Each year, in an effort to capture the evergrowing market of Americans seeking to lose weight, creative marketers invent new diets that promise to be the best weight-loss diet of all time.
Americans are getting larger, and the weight loss industry expects to cash in on this burgeoning market. In 2019, the weight loss and weight management market was valued at $192.2 billion annually. Analysts expect this market to grow to $295.3 billion per year by 2027, according to Allied Market Research.
Before you contribute to this weight loss craze in search of “the best weight loss diet” for 2023, we would like you to consider our ten best weight loss strategies that are backed by science and won’t break your budget.
- Trying intermittent fasting
- Managing your hormone levels
- Managing your stress levels
- Tracking your diet and exercise
- Eating mindfully
- Eating protein for breakfast
- Cutting back on sugar and refined carbohydrates
- Eating plenty of fiber
- Balancing gut bacteria
- Getting a good night’s sleep
1. Trying intermittent fasting (IF)
Many diets focus on what to eat, but intermittent fasting is all about when you eat. With intermittent fasting, you only eat during a specific time – fasting for a certain number of hours each day or eating just one meal a couple of days per week.
In addition to being better than any weight loss diet, the results of IF are phenomenal. According to studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the health benefits associated with IF include a longer life, a leaner body, and a sharper mind.
Dr. Fliedner says, “Many things happen during intermittent fasting that can protect organs against chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, age-related neurodegenerative disorders, even inflammatory bowel disease, and many cancers.”
The most common intermittent fasting methods include the following popular eating patterns:
- The 16/8 method: Fast for 16 hours and eat only during an 8-hour window. For most people, the 8-hour window is around noon to 8 p.m. A study on this method found that eating during a restricted period resulted in the participants consuming fewer calories and losing weight.
- The 5:2 diet: The 5:2 diet involves eating normally five days a week and restricting your calorie intake to 500–600 on the remaining two days.
- Alternate-day fasting (ADF): With alternate-day fasting, you fast every other day and eat normally on non-fasting days.
- Eat Stop Eat: Eat Stop Eat was developed by Brad Pilon, author of the popular book “Eat Stop Eat.” It involves a 24-hour fast once or twice per week.
- The Warrior Diet: Created in 2001 by Ori Hofmekler, a former member of the Israeli Special Forces, the Warrior Diet was among the first popular diets to include a form of intermittent fasting. It involves eating small amounts of raw fruits and vegetables during the day and eating one large meal at night.
To learn more about IF, call our office at 469-455-1665 to make an appointment with Dr. Fliedner to see if IF is right for you.
2. Managing your hormone levels
Hormones are tiny messengers in your body that carry information through your bloodstream to all the other parts of your body. They tell organs and tissues what to do, how to do it, and for how long. Hormones affect processes such as metabolism, sexual function, growth, mood, and reproduction.
Weight gain is the most obvious and common sign of a hormonal imbalance. Weight fluctuations are normal, but if you’ve gained a significant amount of weight over time and are struggling to lose it, Dr. Fliedner can help. He will work with you to manage all aspects of a healthy weight loss program.
Contact our office to set an appointment with Dr. Fliedner to balance your hormones and begin losing that hard-to-lose weight
3. Managing your stress levels
Stress is a natural feeling of being unable to cope with specific demands and events. It can be a motivator, and it can even be essential to survival. The body’s fight-or-flight mechanism tells a person when and how to respond to danger.
However, when the body becomes triggered too easily, or there are too many stressors at one time, it can undermine a person’s mental and physical health and become harmful.
Increased stress in the body triggers a vicious cycle of weight gain. Stress stimulates the release of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, which initially decrease the appetite as part of the body’s 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 body’s nutritional stores from the preferred source of fuel, which is carbohydrates. Insulin then transports the sugar in the 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.
Researchers found that implementing an eight-week stress-management intervention program resulted in a significant reduction in the body mass index (BMI) of children and adolescents who are overweight or have obesity.
Dr. Fliedner recommends meditation and counseling therapy to get to the root cause of stress and anxiety. If you are feeling anxiety and stress, please reach out to our office right away to make an appointment with Dr. Fliedner. He has helped many of his patients reduce their stress and find more joy in their lives.
4. Tracking your diet and exercise
One of the most effective ways to lose weight is the tried-and-true method of tracking everything you eat and drink daily. With our phones in our back pockets going everywhere with us, it is so easy to log our daily food intake.
A favorite mobile app of Dr. Fliedner’s is “Lose It.” It sets goals and tracks your daily food and water intake, calories, and exercise. It’s like having a personal coach encouraging you on your weight loss journey.
