Weight loss and health have become top priorities for almost everyone. However, there are so many myths and new researches flying around this subject, making it difficult to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
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In this comprehensive article, we focus on seven perturbing and popular frequently asked questions about health and weight loss, plus detailed answers from registered weight loss doctors to give you the most trustworthy and research-based solutions.
So, let’s dive in already.
1. How can I lose weight fast?
There are multiple easy ways to shed off extra pounds fast and in a healthy manner. Everyone is unique in every way, so it’s important to consult a weight loss doctor to assess your individual body and shape and recommend the right approach to weight loss. Typically, weight loss doctors direct weight loss goals through personalized plans.
It is not a one-size-fits-all weight loss plan. Although there are some general weight-loss guidelines that doctors often prescribe, they can only design your exact plan after personally visiting their office. Some general tips for weight loss that you can safely follow at home include:
Reduce Your Carbohydrates Consumption
Reducing the proportion of carbohydrates and starches in your diet is the primary step if you’re looking to lose weight faster. Your body is naturally designed to generate energy by breaking down carbohydrates, so cutting down on carbs will ultimately shift the energy generation process to fats and proteins.
According to Dr. Calder, the average American diet is extremely high in starches. By reducing your carbs intake, the carbohydrates stores start depleting, forcing the body to go into a process known as ‘ketosis,’ which is basically your key to faster weight loss!
Through the ketosis process, your body starters begin to churn down stored fat to compensate for energy generation, which was initially done through carbohydrates. As the fats of the body are shredded, you’ll observe a faster weight loss.
Consume More Proteins and Lean Fats
To lose weight fast and healthily, the general rule of thumb is to have two to three meals a day loaded with very lean and healthy fats and proteins. If you feel starved at night, it’s okay to add a fourth meal, but in small proportions.
Research has suggested that consuming more proteins in your diet boosts your caloric expenditure by raising your body’s metabolic rate. Foods rich in proteins are also believed to reduce cravings and hunger thoughts by up to 60%.
Go for Weight Lifting Workouts Twice a Week
Did you know that weight lifting can actually help you shed off weight faster than any other exercise? Incorporating weight lifting workouts along with dietary modifications, can go a long way in kick-starting your weight loss.
When you lift weights, your body burns lots of calories and keeps your metabolic rate high for the rest of the day. Slow metabolism is often the most common side effect of rapid weight loss. That’s why many people complain about their weight getting stable after shedding off a few pounds.
Weight lifting also helps to build your body muscles, helping you burn more calories even at rest. The greater the muscle power, the higher the basal metabolism, and the more calories you burn.
Slot in a Cheat Day Once a Week
Any adaptation, be it excellent or substandard, can result in slower weight loss results. Although your constant refrain from carbs can perfectly trigger rapid weight loss, this routine might ultimately frustrate your body cravings for sugar in the long-run. As a consequence, you may end up munching loads of treats ruthlessly.
To break the monotony, you should occasionally treat yourself to some unhealthy mall snacks of choice, such as a cupcake or donut – whatever you prefer. Just make sure you don’t consume any extra carbs for the rest of the week.
Strictly Monitor Your Calorie Intake
Keeping a strict check on your calorie intake is an excellent way to stay on track with your weight loss regimen. You can use any reliable inner calorie counter to monitor your calorie consumption each day. This will help you know your overall progress and enable you to identify items on your diet that are working or not working to enhance weight loss.
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2. What is the best diet for weight loss of 2020?
Weight loss doctors have labeled the ‘Mediterranean diet’ as the best diet for weight loss of 2020 in America for the third time in a row, that’s according to the U.S world record and annual rankings.
Around 2018, both Mediterranean and DASH diets were competing neck to neck since both options shared some standard honors in diet structures, such as consuming more fruits and vegetables. Another weight loss diet that has had some fame in the past is the KETO diet. However, it gradually lost its edge due to stringent diet restrictions and health concerns. So, the Mediterranean diet was declared the best overall diet for weight loss in 2020, leaving all other competitive diets lagging behind.
