Any diet that involves consuming fewer calories than you burn will result in weight loss. However, with most fad diets that promise a speedy weight loss, there’s often a catch.

Body weight is determined by the amount of energy or calories you get from food compared to the amount of energy your body is using. Any excess energy you’re taking in is then mostly stored as fat.

To drop body weight, you need to make sure you are not consuming a surplus of energy—put simply, eat less and move more.

Most fad diets work by restricting your total calorie intake. This often involves cutting out entire food groups, which can make your diet nutritionally unbalanced. Restricting certain foods can be dangerous as well as causing bad breath and constipation.

Because sustaining any fad diet is unrealistic people often break them within the first week, piling their weight back on—and sometimes even more than before. 

Anyone who has lost weight—and kept it off—knows there is nothing quick and easy about it.

 

How to shift the weight?

Gradual weight loss is the key to successful dieting as this way the weight is more likely to stay off.

Your target amount depends on your current weight and your sex, but as a rule-of-thumb, the recommended weekly weight loss should be around 1-2 lbs (0.5-1.0kg), by burning 600 calories more than you consume a day.

 

Here are some tips to help keep you on track:

  • Start a daily food diary to keep track of what you’re eating, to help you make better food choices.
  • Plan and prepare meals each day—including snacks—to avoid eating junk foods when you’re feeling hungry.
  • Start the day with an energising breakfast.
  • Fill half your plate with veg/salad and split the other half between protein and carbs.
  • Boil, steam, grill, poach or microwave food rather than frying or roasting.
  • Exercise at least for 30 minutes each day.
  • Treat yourself to some “naughty” foods from time to time to avoid binging.
  • If you go occasionally go off track, don’t panic and beat yourself up about it—instead, get back into the swing of it.
  • Don’t skip meals as you will feel tired, over-hungry and could get headaches. Those with chaotic eating habits often end up eating more.
  • Remember alcohol contains calories so be careful about how much you drink.
  • Finally, if you have diabetes, high blood pressure or other medical conditions, remember to seek medical advice before starting a diet.

The full version of this article can be found in the September edition ofReader's Digest click here to subscribe or download

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