Prescription Weight Loss Drugs
Most over-the-counter diet supplements use natural ingredients to gently boost your bodys normal fat-burning process, but even the best weight loss pills are usually not enough to combat severe obesity. If youre struggling to achieve significant weight loss, your doctor may recommend prescription weight loss medication instead.
Prescription weight loss tablets are more effective at weight loss but tend to have more severe side effects than popular weight loss supplements. Doctors will only prescribe these diet aids to people with a very high body mass index and other weight-related conditions such as Type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
While the FDA has approved several prescription drugs for long-term use, others may cause dependence and are only used for a few weeks at most.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Differ From Other Crash Diets
A readers recently wrote to me about intermittent fasting. He wrote, I have read your books on nutrition, healthy dieting and exercise, and you rail against crash diets because the lack of nutrients results in the loss of muscle mass. Now, I read about your use of intermittent fasting which reduces caloric intake to zero for prolong periods of time and I wonder, how does this differ from the caloric restriction on a crash diet?
An insightful question that’s worth exploring.
First, on a crash diet, you severely cut your caloric intake from perhaps 2,000 calories per day to less than half that amount and enter a semi-starvation mode. When you cut caloric intake drastically, the body struggles to sustain your blood sugar, known as glucose, at optimal levels. Blood sugar is critical because the brain depends on glucose as its primary source of fuel, and of course, the brain is the bodys top priority.
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Glucose is stored in the liver as glycogen. When you eat normally, if blood sugar levels fall, glucose is released from the liver to bring the level back up. However, on a crash diet, the supply of liver glycogen is depleted because the body is in a semi-starvation mode. Thus, when the blood sugar levels falls, the body is alarmed that the liver cannot respond appropriately.
Keeping The Weight Off
You may have heard the widely quoted statistic that 95% of people who lose weight on a diet will regain it within a few yearsor even months. While there isnt much hard evidence to support that claim, it is true that many weight-loss plans fail in the long term. Often thats simply because diets that are too restrictive are very hard to maintain over time. However, that doesnt mean your weight loss attempts are doomed to failure. Far from it.
Since it was established in 1994, The National Weight Control Registry in the United States, has tracked over 10,000 individuals who have lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off for long periods of time. The study has found that participants whove been successful in maintaining their weight loss share some common strategies. Whatever diet you use to lose weight in the first place, adopting these habits may help you to keep it off:
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Managing Your Stress Levels
Stress triggers the release of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, which initially decrease the appetite as part of the bodys fight or flight response.
However, when people are under constant stress, cortisol can remain in the bloodstream for longer, which will increase their appetite and potentially lead to them eating more.
Cortisol signals the need to replenish the bodys nutritional stores from the preferred source of fuel, which is carbohydrate.
Insulin then transports the sugar from carbohydrates from the blood to the muscles and brain. If the individual does not use this sugar in fight or flight, the body will store it as fat.
that implementing an 8-week stress-management intervention program resulted in significant reduction in the body mass index of children and adolescents who are overweight or have obesity.
Some methods of managing stress include:
- yoga, meditation, or tai chi
- breathing and relaxation techniques
Is Slimfast Effective For Weight Loss
The SlimFast diet can promote weight loss by reducing your calorie intake to create a calorie deficit, meaning that you expend more calories than you consume.
If following the program correctly, you would consume only around 1,200 calories per day. Considering that the average, moderately active female needs around 2,000 calories per day, this means youll have at least an 800-calorie deficit .
Furthermore, as SlimFast recommends around 1,600 calories per day for men, the calorie deficit for men could be 8001,400 calories per day .
Some older studies on SlimFast products suggest they may support meaningful weight loss. However, most studies on SlimFast are older, which may be due to the growing trend toward programs that promote sustainable weight loss .
For example, a 2006 study evaluated the effectiveness of 4 popular diet plans, including SlimFast, over the course of 6 months in 293 people with a BMI between 27 and 40 .
The study found that those in the SlimFast group had lost an average of 10.5 pounds , or 4.9% of their body weight, after 6 months .
However, 29% of participants dropped out of the study because they couldnt tolerate the diet, and only 9 of the original 58 participants were able to maintain the diet for 12 months at follow-up.
This suggests meal replacement programs such as SlimFast may be difficult to follow long-term .
There are some benefits to the SlimFast diet.
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Who Is Slimfast For
SlimFast products are designed for people looking to lose weight quickly and conveniently.
The products are low in calories and easy to take on the go, so they can be a good option for busy people who are looking to lose weight.
SlimFast products are also commonly purchased by people who want a straightforward diet plan that involves minimal grocery shopping and food preparation.
