The best way to lose weight boils down to these three things
By Samantha Cassetty, RD
Call it what you will: An eating plan, a lifestyle, a diet, a philosophy, but few things garner such heated debate as how to lose weight. The truth is, whether you’re on a low-carb keto program, devoted to the Paleo lifestyle, all in on the Whole 30, or remain committed to low-fat eating, these plans have more in common than you think. What’s more, follow any one of them religiously, and you’ll likely notice results.
1. Eat more vegetables
Considering that 9 in 10 Americans fail to meet their produce requirements, it’s pretty safe to say you need to eat more vegetables. And no matter what food philosophy you subscribe to, vegetables are a big part of the program. Vegetables have a lot going for them: They fill you up for very few calories, and they flood your body with the nutrients it needs to fight diseases, like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.
2. Eat less sugar
You can blame biology for your sweet tooth. We’re hardwired to have a preference for sweets, and this drive is universal and begins early on, according to research on the subject. Sugar makes food taste good, so food companies add it to everything from breads to soups to salad dressings to cereals, yogurts, and more. This adds up to way too much sugar!
On average, Americans consume more than 19 teaspoons of sugar per day — far in excess of the American Heart Association’s 6 teaspoon limit for women and 9 teaspoon limit for men. This is not doing your waistline any favors, which is why every weight-loss plan advocates eating less sugar.
One more note on added sugars: Whether you call it agave, cane juice, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, fruit juice concentrate, date sugar, or any of the 61 names for added sugar, they all spell trouble for your health and your waistline.
3. Eat more whole foods
I’m in favor of any program that promotes whole foods over hyper-processed fare, and this is one thing the popular diet plans can agree on. Overly processed foods have been linked to weight gain, perhaps because many unhealthy packaged foods (think: potato chips, ice cream, frozen pizza, cookies, and the like) lack the fiber found in many whole foods, including vegetables. Fiber helps fill us up, and research suggests that by simply adding more fiber to your menu, you can lose weight nearly as well as a more complicated approach. Consistently choosing whole foods is one way to do this.
Whole foods include fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, eggs, seafood, chicken and so on. Food philosophies may differ around which of these foods to emphasize, but that’s okay, since the evidence shows that there isn’t a single best way to lose weight. The goal is to select an approach that feels sustainable to you. If you’d like to live without pasta, perhaps a low-carb method centered around vegetables and quality proteins, like seafood, chicken and lean beef would be a good fit. Vegans and vegetarians can lose weight by choosing fruits, vegetables, whole grains and plant proteins. Nut lovers may do well shedding pounds with a Mediterranean-style menu. Whatever diet appeals to your appetite and way of life, focusing on whole foods is something that all plans promote.
Let’s Work Together
Get in touch so we can start working together.