If you’re looking to lose weight, the key to success is to make realistic changes to your diet and levels of physical activity. The safest way to lose weight is to adopt long-term lifestyle changes that will result in a steady rate of weight loss.
Many people look for quick fixes, but that can quite often lead them down the wrong path to healthy sustainable weight loss.
Here we dispel common myths of weight loss and offer advice on how people can lose weight safely and in a healthy way.
There’s so much information out there about losing weight that it can sometimes be hard to separate fact from fiction. Below are 10 common myths about weight loss.
It may seem like healthy food is a pricey option. However, healthier choices such as fresh vegetables - although require more prep than convenience meals - rarely come in single serving portions meaning you can cook more than you need and prepare meals in bulk.
This gives you more pre-prepared meals to eat throughout the week, as well as making your ingredients stretch further, bringing down the overall costs.
While eating the right amount of carbs as part of a healthy balanced diet will not on its own lead to weight gain, eating more carbs than you need will likely lead to weight gain.
Carbs are used for energy and complex carbohydrates (carbohydrates from whole wheats or wholegrains) can make you feel fuller for longer, aiding weight loss. The problem is the choice of carbohydrates and the amounts people consume, not necessarily the carbohydrates themselves.
Successful weight loss involves making small lifestyle changes that can be stuck to in the long-term, specifically changing your eating habits.
Exercise plans can help you lose weight and are certainly recommended as they make you fitter and healthier. But weight gains boils down to consuming more calories than you expend and there’s only so many calories you can burn through exercise.
Consuming fewer calories is actually far easier than drastically exercising to burn them off. To put it into context a single Mars bar contains 229 calories. A Harvard Medical study found that an 11 stone person would need to jog at 4.5 mph for around 50 minutes to burn 300 calories.
An average McDonalds meal, however, has around 1200 calories. So exercising to reduce your calorie deficit without reducing your calorie intake is unlikely to yield the results you’re after.
Crash diets rarely result in long-term weight loss. In many cases, they can actually lead to long-term weight gain. Not to mention your body will be missing out on all the essential nutrients that allow it to function properly.
Human metabolism is a chemical process that occurs continuously inside your body. This process requires energy, and the amount of energy required varies from person to person. This is dependent on age, gender, body size and genetics.
Some foods claim they can increase your metabolism by helping your body to burn more calories, which leads to further weight loss.
However, there is little evidence to support these claims. It is important to be wary of these products, as they often contain high levels of sugar and caffeine.
Not all diet pills are a safe or effective means of losing weight. Some unlicensed weight loss products may contain ingredients that are actually harmful to your health. You should always consult a healthcare professional before taking any new medicines. Read our guide here on dangerous diet pills.
Snacking isn't always the problem; it's the type of snack you choose. Choosing fruit and vegetables rather than crisps and chocolate will keep your energy levels high without piling on any extra pounds.
Water doesn't cause weight loss. However, staying hydrated will help you to snack less, as thirst can sometimes be mistaken for hunger meaning water can act as a natural appetite suppressant.
Always be cautious of foods labelled 'low or reduced fat'. For food to legally use the 'low fat' label, it needs to contain no more than a specific amount of fat. This doesn't automatically make it the healthy choice, as many low-fat foods contain high amounts of sugar or salt.
Skipping meals is a bad idea. To successfully lose weight you need to reduce your calorie intake and increase the number of calories you burn through exercise. Skipping meals altogether will likely result in tiredness and it could mean your body is missing out on essential nutrients. It will also make you more likely to snack on high-fat/sugary foods.
When you start trying to lose weight, it's tempting to want results as quickly as possible. So many diets promise you quick results — fasting diets, the ketogenic diet, 3-day diets, cabbage soup diets, and high protein diets being just some of the extreme examples. However, are these really the best diets for sustainable weight loss?
The quickest way to lose weight isn't necessarily the safest or healthiest. Fad diets and drastic exercise regimes are unlikely to produce long-term results. If you are looking to lose and maintain a healthy weight, then sustainable lifestyle choices are your key to success. Here are some great tips on how to diet safely.
Below are some diet and weight loss tips that will help you on your journey to a slimmer you.
There’s no time like the present to begin your weight loss journey. Below are a few helpful suggestions to kick-start the new slimmer you:
Going forward, planning your weekly schedule to accommodate extra activities and healthier choices will help encourage long-term lifestyle changes.
We all know that staying motivated can be hard, especially in the long-term. Below are some helpful tips that will help you stay on course:
So are weight loss shakes or slimming smoothies any good for you? Meal replacement shakes can help you keep a tighter control of the calories you consume. However, diet shakes of any kind will not result in weight loss....unless the calories being consumed are outweighed by the calories being burnt.
It is important to stay vigilant as some fruit smoothies can be packed with sugar, which is a recipe for weight gain, not weight loss! If opting for weight loss shakes and smoothies, it is important to choose the right ones and to incorporate them safely and effectively into a balanced nutritious diet.
The best way to lose weight is through a healthy diet and plenty of exercise. However, if diet and lifestyle changes aren't resulting in a significant amount of weight loss, there are supplemental medicines available designed to safely support your weight loss plans.
There are lots of diet pills and fat burning tablets available on the market. However, very few are clinically proven to work. The only medicine that is proven to be safe and effective is Orlistat (also sold as Alli).
Orlistat works by blocking the absorption of dietary fats. When combined with diet and exercise, Orlistat helps boost weight loss. The capsule can be taken up to three times a day with or after meals.
However, if you skip a meal or if the food you are eating contains no fat, you should not take an Orlistat capsule as there will be no fat to absorb. To qualify to use this treatment, your body mass index (BMI) will need to be 28 or above. To calculate your BMI, click here.
Before deciding to take Orlistat, you should always speak with your doctor or pharmacist first. This helps ensure the medicine is safe and suitable for you.
Weight loss surgery can sometimes be used to treat people who are very obese. The procedure is available on the NHS providing you meet certain criteria. These include:
Weight loss surgery is a major procedure and should only be considered in cases where diet, exercise and medication have failed. If you think weight loss surgery may be right for you, speak with your GP who can refer you for an assessment to check whether the procedure is a suitable option.
Sustainable weight loss should not be rushed. Crash diets and extreme short-term exercise regimes will unlikely result in long-term results. Losing weight should be viewed as a steady process that involves healthier lifestyle choices.
There are several tips, techniques and products available that will help support you in your journey. Hopefully, this article has helped to highlight those techniques that work for you and which products and methods should be avoided. Weight loss journeys varies from person to person. Finding a safe, sustainable combination of what works for you will be your key to success.
For more information, here are 6 non-surgical weight loss treatments to try.
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