The Mediterranean diet offers many benefits and very few cons as compared to all other weight-loss diets. Even in terms of scientific research backups, the Mediterranean diet is still a clear winner. According to weight loss doctors, here are some of the benefits that prove the Mediterranean diet to be the best diet for weight loss in 2020.
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Pros of the Mediterranean Diet
“I always tell my patients that even though it’s referred to as the Mediterranean diet, the right name should really be the ‘Mediterranean way of life,’” says Dr. Gabelman, an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the famous Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is also a strict follower of the diet himself.
He further says:
“Most weight-loss diets are usually short-lived plans or very specific regimens that you follow in the short-term. You can’t stay on them for long. However, the Mediterranean diet isn’t a 10-day no-carb diet or a 30-day fast, so you don’t need to carry a salad in a brown bag whenever you go out to a restaurant. On the contrary, it’s a healthy way of living that you can comfortably stick to for the rest of your life.”
Here are the major benefits of the Mediterranean diet as described by weight loss doctors:
Rich in nutrition:
Like most healthy diets, the Mediterranean diet does not exclude any good food groups or vital nutrition. Instead, it encourages numerous nutrient-rich foods, making it less restrictive to people of all age groups, and it’s easy to follow. You can choose from a wide range of flavors that you can enjoy while observing the Mediterranean diet.
According to the 2015-2020 dietary guidelines, USDA included calcium and vitamin D intake, as these are the only lacking nutrients in a nutritious nutritional pattern and the Mediterranean diet.
Improves Cardiac Health:
Many scientists have carried out a robust amount of research around the Mediterranean diet and heart health. Numerous studies and controlled trials suggest strong evidence of improved heart health associated with this diet. Scientists now believe that consistently following the Mediterranean dietary patterns can reduce the risk of heart attack, coronary heart disease, and other cardiovascular diseases.
Improves Mental Health:
The Mediterranean diet has also been linked with improved mental health. According to research findings, people following the Mediterranean diet were less likely to suffer depression and lowered their risks of having health disorders by 33%.
The Mediterranean diet basically focuses on eating more and more nutrient-rich foods, which are healthy replacements for processed and frozen foods. So, pairing the Mediterranean diet with a healthy and active lifestyle can greatly promote faster weight loss.
The Mediterranean diet also allows you to consume very lean meats and healthy proteins, mostly based on plant origin. As a result, you can effectively suppress appetite and cravings throughout the day. People following the Mediterranean diet typically shift to organic food choices and avoid fast food.
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What are the cons of the Mediterranean diet?
Despite the numerous positive effects of the Mediterranean diet on weight loss and overall health, the diet still has a few downsides, according to weight loss doctors. A significant downside of this popular diet is that it permits moderate consumption of alcohol and red wine. Health experts maintain that alcohol consumption, even in moderation, causes a myriad of problems to the body and heightens many underlying health conditions. Generally, alcohol needs to be eliminated to effectively reduce weight, but the Mediterranean countries always favor its consumption with every meal.
The foods permitted in this diet are relatively safe for consumption by people with various health issues. However, alcohol consumption makes this diet unsuitable for pregnant women or people dealing with nephritic and hepatic issues.
Another notable downside of the Mediterranean diet is that it strictly restricts the consumption of any processed foods, so a lot of busy and working individuals may find it difficult to follow.
3. How do I control my cravings and avoid binging on high-calorie foods?
Cravings are your worst enemy if you’re on a diet or weight loss program.
“You want to institute a healthy eating pattern without slipping into dieting, which could trigger the next round of binging,” affirms Randy Flanery, Ph.D. Randy is the program director for Webster Wellness Professionals, a clinic in St. Louis that focuses on eating disorders.
He further said,
“When you stop binging, you might be able to shed off 20 to 30 pounds, but you’ll probably gain it all back (or even add another 10 pounds) if you fail to address the underlying issues first.”
Here are some easy ways that weight loss doctors and dietitians recommend if you want to suppress your cravings and avoid binging on high-calorie foods.
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Drink Lots of Water:
The signals of thirst and hunger are often confused because both signaling centers are wired close together. You might feel hungry again and again, but in actual sense, you could be receiving thirst signals.
