The best diet is the one we can maintain for life and is only one piece of a healthy lifestyle. People should aim to eat high-quality, nutritious whole foods, mostly plants (fruits and veggies), and avoid flours, sugars, trans fats, and processed foods (anything in a box). Everyone should try to be physically active, aiming for about two and a half hours of vigorous activity per week. For many people, a healthy lifestyle also means better stress management, and perhaps even therapy to address emotional issues that can lead to unhealthy eating patterns.
See a pattern? Now, I'm not saying these doctors were wrong, exactly. I did need to lose weight. But oddly enough, when I weighed less, the doctors were much more adamant that I lose weight than they are now. When I was actually becoming straight-up obese, it was more of an afterthought. They couldn't ignore my complaints and just say "there's nothing wrong with you," so they added a quick "lose weight."
How do you know if you’re getting enough water? A general rule is to check the toilet after you’ve gone to the bathroom. You’ll know you’re well-hydrated if your urine is clear or very light yellow in color. The darker your urine, the more water you need to drink, especially if weight loss is your goal. Try this Water Intake Calculator to see if you're staying hydrated enough for your weight loss goals!
If you could hunt and gather it, you can eat it. That means yes to meats, fruits and veggies, eggs, nuts, seeds, oils like olive and coconut, and seafood. But cereal grains, legumes, dairy, and potatoes are all big no-nos. While research isn't conclusive, small studies say go for it. One found that after three weeks, people dropped five pounds. Another found that after 10 days, blood pressure and cholesterol improved. So it can slim down your tush and healthy up your heart, but the restriction (sure, cake is out, but so are beans) can drive you cray-cray—not to mention make going out to eat more difficult. Still not sure? Check out these seven things no one is telling you about going Paleo.
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If you’ve been eating fast food for years, get real about your approach: You’re probably not going to stick to an organic, gluten-free, paleo overhaul for very long. “You want to change as little as possible to create calorie deficit,” says Dr. Seltzer, who insists the best way to support sustainable weight loss is to incorporate small changes into existing habits. So instead of giving up your daily BLT bagels in favor of an egg-white wrap, try ordering your sandwich on a lighter English muffin. Or say you eat a snack bar every afternoon: Swap your 300-calorie bar for a 150-calorie alternative. “Your brain will feel the same way about it, so you won’t feel deprived,” he says.
The best low-cal diet plan isn't a diet so much as it is a method. CICO stands for "calories in, calories out" and is based on the mathematically sensible principle that as long as you're burning more calories than you're eating, you'll lose weight. All you need to get started is a way to track your calories—there are plenty of apps on the market although a pen and paper works great too—and a food scale to keep you honest about your portion sizes. (Also read this guide on how to safely cut calories to lose weight.) People love the simplicity and straightforwardness of the plan. And while it may not be the fastest way to lose weight, you're guaranteed to have success long term. (Just know that some weight-loss experts actually don't recommend calorie counting.)