The Best Diet in the World is...The ONE you can STAY ON!
We are all looking for the Best diet. There are thousands of weight reduction diets out there. Most are decent and will work. Some are silly and can be dangerous. The best diet for weight loss is one that provides good and adequate nutrition, allows a variety of food tastes, restricts calories to less than we burn daily, and doesn't eliminate a macronutrient.
There are some diets that are designed to have us eliminate or nearly eliminate carbohydrates and some do the same with fats. Yes, we can live without carbohydrates, but it is miserable and doesn't supply us with short term fuel for energy. Eliminating fats is never recommended and can be dangerous as some required fats for life cannot be made in our body. I recommend a balance of healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Calorie counts should be less than we are burning daily if we intend to lose excess body fat. The diet plan I put most of my patients on is one with a third healthy fat, a third protein, and a third carbohydrates.
So, you're now on a fat burning diet. That is, you're eating less than you are burning daily. All goes well to start, but after a few days hunger and craving set in. This is a critical point in our weight loss effort. If we give into the hunger or add back high calorie or sugar based foods, our fat burning will stop. We need a mechanism to control our appetite. When we are in full fat burning mode we produce fuel from fat called ketone bodies. These can help to reduce hunger. Hunger is part physical and part mental though.
For many of my patients, I give them an appetite suppressant. These are either prescription or non-drug herbal based supplements. Both can be very effective in controlling appetite and allowing us to stay on a restricted calorie dietary regimen long enough to develop new eating habits. A reduced calorie diet that we can stay on will allow us time to adjust eating patterns.
The best eating pattern for both weight reduction and weight maintenance is one that provides multiple small healthy feedings each day. I start my patients on 6 meals a day and in maintenance we move to 4-6 meals daily. These smaller "snackmeals" provide the nutrition our body needs at the right time, but not more than we will burn. When we add exercise and it becomes more vigorous, I increase the number of snacks or the amount of calories per snack.
We do not want our patients to go below 900 calories a day and our average calorie count for our fat reducing patients is about 1200 calories daily. When we drop below 900 calories daily, our body senses starvation and defense mechanisms are turned on to protect us. Weight loss can slow or stop at this point and we can begin to burn our healthy tissues as fuel.
Using Appetite Suppression is safe and can be used for a prolonged period of time, depending on one's ability to reach a stable healthy weight and their ability to develop new eating habits. Once new healthy eating habits are engrained, the need for an appetite suppressant tool is diminished or eliminated. I do have patients who use appetite suppressants on an as needed basis once they reach their healthy best weight. They may use them on a holiday, a birthday, or when an event occurs that might trigger excess eating signals.
Appetite suppressants are non addictive and have a mild stimulating effect initially. The most common side effects include mild jitters for a day or two, mild sleep difficulties, and possible slight constipation. These side effects typically resolve in a few days to a few weeks. Once our body becomes used to our new eating plan, it adjusts and these side effects are reduced or eliminated.
If you've struggled with staying on a reduced calorie diet, consider the use of a mild appetite suppressant. You may just find that the diet you're on is The Best Diet in the World.