Every year it seems to be the same routine. The moment spring and summer approaches many people want to get into a shape they deem fit for a beach. Or maybe they want to look good for a date, wedding or party. Whatever it is they all share a common goal weight loss, quickly and a lot. Those people then go on the weirdest diet concepts and believe that with only eating kale or drinking green tea and similar thoughts weight loss management is a real option. Then they lose some weight and rebound and wonder why.
Why Do Weight Loss Diets Work Then?
You might ask yourself why those diets seem to work compared to a standard diet. If you follow the news you’ll notice so many success stories: people losing weight, getting rid of severe illnesses, handling their food allergies and so on.
The problem is not so much the standard diet itself but rather what people tend to make out of it. After having read through the short overview of a view different diets you might have noticed that they all have a key aspect in common: they put an emphasis on fresh foods.
That’s why it works. Cut out all the processed foods and drinks and replace them by nutritious and fresh ingredients that will fuel your body with macro- and more importantly micro-nutrients. Do this for a month and you will in most cases feel amazing.
But Why Do People Lose Weight?
There are several reasons for this. The main reason though is that by preparing your food yourself with fresh ingredients you will eat less calories. Or to make it clearer, people got overweight because they consumed all the processed foods, drinks and sugar in the first place. Those are full of calories that are combined in ways to make it taste amazing, while not being very nutritious.
You eat “empty” calories and soon become hungry again and eat more of it. Sugar crashes caused by your insulin spiking and falling again will give you cravings for sweets and you eat snacks in-between meals too, which is even more calories.
Weight Loss: A Short Case Study In Caloric Consumption
For convenience sake let’s go to McDonald’s. Typically you have something like a soft drink with something like a Big Mac and French fries, right? OK, now we make it large because they asked you if you want to upgrade it for almost no money:
- Big Mac: 540 calories
- French Fries: 570 calories
- Soft drink: 210 calories
This is a total of 1320 calories in one sitting!
It was loaded with carbohydrates, some protein and definitely no high-quality fats. With the exception of maybe a leaf of salad, there are basically no micro-nutrients in this menu. In a couple of hours, you crash and need a snack, maybe a chocolate bar.
That’s on average around 200-250 calories per bar. At this point in time, you ate 1500 calories and you didn’t have breakfast or dinner. If you are an average male working in an office without moving much you might only need 1800 -2100 calories to maintain your weight.
Now, let’s add a rich breakfast (400-800 calories) and a dinner (another 1000 calories), milk and/or sugar in your coffee (another 100-250 calories, we aren’t even talking about Starbucks fat and sugar bombs), another snack (200-250 calories) and you will easily get a lot more calories in than you actually need to maintain your weight (roughly 3000 calories = 1320+2*200+400+800+100). Maybe the example is a little extreme for most cases, but I’m certain you get the point. And rest assured, the example isn’t far away from real life at all.
If you are looking for burger recipes that taste good, are different and come with micronutrients too, then have a look at my spicy shrimp burger.
Weight Loss: Focus On Fresh Ingredients And Movement
If you prepare your food yourself you’ll eat get so many more micro-nutrients into your body that you will feel fuller sooner and longer.
Looking for easy to make Recipes? Get my Low Carb Cookbook!
Besides that, you will be very likely to at least reduce your sugar cravings because your insulin spikes are not as intense anymore. You might even cut out the snacks. Suddenly you are much closer to what you actually need.
As you might feel fuller faster and longer chances are that you will tend to eat a little less than you need and “magically” start losing weight. People become at this stage in the change often very health concussion and start to exercise. This increases the caloric deficit further and you lose even more weight. Please be aware that cardio isn’t a great tool for weight loss; find out why and what to do instead here.
The key to lose weight: maintain a caloric deficit. That’s how any weight loss diet works.The important part is to free yourself of the excess weight for good. The key to this is a healthy and sustainable lifestyle and the reason why all weight loss diets fail in the long run.
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