice a day! It seriously lacks in nutrition and makes one look horrible. I mean do you like to see your friend gobbling baby food like a sundae?
Cabbage soup diet
One has to appreciate the will power of a person who can gobble only cabbage soup in order to lose weight. However, one should also question the sanity of that person as avoiding all other nutrients and consuming only cabbage soup is dangerous. It can lead to severe nutritional deficiencies and even disease conditions.
Yes, fruits are highly nutritious. They are full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, but seriously can a person live only on fruits? Leaving aside such a remote possibility, living only on fruits is better suited for our primate ancestors. With bulkier bodies, and an active lifestyle one cannot survive only on fruits.
Blood type diet
Every now and then, it looks as though people seem to need frauds and scams. There is a definite appetite for spurious products, and untested theories. The blood type diet comes under this category. The idea that every blood type (blood group) responds to food in a different way may seem a good-looking, but it is totally pseudoscience. It is not proven and should be avoided as it can lead to serious nutritional deficiencies and health problems.
While these diet types may seem out of the way, they are at least palatable; however, there are some diets that are outright disgusting. Ingesting cotton balls and tapeworms in order to shed kilos is only a sign of desperation. They should be avoided for dear life.
We have seen some of these diets that are proven totally unscientific. Now let us look at some diet plans to lose belly fat that are semi-scientific.
Paleo diet is basically a nostalgic idea. It is based on the principle of going back to the diet of Paleolithic era when humans did not know agriculture. Going back to a diet of 2 million years is a romantic idea. It is based on the assumption that consuming a Stone Age diet is the answer to all weight issues.
Even though this diet advocates low glycemic (containing lesser amounts of glucose) foods, we really do not have an idea what foods actually existed 2 million years before. So, we end up consuming fruits, vegetables, and nuts of the modern-day version. As you know, most of these are hybrid and not of the wild variety.
Moreover, Paleo diet advocates high protein intake. This means consuming more amounts of red meat, fish, poultry, and oils like olive oil and coconut oil. Paleo diet is known to show short term benefits in terms of weight loss and controlling diabetes. All this sounds good; however, there is a catch here.
Avoiding whole grains, dairy products, legumes, cereals, and pulses might not be a good idea in an Indian setup. In fact, many research studies conducted have proved that Paleo diet is guilty of causing vitamin deficiencies. Moreover, there is a significant increase in the risk of heart disease.
Ketogenic (Keto) diet
Keto diet advises you to consume a high-fat, moderate protein, and low-carbohydrate diet. This diet was originally developed for epileptic patients, especially children with epilepsy.
Ketones are chemicals produced by the liver. A Keto diet with high fat content and low carbohydrate content releases ketones into the bloodstream. As the level of ketones increase in the bloodstream, it reaches a condition called ketosis. In this stage, the body starts to use stored fat deposits to generate energy. That is why there is weight loss.
As a diet plan to lose weight, Keto diet seems to work very well in the initial stages. Yet in the long run, Keto diet is full of pitfalls. Consuming high fat foods for weight loss may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases as it increases bad cholesterol levels.
Since Keto diet advocates low carbohydrate diet, consumption of vegetables, fruits, legumes, and other foods are reduced. This leads to an increased risk of colon, lung, and liver cancer in the long run.
Raw food diet
Finally, in this list of diets we present to you raw food diet or “raw foodism” as it is called. This diet is based on the concept of consuming foods uncooked or unprocessed. Technically, it means consuming foods that are only prepared at a temperature range of 33 degrees centigrade to 48 degrees centigrade.
These include vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, unpasteurized dairy, raw meat, raw eggs, and raw milk. This may sound to be the best thing as you save on cooking gas, lose weight, and gain health. However, raw food diet is also flawed in some aspects.
There are many foods that intrinsically contain certain toxins which are removed only after cooking. Foods like raw meat, raw eggs, and unpasteurized dairy and certain vegetables can cause parasitic infections and toxicity.
So, what is the best diet plan to lose weight fast?
Going back to the basics, weight loss occurs when the food consumed to make energy is lesser than the food burnt to make energy. That said, if you start fasting or at least intermittent fasting, you might lose a bit of weight; however, this is not feasible in the long run.
Our bodies tend to fight calorie depravation in the form of fat storage. For you to lose more weight, you have to starve more. This is impossible after a level. That is why a diet plan to lose belly fat should have optimum intake of calories, and macro and micronutrients.
This means a diet plan, Indian one at that. This is because you can take up this diet plan comfortably and is a healthy option. A healthy Indian diet plan based on your geographical diet preferences along with adequate amount of exercise is the answer.
And, when we say lose weight fast, it doesn’t mean you are in a race. The word fast is subjective and is unique to you. For example, a young person at an age of 20 yrs. may lose weight quicker than a 45-year old. A post childbirth woman may take more time to lose weight than a postmenopausal woman. Once you are comfortable with this fact, let us now proceed to diet plans to lose weight.
Calories vs. Empty calories
Let us understand the source of calories. A fruit such as an apple contains the same amount of calories as a portion of ice cream. However, the calories from apple are healthier than the calories in an ice cream. Why?
This is because the sugars contained in an apple are healthier and they are natural. Sugars and additives contained in an ice cream are artificial and are not absorbed in the body. So, they are turned into fat deposits. That is why choosing wisely is important.
When it comes to fast foods and the occasional desserts, though it is better to stay away from them, consuming once a month is alright.
Now to the diet plans. A 2000-calorie diet is recommended by the FDA of USA and The National Institute of Nutrition of India.
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This is based on the concept of consuming 2000 calories from all food sources per day. In this diet, there is strict regulation when it comes to the consumption of sodium (salt), saturated fats, and sugars. However, depending upon the activity levels, gender, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and age, the amount of calories can vary to a small extent. This can be calculated by a certified nutritionist or a dietician.
A 2000-calorie diet emphasizes on the source of calories as well. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDI), Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI), Adequate Intake (AI), and Daily Value (DV) need to be calculated perfectly in order to ensure that you get all the nutrients. When this is done along with exercise, you lose weight at a healthier pace and the results are permanent.
Daily micronutrient requirements
• Vitamin A, C, D, E, K, B2, B6, B12
Along with a well planned diet, you also need exercise and behavior and lifestyle therapy in order to lose weight fast. In some cases where these measures do not work, there are therapies like nonsurgical weight loss therapies to lose weight. To know more about weight loss, and healthy diet, contact experts at La Belle.