If you begin to crave something specific such as pizza, chocolate, or any of your favorite snacks, try drinking a glass of water and hold on for a couple of minutes. If you notice the cravings going away gradually, it could be a sign that what you were feeling wasn’t hunger but rather thirst. Drinking plenty of water also helps suppress appetite.
Consume More Protein:
If you are obsessive about a binge on high-calorie foods, consider consuming more proteins. Typically, proteins suppress appetite while still making you feel full for long. By consuming more proteins than other food types, you can significantly improve your body’s basal metabolism.
A study was conducted to determine whether protein-rich meals make people feel full for longer durations. A number of teenage girls were made to eat high-protein breakfast, and the results indicated that by doing so, their cravings began to go away successfully.
Several other studies also concluded that taking more proteins in a meal successfully suppressed late-night snacks’ cravings over time.
Divert your Brain from Cravings:
Every feeling, including the urge to eat something, is triggered by the brain. When you feel a strong craving for something, try to distance your brain from such feelings. Think of some other activities that can quickly take your attention away from cravings. For instance, you can take a brisk walk outside, have a shower, sort out your room, or even play a video game.
The more you train your brain to divert from cravings and binge eating, the fewer the hunger signals generated from the brain. A change in your thoughts and external environment can help the hunger pangs to settle down drastically.
Another effective way to divert your mind from cravings is by chewing gum. A number of studies have suggested that chewing gum can help suppress appetite and cheat the mind to stop generating hunger signals.
Carefully Plan Your Meals:
Planning your meals is always better than last-minute stuffing with anything you lay your hands on. As much as you can, try planning your meals for at least a week ahead. By careful planning, you’ll be able to know exactly what meal you’re going to take, the origin of the food, and the amount of calories it has. You don’t want to create last-minute chaos by failing to get supplies of groceries in your kitchen when you need them.
Planning also helps you maintain a proper and strict diet; you have the freedom to review your planned meals and know what is excess and what needs to be added.
Avoid Fasting Through the Day:
Depriving yourself of food throughout the day can make you feel excessively hungry. As a result, you can miss out on your diet meals or end up binging junk food or whatever meal is readily available.
It’s a good idea to stick to your diet meals and never miss any meal as planned in your weight loss diet. If you’re going to leave home, consider carrying some healthy snackable foods such as broccoli, almonds, seeds, or nuts to suppress hunger until your next mealtime.
Medical observations have revealed that women under stress tend to feel hungrier and crave food more. This pattern indicates that stress can increase hunger cravings and promote lousy eating behaviors.
Stress also releases more cortisol, the hormone that triggers your fight and flight mode by breaking down fats and sugars. However, excessive levels of cortisol often raise a medical concern known as ‘Cushing syndrome.’ Cushing syndrome is among the major causes of obesity and fat deposition. No diet or exercise can help you shed off extra weight until the condition resolves.
Employ simple strategies such as yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, or brisk walking to get over stress and improve the success of your weight loss plan.
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Get Better Sleep:
Sleeping significantly impacts your hunger mechanism. Hormone fluctuations that occur throughout the day will determine your appetite. So, when your sleep is disturbed, you’ll suffer a hormone imbalance, which results in increased appetite and intense cravings.
Many studies have revealed that sleep deprivation is a potential cause of binge eating. Strive to have a good sleep to help you get over recurring cravings.
Avoid Emotional Binge Eating:
Always develop awareness about your eating habits. Many people often get hungry with extreme emotions such as sorrow, excitement, or other life events. In fact, some people cannot resist eating on birthday parties or other social events.
The reason is that your brain develops permanent neural pathways each time you repeat eating specific foods on certain occasions. That is why all movie halls can’t stop selling pizzas or popcorn, and no birthday party is complete without cutting carb-loaded cakes.
Being an emotional eater can make it challenging to distinguish between physical hunger and occasions associated with emotional binge eating.
