Anna Langridge from 1FitLife helps you rethink your January weight loss goals, by choosing a plan that will help you stay on track throughout the year.
Most people will start the month of January feeling unhealthy, unfit and with some degree of weight gain. You try to lose weight quickly, make some good healthy choices but then you go back to work and the spiral of unhealthy habits starts again. To help you avoid these repetitive, behavioural characteristics we’ve provided an overview of some of the different types of diets available, to see if there is something out there that will help you maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle for a longer period of time. Remember, we’re all individuals and what works for one person may not work for another.
A diet isn’t necessarily about weight loss, it’s actually the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats and when they eat them.
The Paleo Diet
The objective of a paleo diet is to return to a way of eating that’s more in line with what early humans ate like the hunter-gatherer. The diet’s reasoning is that the human body is genetically mismatched to the modern diet. The Paleo diet is promoted as a good way of maintaining a healthy weight or aiding in weight loss.
The Paleo Diet allows you to eat meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, healthy fats and oils. Foods to avoid include processed foods, sugar, soft drinks, grains, most dairy products, legumes, artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils, margarine and trans fats.
The Macro Diet
A macro diet focuses on the three primary macronutrients: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Although it is popular among athletes and bodybuilders, it can be time-consuming and restrictive. You’ll need to calculate your daily calorie needs and determine your macros accordingly. It is a good idea to consult a dietitian for advice on appropriate macro ratios.
A fasting diet doesn’t specify which foods you should eat but what time you should eat.
Fasting is set up as a scheduled eating system. Common intermittent fasting methods involve daily 16-hour fasts or fasting for 24 hours, twice per week.
Fasting from time to time is more natural than always eating 3–4 (or more) meals per day but this system does not suit everyone.
Fasting is also often done for religious or spiritual reasons, including in Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism.
A vegan or plant-based diet excludes all animal products, including meat, dairy, and eggs. Replacements for these foods take the form of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds. When people follow a Vegan diet correctly, it can be highly nutritious, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and aid weight loss. It does however take time to adjust to this type of eating and the required food preparation and can be limited when dining out.
The Calorie-Counting Diet
The purpose of a calorie-counting diet is to stay within a target number of calories each day. Some people like the discipline of this type of diet but others may find it too difficult to manage.
This type of diet can help you manage your weight and blood sugar levels. If you are overweight, lowering the number of calories you eat will help you lose weight. This can also help lower your risk of health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure.
Weight Loss Groups
A group approach can help people to lose weight. It’s easier to stick with a weight loss plan when you have support, can share tips on diet and exercise and have an exercise buddy.
With weight loss support groups, you can discuss your struggles with temptations and they can provide you tips on how members have gotten through similar situations. Weight loss programs also offer a structured group setting or mentorship allowing you to tackle problems as they occur.
Whichever option you go for, try to approach your diet as a long term approach where you create new healthy habits rather than seeing it as a short term fix. If you have any medical conditions you should seek medical advice before starting a diet.