Thursday, February 21, 2013

Is Dieting Part-Time the Key to Successful Weight Loss?

Is dieting part-time the magic, quick weight loss formula?  Maybe.

Okay, so I'm not a fan of the concept of "dieting" in general.  It sets you up for failure because it is temporary.  For sustained weight loss and overall health, it's about a longterm commitment to eating the right way for you live a healthy lifestyle. 

I am in favor of a healthful diet that focus on consuming quality food regularly.  Eating outstanding, delicious food versus low-calorie, fake food crap helped me lose 50 pounds more than a decade ago and the baby weight in 2011.

Courtesy: Mi Cocina
You might have heard some buzz about intermittent fasting for weight loss.  There are two popular books on the market outlining the approach: "The FastDiet", which is popular in the UK, or "The 5:2 Diet".

The concept is easy: eat whatever you want five days a week and restrict your calories the remaining two days.  Think under 500 calories for women, under 600 for men.

A healthy food staple
In theory it works because people generally cannot eat enough on their "eat whatever you want days" to compensate for their lower calorie consumption days.   There is a lot of science to support calorie restriction, even part-time.  It reportedly improves cholesterol level and helps dieters develop a better sensitivity to insulin.

This theory has its critics: it can lead to yo-yo dieting, bingeing and digestive issues.

Here's my take: I've done this before, particularly after a "high calorie" weekend or day.  It kind of works.  It helps you achieve overall caloric balance during the course of the week.

Is it a smart idea as an overall diet approach for permanent weight loss?  Probably not because I don't think it addresses the root cause of why we're heavy.

It can be a solid way to keep the waistline in check, however, if you have had an indulgent day prior.  It's also easy to execute when you're working or super busy because, as many of us have experienced, you just don't have time to eat.  That was the case for me at Rangers spring training in February.

Additional bonus: it helps you learn to deal with hunger pangs, something I feel we've gotten away from in our constantly grazing world.   

Here is my "under 500 calorie" diet plan, if I am planning on a lean day.  Again, this is NOT something I recommend for every day consumption. 
  • Double tall skinny latte w/ cinnamon - provides a satiating 100 calories and some protein.
  • An apple - a dieter's best friend.
  • A big spinach salad with cucumbers, celery or any other "green" low-starch vegetable with balsamic vinegar. 
  • A can of tuna with more spinach for dinner.  I like the tuna mixed with dijon mustard. 
Drink lots of water with lemon or caffeine-free tea.  This is low-calorie meal plan that can be satiating. 

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