Lets start off by making sure that when you say What is the best way to lose weight? That what you really mean is to lose that weight safely and to keep it off for life. If that is what you mean, then lets cut through some common misconceptions and show you the best way to lose weight without the fluff and confusion.
There is no single best way to achieve weight loss; it is always a combined effort using a couple of different systems of the body. This means that in order to lose your weight fast but to do it safely we have to eat right, do some aerobic exercise as well as resistance training. From years of personal training I can tell you with certainty that if one of these three components is missing, your weight loss will be slow to non-existent.
Now I have seen people lose weight fast with only extreme dieting, however, this weight comes back quickly and usually with a few extra pounds to make for a comfortable stay. Not only is this not the best way or even the fastest way for weight loss but also it is very unsafe. The systems of the body do like to lose weight in this fashion and will rebel.
So how does one go about losing weight as quickly as possible using the mentioned methods? Let’s talk about eating right for weight loss first. Right eating includes 4-6 small meals a day. Each of these meals should contain some of all the macronutrients. This means fat, carbohydrates as well as protein. Divide these meals evenly through the day, say every three to four hours.
Another of the best things you can do to lose weight quickly is to incorporate aerobic exercise into your schedule. This means any activity that gets you breathing harder than normal and for a duration of 30 minutes to an hour. You should do this at least 4 times a week along with the next component of our best way to lose weight system.
Now, remember, this is a system, not the best way, lose weight fast gimmick. So along with your aerobic exercise like walking or jogging, you are going to do some resistance training. This does not have to be complicated. A weight loss workout program only has to put a little more stress than usual on your muscles to be effective. This could be as simple as this.
Bodyweight Squats Pushups on your knees Sit-ups or crunches Calf Raises on some stairs
Do all of these in a row until you can’t do another one and then repeat the whole weight loss circuit two more times. This should be done every time you do your cardio for the first couple of weeks to get the ball rolling and to get rid of the stomach rolls.
You can see that in fact, the best way to lose weight and keep it off for life, is more like a way of living. It really isn’t that big of a deal though. The ideas presented above will hardly impede your regular schedule. Sure, you may miss one hour-long TV show, but the results and way you feel will more than makeup for a missed episode of So You Think You Can Dance.
People tend to reinvent diets and pose them as the new breakthrough in weight loss as it is the case with the GI Diet. The GI diet, based on the Glycemic Index, has recently become very popular, but the GI ranking system has been around since 1981. There have been several books published on the success of the GI diet, but is it really a diet or a lifestyle change?
The glycemic index
Dr. David Jenkins, from the University of Toronto in Canada, developed the glycemic index to measure the speed at which foods break down in the body to produce glucose. While originally intended to help diabetic patients control their glucose levels, it was soon used to help individuals trying to lose weight to control their eating habits and hunger. The key was to decrease the fast breakdown of foods into glucose. Glucose is a natural source of energy for the body. It produces a rush of energy when the food is broken down, and then when it is burned up, it leaves a feeling of hunger and fatigue.
Depending on how fast they elevate the blood sugar level after eating, foods are considered high, medium, and low GI foods. Low GI foods rank less than 55 on the glycemic index scale, medium GI foods go from 55 to 70 and high GI foods rank higher than 70. High GI foods break down very quickly in the body and make you feel hungry again soon after consuming them. Low GI foods are slowly digested and absorbed so you feel fuller for a longer period of time after you eat.
High GI foods include:
- white flour products like white bread, croissants, doughnuts;
- heavily processed foods like corn chips, potato chips or pretzels;
- foods high in sugar like cookies, rice Krispies, ice cream;
- high starch vegetables such as potatoes and parsnips;
- fruits high in sugar – watermelons, dates, and other dried fruits.
Medium GI foods include:
- most types of pasta;
- some fruits like mangos, apricots, and raisins;
- some vegetables like baked beans.
Low GI foods include:
- most fruits and vegetables;
- cereals that are high in fibers but low on sugar;
- dairy products like low-fat plain yogurt, whole, low fat or skimmed milk;
- whole-grain breads.
The Low GI Diet
The low GI diet focuses on changing eating habits so that the majority of the foods consumed are from the low GI food group. These foods take longer to break down into glucose in the body. This does two basic things:
- Produces a more even level of glucose throughout the day to avoid those high glucose times followed by the low glucose slumps.
- Stops cravings and hunger from occurring as much.
When these two components combine, they allow the dieter to eat a balanced meal and not experience the “energy slumps”. The whole grains and unprocessed foods take more time for the body to convert to glucose and keep the feeling of being full for longer. It also prevents those cravings which tend to cause overeating or consuming foods that are not on the eating plan.
However, the diet should not rely exclusively on the glycemic index as low GI foods aren’t necessarily healthy. Foods should be chosen based on their overall nutritional value. The glycemic index is influenced by a sum of factors like the nutrient content of the foods, the extent to which they are processed, the cooking method, food combination, or ripeness in the case of fruits and vegetables.
Products that are high in fat have a low GI as they don’t break down as easily as the ones high in carbs. That doesn’t mean you should choose to eat high-fat foods in order to stick to the index. As an example, whole milk is ranked lower than the fat-free or low-fat one.
The glycemic index doesn’t rank foods that do not contain carbohydrates, like fresh meat, chicken, fish, eggs, and cheese. However, it includes processed foods that include meat and dairy products. For a healthy low GI diet, you should choose lean or low-fat meats that have been trimmed of visible fat, skinless poultry, fish, and low-fat dairy products, even though they aren’t ranked.
The nutrient content is also very important. Between dates or watermelon and a bag of crisps, the obvious choice is the fruit even though the watermelon is considered high GI because of the sugar content and the crips are considered low GI as they are high in fat and slow down the absorption process.
It is also important to remember that the glycemic index ranks individual foods only, not whole meals. Depending on how the foods are combined, the overall GI value of the meal can change and cannot be measured accurately, but the main idea is that including low GI foods in your meal will result in lower GI value overall.
The low GI diet does not lead to rapid weight loss; rather it results in a steady and constant decrease in body weight. The individuals who use this plan find that they have more energy and therefore are more likely to exercise.
So is the low GI plan a diet or a lifestyle? Most experts agree that it is a diet plan that leads to changes and becomes a lifestyle. Eating low GI foods just makes good sense for weight control and maintenance, energy levels, and healthy eating.