Although it is an important part of healthy habits, exercise alone will certainly not help us lose weight. In some cases it could even help us gain it (which is not a bad thing, since we are talking about muscle weight). If what we want is to reduce weight to seek a healthier body composition, without any other remedy we will have to go through a good diet .
And when we talk about diet, we are not talking about those miracles that seem to be suitable for everyone and without consideration. A good diet, which we are able to maintain over time, is the best ally to maintain healthy nutrition forever.
How should a diet be to lose weight?
First of all, it must be personal . There are no general diets. As any nutritionist will tell you, a nutritional pattern is tailored to the needs of each person. Going on a diet as if it were an exercise table is not convenient nor does it take into account the physiological, psychological and social differences of each one.
Second, a diet must be seen in the long term. It is very important to achieve a dietary adherence that avoids mitigating the achievements of a change in habits. The rebound effect is always on the lookout. Therefore, a diet must end up becoming a radical and natural change in the way we eat. In other words, we must learn to eat
All that said, we haven’t touched on the more practical parts yet. For a diet to take effect when it comes to losing weight , there is only one secret: it must be hypocaloric. This means that the calories we eat must be less than we consume. But beware: not all "calories" are the same.
In food analysis, calories are measured using a calorimeter, which indicates the total energy composition of a substance. But that energy is not always assimilated by the body. For example, fibers are highly caloric, however, they are not digested and end up leaving the same way they entered. Therefore, the diet is not going to be only a matter of calories, although these are still important.
What should we put on the table?
Continuing with the considerations from before, it is important that we do not become obsessed with calories, nor with the food itself. Although we must resort to the caloric deficit, it is much more important that the diet we choose is healthy and healthy, that it meets our needs.
If this is so, we will probably achieve the necessary balance without having to worry about counting calories, something that has never been shown to be very effective for losing weight. And what do we mean by a healthy diet? There are several patterns that have been proven effective for both improving health-related indicators and losing weight.
Among these is the DASH diet, which is based on the consumption of legumes, fruits and vegetables, always whole grains, skim milk and lean meats from fish and poultry . According to experts, it is the healthiest and most effective diet when it comes to losing weight.
Another diet that is more than established among the healthy ones is the Mediterranean, which has now also begun to be called "flexitarian". This is based on a higher consumption of vegetables and healthy fats (the traditional crops of Mediterranean countries) and a lower consumption of meat, accompanied by a very active lifestyle.
Other general indications are to increase the amount of fiber, increase the consumption of vegetables and fruits, reduce the products, and especially fats, of animal origin . You also have to eliminate ultra-processed products and free sugar from the diet, as much as possible. Drinking more water is also an effective method to help reduce weight. Ultimately, as we have already said, the question is to learn to eat better and acquire new habits.
The last trick
Although we have started talking about diets, in itself, it is impossible to finish the article without re-emphasizing the importance of the whole set of healthy habits. To this we can add a little "trick", which although it does not have to be decisive, there is numerous evidence that supports it as effective: intermittent fasting.
Leaving between 12 and 20 hours between two meals can be very beneficial , and it does not have to be difficult: the easiest way to do it is by not eating anything from the previous day’s dinner until lunch time. To finish, and thus close the circle, it must be made clear that exercising does not give us carte blanche to take anything without control.
It is convenient to learn to control what we eat and how , in addition to not neglecting physical activity, of course. Losing weight is not a purely cosmetic issue. Obesity is the most widespread epidemic in existence today. To be able to combat it, the best tool is education.
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