An interesting study found a positive correlation between weight loss and the frequency of monitoring food intake and exercise with a digital app such as Lose It.
5. Eating mindfully
In the last decade, researchers have begun to examine the positive effects of mindful eating, which is a practice where the individual pays attention to how and where they eat food. This practice enables people to enjoy the food they eat and maintain a healthy weight.
In our rushed world, most of us are eating on the run, in the car, working at our desks, and watching TV. As a result, many of us are barely aware of the food we are eating.
Techniques for mindful eating include:
- Sit down to eat, preferably at a table. Pay attention to the food you eat and focus on enjoying the experience.
- Avoid distractions while eating. Do not turn on the TV, a laptop, or a phone.
- Eat slowly. Take time to chew and savor the food. This technique helps with weight loss, giving a person’s brain enough time to recognize signals that they are full, which can help one from overeating.
- Consider your food choices. Choose foods full of nourishing nutrients that will satisfy for hours rather than minutes. Plan a colorful plate of vegetables and protein.
6. Eating protein for breakfast
Eating a high-protein breakfast will decrease hunger and can last several hours at the start of your day. Eating protein in the morning has been found to regulate the appetite hormones in our body that tell us we are hungry. This is primarily due to a decrease in the hunger hormone ghrelin and a rise in the satiety hormones peptide YY, GLP-1, and cholecystokinin (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).
Good choices for a high-protein breakfast include eggs, oats, nut and seed butters, quinoa porridge, sardines, and chia seed pudding.
7. Cutting back on sugar and refined carbohydrates
Most Americans consume far too much sugar in the form of soda, candy, sweetened baked goods, sugary breakfast cereals, and more. Refined carbohydrates on the market today are heavily processed foods that no longer contain fiber and other nutrients.
These foods are quick to digest, and they convert to glucose rapidly. Excess glucose enters the blood and stimulates the hormone insulin, which promotes fat storage and weight gain.
When possible, we encourage people to swap processed and sugary foods with more healthful options. Below are some healthy food swaps we recommend:
- whole-grain rice, bread, and pasta instead of the white versions
- fruit, nuts, and seeds instead of high-sugar snacks
- herb teas and fruit-infused water instead of high-sugar sodas
- smoothies with water or milk instead of fruit juice
8. Eating plenty of fiber
Dietary fiber, also known as roughage or bulk, includes the parts of plant foods your body can’t digest or absorb. Unlike other food components, such as fats, proteins, or carbohydrates, which your body breaks down and absorbs, fiber isn’t digested by your body. Instead, it passes relatively intact through your stomach, small intestine, and colon and out of your body.
Dietary fiber is found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes and is known for its ability to prevent or relieve constipation. But the real value of fiber is the health benefits it offers, such as helping to maintain a healthy weight and lowering your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer.
Fiber-rich foods include the following:
- whole-grain breakfast cereals, whole-wheat pasta, whole-grain bread, oats, barley, and rye
- fruit and vegetables
- peas, beans, and pulses
- nuts and seeds
9. Balancing your gut health
Gut health refers to the balance of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract. Looking after the health of the gut and maintaining the right balance of these microorganisms is vital for physical and mental health, immunity, and more.
Below are ten ways to support gut health, many of which we have already discussed:
- Take probiotics and eat fermented foods.
- Eat prebiotic fiber.
- Eat less sugar and sweeteners.
- Reduce stress in your life.
- Avoid taking antibiotics unnecessarily.
- Exercise regularly.
- Get enough sleep.
- Use different cleaning products.
- Avoid smoking.
- Eat more vegetables.
For further counsel on improving your gut health, please contact our office to schedule a private consultation with Dr. Fliedner.
10. Getting a good night’s sleep
Numerous studies have shown that getting less than five to six hours of sleep per night is associated with an increased incidence of obesity.
There are several reasons behind this. Insufficient or poor-quality sleep slows down metabolism, which is the process by which the body converts calories to energy. When metabolism is less effective, the body may store unused energy as fat. In addition, poor sleep can increase the production of insulin and cortisol, which also trigger fat storage.
The length of a person’s night sleep also affects the regulation of the appetite-controlling hormones leptin and ghrelin. Leptin sends signals of fullness to the brain. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that adults aged 18–60 years sleep seven to nine hours each night to promote optimal health and well-being.
Let us help you lose weight
It’s difficult to know the causes of weight gain by yourself. Dr. Fliedner has 30+ years of experience helping men and women improve their health and lose weight. He will monitor your health and get you losing that stubborn weight under his careful supervision. Contact our office to set an appointment with Dr. Fliedner and start your weight loss journey today. Or, fill out the form below, and we will be in touch.