“I know a lady who gained a lot of weight from eating sweets every time she felt upset. It can happen to anyone. The stress hormone “cortisol” instructs your body to produce glucose, which is then stored away by insulin, ultimately generating fat. Eating a lot of carbs floods your bloodstream with extra glucose and insulin, and that’s why I often recommend a low-carb diet — as opposed to sweets. She could eat unlimited proteins, like fish, poultry, and eggs, whenever she felt stressed and hungry,” says William Yancy, M.D., the program director of the Duke University Diet and Fitness Center in Durham, NC.
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He further adds,
“Non-starchy vegetables and other low-carb foods such as avocado and cheese can make you very full. I also advised her to note down alternative things she could do besides binge eating whenever she feels stressed, hoping that the list would help divert her attention in such situations. She’s been following my advice, and I know it will make a significant difference in her weight loss regimen.”
These are just general rules for people struggling with binge eating, as advised by weight loss doctors. However, if you have serious underlying conditions such as anorexia, bulimia, or other medical issues, you should deal directly with a registered weight loss doctor and discuss over an appointment.
4. What are the potential health risks of losing weight too quickly?
The internet is flooded with several posts and blogs, suggesting ways to lose weight rapidly. Many people often fall for ideas that promise the fastest weight loss results. However, health experts have always promoted the concept of slow and consistent weight loss.
“The fact is, even if you’re strictly dieting, you may lose inches in your waist before shedding off pounds because you’ll be putting on muscles that weigh more than fat. It’s not a bad thing, though, because muscles also help you burn more fat eventually. I advised my friend to focus on losing just half a pound at a time. If you can manage to work out five days a week, that’s great, but if you can’t, you should exercise as often as you can. Walk around for a few minutes after eating anything. After a short while, she was down inches and pounds,” says Judith Korner, M.D., Ph.D., and professor of medicine and director of the Weight Control Center at Columbia University Medical Center in NY.
Rapid weight loss has potential risks to your body as well as your mental health, especially if you opt for over-the-counter weight loss pills without consulting a qualified weight loss doctor.
“My friends always ask if weight-loss pills really work. The simple answer is “yes.” There are multiple medications that have been approved by the FDA that can help suppress your appetite or keep you feeling full for long. And they work, as long as you stick to a healthy diet and stay physically active. However, you should never take any weight loss pill unless it’s prescribed and monitored by your doctor. Some of these medications can elevate your heart rate or blood pressure, so your doctor should measure and monitor these during regular follow-ups. And, of course, only a qualified doctor can know how various pills might worsen any medical condition you already have. So please, don’t take such medications by yourself,” says Amy Rothberg, M.D., Ph.D.
Losing weight very rapidly often involves starvation techniques that involve a lot of exertion on your body’s metabolic needs. Rapid weight loss is also not a sustainable approach to weight loss; people usually put on double weight than what they lost once they stop starving themselves. Research has also indicated that two-third of dieters following rapid weight loss diets tend to gain more weight than they lost.
So, rapid weight loss can backfire and cause a myriad of problems for your body. Below are the most prevalent health risks associated with rapid weight loss:
Diets that promise rapid weight loss usually lack numerous essential nutrients that are necessary for the body. By strictly following such diets, you are at significant risk of missing out on multiple essential nutrients, minerals, and vitamins for a healthy body.
Many dairy-free diets on offer have resulted in worse consequences of lack of vital calcium and Vitamin D. Younger people missing out on these nutrients have acquired osteoporosis for this reason. Other diets also have flawed medical research and structure to support weight loss without triggering conditions such as metabolic syndrome.
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When you skip important meals and nutrients throughout the day with the aim to shed off weight rapidly, you can suffer a myriad of health issues. Nutritional deficiencies contribute to the following defects:
Lack of Energy
If your extreme diet focuses on extended fasting, such as ‘anorexic diet’ or similar rapid weight loss diets, you will not get adequate calories to produce the necessary energy you require to carry out your day to day activities. Not eating anything at all will highly drain your energy levels, lower your blood glucose, and ultimately slow down your brain.