However, keep in mind that these products arent cheap and may not be accessible for all budgets.
The SlimFast diet is a partial meal replacement plan that involves eating 1 sensible meal, 2 meal replacements, and 3 snacks per day. This is known as the SlimFast 1-2-3 Plan or the SlimFast Plan.
You can choose to follow one of four versions of this plan:
Regardless of which plan you choose, youll be instructed to make one meal per day on your own, although there are guidelines for which foods to include and the company recommends keeping the meal under 600 calories.
The companys website and app offer numerous recipes that fit this requirement.
The rest of your meals will be replaced by a SlimFast shake, smoothie, or bar. Youre also allowed three 100-calorie snacks per day from the SlimFast snack product line.
The idea behind the program is that by replacing your regular meals and snacks with low calorie choices, you can reduce your daily calorie intake, which should result in weight loss.
Stand Up And Move More
One of the easiest ways to shed weight is to up your non-exercise activity thermogenesis the energy expended for everything you do outside of eating, sleeping or exercising. Little changes like carrying your groceries instead of pushing a cart, parking farther away from the entrance to the mall, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or even tapping your toe can lead to hundreds of extra calories burned.
Or try to stand more than you sit. Studies show that simply replacing sitting with standing leads to a greater daily energy expenditure, which directly translates into more calories burned and ultimately pounds shedSaeidifard F, Medina-Inojosa J, Supervia M, Olson T, Somers V, Erwin P, Lopez-Jimenez F. Differences of energy expenditure while sitting versus standing: A systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. 2018 25:522-538. .
For example, if you weigh 160 pounds and alternate sitting and standing, you can burn approximately 35 additional calories an houran extra 280 calories a day, 1,400 calories a week and about 70,000 calories a year.
Set a timer on your phone, Fitbit or computer to remind you to get up and move around every hour, says Albertson. Youll burn more calories and may lower your blood sugar and risk of heart disease.
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Popular Weight Loss Diets Reviewed
There are many weight loss diets out there.
Some focus on reducing your appetite, while others restrict calories, carbs, or fat.
Since all of them claim to be superior, it can be hard to know which ones are worth trying.
The truth is that no one diet is best for everyone and what works for you may not work for someone else.
This article reviews the 9 most popular weight loss diets and the science behind them.
Is The Military Diet Safe And Sustainable
The military diet is unbalanced. Repeating the cycle multiple times could lead to health issues, such as nutrient deficiencies.
Additionally, research suggests that dramatic calorie reductions even for short periods, such as in the case of the military diet may create or worsen unhealthy eating patterns, poor relationships with food, or disordered eating .
Whats more, regularly eating processed foods, such as hot dogs, crackers, and ice cream, may cause metabolic issues, which increase your risk of chronic disease. Instead, a healthy eating pattern should include mostly whole and minimally processed foods .
In terms of sustainability, this diet may be relatively easy for some to follow, as it only requires you to adhere to it for a short amount of time although hunger is frequently reported due to its low calorie intake.
Nevertheless, the military diet doesnt promote positive, long-term habit changes. That means any weight thats lost will be quickly regained once you return to your habitual eating pattern.
Research shows that setting realistic weight loss goals and aiming for lifestyle changes rather than short-term fad diets is essential for successful weight loss, weight maintenance, and the prevention of weight regain .
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Is Slimfast A Good Way To Lose Weight
Though you may lose weight quickly using SlimFast products, youll likely regain the weight after you stop the program.
This is because the company fails to teach sustainable habits, such as meal planning, grocery shopping, and preparing nutritious meals. Therefore, you may be reliant on the products and approved recipes to sustain weight loss.
The program is also expensive and very low in calories, which can make it difficult to stick with.
What Are The Best Diets To Lose Weight Fast
We’ll be real: any diet that allows you to lose weight quickly likely isnt at all sustainable in the long run. Losing weight quickly from dieting often comes as a result of restriction, culling entire food groups and dramatically reducing your daily calorie intake.
The risk of adopting a diet that champions these kinds of behaviours is twofold: for starters, crash-dieting can cause us to develop disordered and unhealthy eating patterns which can have detrimental effects on our physical and mental wellbeing.
Then, theres the reality that most weight-loss diets are not sustainable long-term. The restriction of calorie intake or specific food groups can trigger cycles of bingeing followed by more extreme restriction, meaning that weight fluctuates often and the routine is repeated to no end or satisfaction. This can wreak havoc on our health, too.
Like it or lump it, the honest truth is that the best diet to lose weight fast just doesnt exist. Your safest bet, if you are, indeed, looking to lose weight, is to adopt an eating plan that encourages moderation as opposed to restriction, thats sustainable and enjoyable.
