Lifestyle: Losing Weight by Dieting Alone and Other Sources

0
357

When looking to lose weight, several factors may influence your progress.

While diet and exercise are often combined to promote weight loss, some may wonder whether you can lose weight via dietary modifications alone.

This article explains whether losing weight is possible by solely manipulating your diet and includes recommendations to help you get started.

 

When looking to lose weight, several factors may influence your progress.

While diet and exercise are often combined to promote weight loss, some may wonder whether you can lose weight via dietary modifications alone.

This article explains whether losing weight is possible by solely manipulating your diet and includes recommendations to help you get started.

 

Key factors for weight loss

When it comes to weight loss, a few key factors determine your level of success.

Calories in vs. calories out

The factor that plays the biggest role in weight loss is maintaining a consistent calorie deficit.

This is defined as eating fewer calories than you burn on a daily basis.

Over time, this will lead to weight loss because your body will be burning through its fat and carbohydrate stores for energy.

While you’re in a calorie deficit, your body turns to its fat cells and glycogen, the body’s stored form of carbs, to make up for the lack of energy from food intake.

Dietary factors

You can employ numerous dietary strategies to lose weight.

The goal is to eat slightly fewer calories than your body needs for weight maintenance, promoting a gradual weight loss.

The number of calories you need to eat to lose weight is highly variable and depends on a lot of factors, including your sex, height, weight, and other genetic factors.

Some common weight loss strategies include:

Low carb diets. Limiting your carb intake to 50–150 grams daily may help decrease your intake of commonly overconsumed high carb foods. Low carb diets often prioritize protein and fiber-rich vegetables, which help manage hunger and promote appetite control.

Ketogenic diets. Very low carb intakes of fewer than 50 grams daily can stimulate ketogenesis. This process, in which fat is used as the primary energy source, may help regulate your hunger levels.

High protein diets. Protein intakes of 0.5–0.7 grams per pound (1.2–1.6 grams per kg) per day promote building and maintaining lean body mass, which supports your metabolism and may reduce overeating by helping you feel full for longer.

Intermittent fasting. Restricting eating to a designated time period may reduce your overall calorie intake and improve diet adherence.

While these strategies may promote weight loss, most experts recommend reducing your calorie intake gradually and including nutrient-rich, whole foods that are high in fiber and protein.

This method supports your overall health and reduces some of the negative side effects of dieting while promoting noticeable weight loss.

Exercise factors

Exercise is another important tool often utilized to help promote weight loss.

Physical activity enhances the “calories out” side of the equation, further promoting a calorie deficit and fat loss.

When looking to lose weight, cardio exercises like running, swimming, and cycling are often preferred over resistance exercises, as they tend to burn more calories minute for minute.

That said, for a well-balanced training program, doing both cardio and resistance training provides the best results.

This is in part due to how regular resistance exercise can increase your muscle mass, which may help boost fat loss, as muscle burns more calories than fat.

Fortunately, many of today’s exercise programs include a combination of cardio and resistance training, checking off both boxes at once.

Benefits of focusing on diet alone

Though diet and exercise are most often combined to help promote weight loss, some people choose to focus on their diet alone.

Doing so comes with several potential benefits.

Allows you to devote full attention to diet

Oftentimes the task of losing weight can seem overwhelming, especially for people with a significant amount of weight to lose.

Though physical activity is important for reasons other than weight loss, eliminating it from the weight loss equation allows you to devote your full attention to your nutrition.

With one less variable to focus on, you may be able to better adhere to your diet, potentially improving your long-term weight loss success.

However, while most people don’t have trouble losing weight by diet alone initially, they may struggle with maintaining their weight loss in the long term without adding physical activity to the equation.

More time-efficient for those with a busy schedule

For those with a hectic daily schedule, fitting in both meal planning and exercise during the day can be a daunting task.

A 2013 study found that young adults perceive time restriction as one of the main barriers to improving their diets.

By focusing on dieting alone, you can free up valuable time in your schedule, allowing for a more sustainable approach to weight loss.

Once you establish a solid dietary routine, you can gradually add exercise to boost your weight loss progress.

 

 

 

-healthline.com