Brittle Nails and Osteoporosis
Proper nutrition and diet play a vital role in the health and strength of your bones. A steady source of Vitamin D and calcium is compulsory if you want to enjoy healthy bones. Some weight-loss diets such as “non-dairy” diets will significantly deplete your bones’ and muscles’ calcium stores, causing your bones and nails to get brittle and weak. Your stiff compact bones will slowly be replaced by soft, spongy, and porous bones that are fragile and easily fractured.
Weak Immune System
Poor nutrition also affects the immune system. Weight loss doctors maintain that low diet and lack of proper nutrition inhibit the production and function of your body’s immune cells and antibodies. The most apparent relationship between proper diet and immunity lies within proteins.
Proteins form the building blocks of immune cells that fight against external agents and defend your body through natural mechanisms. With a low-protein diet, the immune system shuts down, exposing your body to a wide range of chronic diseases.
Rapid weight loss diets focus on extreme calorie restrictions; people typically jump from consuming 3,000 calories to just 1,000 or less calories. When your body drastically goes down into energy shortage and senses starvation, it will start storing food. Your metabolic rate ultimately goes down to conserve maximum energy to support your normal body functions.
Scientific studies support that the more people begin to lose weight, the quicker their metabolism goes down. In such a scenario, your body starts storing fats instead of breaking them down to produce energy, causing you to suddenly start gaining weight.
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When you lose weight quickly through unhealthy methods, you can easily be duped that you’re losing fat, but instead, it’s your muscles that are suffering. Extreme calorie restriction will break down your muscles to compensate for your body’s energy demands. Muscles are the most active resources for regulating the body’s metabolic rate. In fact, one pound of muscles burns more calories than several pounds of fatty tissues (fats). So, lower muscle mass will result in lesser calories burnt and a slower metabolism.
For people following the ‘ketogenic diet,’ chronic dehydration is often a big concern. The ketogenic diet has strict carbohydrate restrictions, and that’s why people following this diet often lose a lot of water weight over the first two weeks, tricking them to believe that they’re actually losing weight rapidly.
Dehydration is the eventual consequence of rapid weight loss on diets such as the ‘ketogenic diet.’ Moreover, there is a cluster of health problems associated with dehydration alone, often coming as a package: Headache, muscle cramps, low energy, and constipation are some common issues that crop up with excessive dehydration.
Dehydration is, however, not a concern for diets offering fluid intake, although purely liquid intake diets are equally unhealthy. Some rapid weight loss diets may even restrict water consumption.
Rapid weight loss also has a negative impact on mental health. Many folks want to lose weight quickly by disregarding future conditions. Behind every weight loss goal, there are lots of ‘if’ and ‘then.’ Some people might think that if they shed off a few pounds quickly and get into shape, they can be happier and be loved by others.
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So, if they fail to achieve the desired results even after losing weight drastically, they might easily fall into depression. Others simply fail to adjust to their new body shape and skin, which can worsen their underlying mental health conditions.
5. What is more important: The number of calories or the type of calories you consume in a day?
When it comes to losing weight, the general consensus among weight-loss experts is that the number of calories consumed is more important than what the calories are made of.
A Balancing Act
Calories are the basic unit of energy present in all foods and beverages. Our bodies need calories to maintain vital functions. In other words, energy from calories fuels physical activity. Proteins, carbs, and fats all contain calories that are either converted into physical energy or stored as fat. Keeping track of the number of calories you consume is imperative to weight loss.
If you consume more calories than your body needs, the excess energy is stored as fat, and you gain weight. The key to losing weight is to create a caloric deficit in the body. A caloric deficit occurs when you eat fewer calories than your body expends. Low-calorie diets where you consume 1,000 to 1,500 calories per day are designed to create a caloric deficit in the body and help shed a few pounds.
Weight loss is a balancing act between the number of calories you consume daily versus what your body needs to maintain the current weight. You need to create a deficit, but it’s not always that simple. Sticking to a low-calorie diet takes a lot of discipline, and a lot of people find themselves unable to maintain that type of lifestyle.
How a Low-calorie Diet Works
According to Chrissy Carroll, RD, MPH, “a low-calorie diet is typically between 1,000 to 1,500 calories, which helps to promote weight loss. It should be followed with guidance from a professional to ensure all nutritional needs are met. Experts emphasize it is not appropriate for everyone, especially athletes and breastfeeding women.” Whether you consume carbohydrates, protein, or fats, it doesn’t matter as far as weight loss is concerned.