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Best Diets For Healthy Eating + Best Diets Overall
DASH DietThe goal: The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension eating plan does what its name suggests: helps lower high blood pressure and encourages weight loss.Pros: Its straightforward. Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy eat less red meat, salt, and high calorie/sugar sweets. Plus, The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offers free guides.Cons: You might not lose as much weight as you would on other plans because its more catered to improving your health .
Mediterranean DietThe goal: Melt fat and avoid chronic diseases, like cancer and diabetes.Pros: You can still enjoy poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt in moderation eat sweets and red meat on special occasions and have red wine with your fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil, and seafood. Theres a plethora of research backing up this diet.Cons: You have to be accountable for figuring out calorie consumption to lose or maintain your weight, as well as your workouts.
MIND DietThe goal: Ward off Alzheimers disease.Pros: This is a blend of DASH and Mediterranean diets, so youre getting a plethora of health benefits, particularly for your noggin. Youll eat foods optimal for brain health.Cons: There isnt a real blueprint to follow and finding recipes can be difficult.
Day : Crank Up The Cardio
Supplement your current fitness routine with an extra 20 minutes of biking, rowing, or running each day. “I believe in weight training for overall fitness and health but if I’m trying to shed a few pounds, I’ll up my cardio game for a few weeks,” Shapiro says.
Notice how we didn’t address exercise until later in the program? There’s a reason. “You can’t outrun a bad diet,” Shapiro adds. “I firmly believe weight loss is 80 percent what you put in your mouth. I consider food first then add exercise for the best results.”
Countless studies have found that diet plays a much larger role in weight loss, although 150 minutes of exercise per week is recommended to maintain weightand more importantly, improve overall physical and mental well-being.
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Check In With An Accountability Partner
Sometimes losing weight can feel lonely, but you dont have to do it all by yourself.
Research shows being accountable works. In one study, two-thirds of participants who joined a weight loss program with friends maintained their weight loss for six months after the meetings ended, compared to just a quarter of those who attended on their ownWing R, Jeffery R. Benefits of recruiting participants with friends and increasing social support for weight loss and maintenance. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 1999 67:132-8. . Of course, many organizations also suggest having a sponsor or champion on your path to weight loss.
One of the best ways to consistently eat better and shed weight steadily is to check in every day with an accountability partner, suggests Bennett. Your accountability partner doesnt need to be your bestie, favorite co-worker or partner. Just find someone with similar weight loss goals. You dont need to talk every day, either. Just text each other to share that youre eating healthy foods and staying on track. If youre tempted by junk foods, you can lean on your partner, too. Thats when you may want to call them.
Dont Obsess Over Your Weight
While people generally state that they want to lose weight, they often mean that they want to lose fat.
When you adopt a healthy, sustainable weight loss plan that includes plenty of exercise, you should be gaining muscle mass.
Though this leads to slower weight loss, increased muscle mass helps your body burn fat .
Rely less on the scale and try out different methods to track fat loss, such as taking measurements of your thighs, hips, belly, chest and upper arms.
This can show you that even though the scale shows slow weight loss, youre still losing fat and gaining muscle.
Being aware of calorie intake, eating whole foods, increasing physical activity and not obsessing over your body weight are simple ways to reach your weight loss goals.
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Best Commercial Diet Plans
1. Weight Watchers Diet
2. Mayo Clinic DietThe goal: Incinerate 6 to 10 pounds in 2 weeks, then lose 1 to 2 pounds weekly until you hit your goal weight.Pros: To adjust your eating habits, youll follow Mayo Clinics food pyramid and the Mayo Clinic Diet book, which clearly writes out what bad food habits to break and what to replace them with. You wont count calories or eliminate food groups plus, you can snack all you want on fruits and vegetables.Cons: Many dieters find the Lose it! phase difficult, because its restrictive but it only lasts 2 weeks.
3. Jenny Craig Diet
Salmon And Sweet Potato
Fish is often called âbrain food,â but itâs also good for your waist. Its omega-3 fats may help you lose body fat, and salmon is a top source. Plus, one 3-ounce serving packs in 17 grams of protein. Serve it with a baked sweet potato for a filling yet light meal. A 5-inch-long spud has 4 grams of fiber and just 112 calories.
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Day : Examine Your Eats
We’ll focus heavily on the actual meal plan during day nine, but for now, grab a journal. “If I think my jeans are getting a little tight, I write down everything I eat for three days,” Alpert says. “That helps me clean up my choices and also prevents any of those not-worth it bites that do add up over the course of a day.”
The accountability of tracking has been proven to help you lose about five percent more of your body weight compared to those who abstain, according to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.