The number of calories that we eat or drink directly impacts our weight. If we consume a constant number of calories, the weight remains stable. When we consume more calories than the body can burn up, we gain weight and vice versa. Research has shown that some dietary approaches make it easy to keep calories in check. Anyone who’s looking to control their weight should eat fewer calories and exercise more.
Different dietary strategies can be used to effectively reduce weight. Those that feature appropriate diet plans such as the Diet To Go tend to produce longer lasting effects. All the benefits of dieting can only be realized when they’re followed strictly. The key to successful weight management is sustained adherence to a diet.
What is Obesity?
Obese people have too much fat in the body and weigh much more compared to what’s considered healthy for their height. This happens over time when they eat more calories than their bodies can burn up.
Obesity increases one’s risk of heart disease, chronic back pain, diabetes, hypertension, depression, and stroke. The main causes of obesity are overeating, the genetic makeup, eating junk food, and lack of exercise.
In this article, we’ll have a look at the diet strategies that help with weight management and obesity prevention.
Dietary Approaches to Treat, Prevent, and Manage Obesity
Energy balance is the cornerstone of obesity management. Overweight individuals are always in search of the best diet that promises them a large weight loss over a short period of time. The various dietary approaches to weight loss are:
- Low-fat Diets
A low-fat diet not only helps manage weight but also promotes health and reduces the risk of chronic disease. Diets between 20-35% are considered as low-fat.
Low-fat diets are the key to good health and weight control.
- Very Low-Fat Diets
For optimal health, the recommended fat intake should be equal or less than 20%. Very low-fat diets provide about 10-20% fat.
Such diets are generally plant-based and discourage the consumption of foods containing high amounts of refined carbs.
- Moderate-fat Diets
Moderate-fat diets contain anywhere between 35-45% fat.
These diets are often equated with Mediterranean diets which usually contain a similar amount of fat content.
- High-Protein Diets
Protein intakes that are more than 25% of the total energy or 1.6g/kg per day of body weight are considered high. A good example of the high-protein diet is the Zone diet that contains 30% protein, 40% carbohydrate, and 30% fat.
High-protein diets have shown to perform really well and offer numerous advantages for weight loss.
Eating a high percentage of calories from proteins helps with weight control since it offers more satiety and people tend to feel fuller. It also requires more energy to break down and store proteins compare to all the other macronutrients. This increases the energy that is used up on a single day.
- Low-Carbohydrate Diet
This is the most common dietary approach that is used for weight loss. There are many different versions of the low-carbohydrate diet with most of them comprising of between 20-50g/day
Low-carbohydrate dietary approaches eliminate the intake of refined carbohydrates.
Dietary Patterns, Meal Frequency, Portion Size, and Obesity
The food that we eat falls into different eating patterns. One of the major contributors to the obesity epidemic is the drastic increase in portion size which, as a result, leads to the consumption of a greater percentage of calories.
- Dietary Patterns and Weight
Dietary patterns often feature whole grains, vegetables, fruits, refined carbohydrates, drinks, sweets, and processed meats. The first three items on the list seem to protect against weight gain while the others have been linked to obesity and increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Most people who follow a diet that is rich in fruits, nuts, vegetables, fish, nuts, and beans have a lower rate of obesity.
- Meal Frequency and Snacking
Skipping meals only increases the risk of obesity.
These days it has become quite common for people to snack on sweet and sugary snacks, dessert, salted snacks, and candy. Snacking and eating frequently are associated with weight gain
- Portion Size
Over the last couple of years, portion sizes have increased for food that is eaten at home and that which is eaten away from home; for both children and adults.
When people serve larger portions, they tend to eat more compared to when they serve smaller portions. Also, people who order larger beverages, they tend to drink significantly more.
In the prevention and management of obesity, the quality of the macronutrients matters more than their quantity in the diet. People get more benefits from a high-protein, low-carbohydrate, and low-fat approach.
Healthy dietary approaches can prevent weight gain and obesity. There is substantial evidence showing that diet patterns help to prevent and manage obesity. You are advised to limit sugared beverages, processed meat, and refined grains. Healthy means should comprise of fruits, nuts, and vegetables.