What matters is the portion sizes. The size of your portions affects the number of calories you consume. The bigger the portions, the higher the number of calories you are getting. However, there are a few considerations to make before adopting a low-calorie diet. Those with conditions such as diabetes and high cholesterol should not restrict their calorie intake. Talk to your doctor for guidance before embracing a low-calorie diet.
Benefits of a Low-calorie Diet
The balance of calories you consume to the calories you burn determines whether you lose, gain, or maintain your body weight. A low-calorie diet helps you reduce the number of calories you eat relative to the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight. The resultant caloric deficit helps your body burn excess body fat. A low-calorie diet is not complicated to maintain. You can follow this type of diet as long as you can measure your food portions.
As you cut your portions to reduce calorie intake, make sure that your diet contains nutrient-dense foods that contain all the essential elements your body needs to maintain vital functions. Here are some nutrient-dense foods to include in your low-calorie diet:
- Lean proteins
- Dairy products
Besides weight loss, there are other health benefits of a low-calorie diet. According to a recent study published by the Cell Metabolism journal, reducing the number of calories you consume by 15% over a couple of years can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as Diabetes, Cancer, and Alzheimer’s, and even slow aging.
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No Foods Are Forbidden
Another key advantage of a low-calorie diet is that no foods are restricted. There is no need to avoid your favorite snack when counting calories. The diet only monitors the total daily caloric intake and not specific types of foods. The absence of dietary restrictions makes a low-calorie diet easier to maintain as it allows you to have your favorite foods.
For weight loss, the number of calories you consume in a day is more important than the type of calories you eat. If you burn more calories than you eat, you will lose weight regardless of the source of the calories. The bottom line is that if you watch your calorie intake, you can shed the extra pounds permanently as long as your diet is balanced and healthy.
6. How important is an exercise for weight loss?
Is exercise really necessary for weight loss? You lose weight when you consume fewer calories than you expend. Reducing calorie intake is necessary to shed excess weight. Exercise increases the number of calories you burn and helps you lose weight faster and keep it off.
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Benefits of Exercise in Weight Loss
When it comes to weight loss, diet, and exercise go hand in hand. Yes, you can lose weight by cutting back on your calorie intake alone, but exercise is an essential component. According to Dr. Calder, M.D, aka FitDoc, those looking to shed extra pounds should increase physical activity as they modify their diet. You don’t need a gym membership to exercise. Simple physical activities such as taking a walk, doing household chores, etc. will do the trick.
Start small and work your way up to the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity a week. A lot of people tend to avoid exercise in their weight loss journey because it increases appetite and lethargy, which seems counterproductive. You may feel hungry the first few days you exercise after a long stretch without any physical activity, but that goes away after a while and is replaced by feelings of well-being.
The success of the exercise in your weight loss efforts is contingent on the diet. If your diet is on point, you will be able to burn excess fat faster through exercise. Here are other benefits of exercise:
Keeps Lost Weight Off
One of the biggest challenges of losing weight with diet alone is keeping the lost weight off. The vast majority of people who diet can’t keep the fat off for long. Exercise increases your metabolism, helping your body burn calories more readily. Exercise also builds muscle and increases your body’s calorie expenditure.
Suppresses Hunger Hormones
Ghrelin, or the hunger hormone, has an important influence on energy metabolism. This is the only known hormone to increase appetite. Studies have shown that short bouts of intense exercise can suppress this powerful appetite stimulant, reducing the sensation of hunger. However, prolonged sessions of exercise have no effect on the hunger hormone as levels of ghrelin go back to normal after one hour.
Exercise Burns Fat
When you lose weight through diet alone, your body loses fat, muscles, and bone density. The body burns through proteins and muscle mass as opposed to its own fat deposits. Research shows that people on a diet lose about 25 percent of the muscle mass. Adding an exercise regimen to your weight loss plan helps you target the body’s fat deposits directly.
When you work out and eat more proteins and healthy fats, the body will start breaking down its own fat stores instead of using proteins to generate fuel. This means that you can shed extra weight and build a stronger, healthy body. Also, your body’s efficiency to burn and expend calories increases when you build muscle.
Cardio Exercise Burns Stubborn Body Fat and Cellulite
Whether you want to lose weight, burn fat, or improve your general health, cardio exercise can help. Also known as aerobic exercise, cardio exercise can help you target stubborn body fat in your belly, hips, chin, etc. While it does not have a significant impact on your muscles, cardio exercise such as brisk walking, swimming, running, and cycling helps burn calories and reduce body fat. Having low body fat also reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Strength Training for Long-term Weight Loss
Also referred to as resistance training or weight training, strength training is any form of exercise designed to improve muscular strength and endurance. Strength training causes muscles to contract against an external resistance such as weights. Resistance training builds muscle and is one of the most effective ways to lose weight in the long-term. Building muscle mass improves your metabolism and allows your body to keep burning calories at rest.
Bodyweight revolves around caloric consumption and expenditure. Cutting back on your calorie consumption is what matters most when you want to get rid of excess body fat, but exercise can help you burn some extra pounds and keep them off in the long-term. However, you have to maintain a strict diet to see the benefits of exercising. You can’t out-train a bad diet, and any weight loss expert out there will tell you that for free.
7. Can an intermittent fasting diet help cut calories faster?
If you are feeling a little overweight and would like to shed some of that extra fat, there are plenty of ways to go about it. Intermittent fasting for weight loss has become extremely popular these days. But, does it work, or is it just another fad? More on that later, but first, let’s take a quick look at what exactly intermittent fasting means.
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What is an intermittent fasting diet?
Intermittent fasting diets have become very popular lately. At its core, intermittent fasting is just a dieting pattern where you eat for a set period and then fast for a set duration. There are various intermittent fasting methods, but they all revolve around skipping some meals on purpose. There’s no concrete way to practice intermittent fasting, just play around with different windows and see what works for you.
Now, on to whether intermittent fasting can help you cut calories faster and lose weight, the answer is yes. According to weight loss experts, intermittent fasting can help you reduce the number of calories you consume in a day and lose extra weight.
Dr. Mike Roussell says that intermittent fasting is a safe and effective way to lose weight, but it has no clear advantage over a low-carbohydrate diet. The lack of carbohydrates when fasting plays a huge role in the weight loss benefits of intermittent fasting diets. According to the doctor, the metabolic benefits associated with intermittent fasting can also be realized with a very low-carb diet.
Intermittent fasting allows insulin levels in the body to decrease for extended periods, which, in turn, allows the body to break down its fat deposits. Additional benefits of intermittent fasting include improved glucose control, improved brain function, better sleep, increased endurance, and reduced cholesterol.
How Intermittent Fasting Works
Intermittent fasting follows a meal timing schedule that cycles between windows of voluntary fasting and non-fasting. The 16:8 method is one of the most popular intermittent fasting methods. In a 16:8 intermittent fasting plan, you accumulate up to 16 hours of fasting every day with an 8-hour window for eating. Studies show that people on an intermittent fasting diet can lose up to 0.5 pounds per week.
Besides reducing calories and weight loss, intermittent fasting has also been seen to improve metabolism and lower the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease. Eat fewer calories during your non-fasting window so that you don’t have to increase the fasting periods. The foods you choose to eat also affect the effectiveness of your intermittent fasting diet. Stick to simple foods for the best results.
Consistency is Key!
Intermittent fasting can help you burn calories faster, but you have to put in some work. Just like any other weight loss diet out there, you need to stay committed to the diet for a long time to reap the health benefits. Take some time to adapt to the diet and be consistent. The length of time you need to be on a diet to see the full benefits varies from one person to the next.
When it comes to shedding off excess body fat, weight loss doctors maintain that diet and exercise should go hand in hand. Every individual is different, and you need to be patient and persistent in your weight loss journey to see some concrete results.
More importantly, don’t start a weight loss diet or drugs without the guidance of a qualified weight loss doctor.
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