Losing weight healthily

by ir. Yvana van den Hork

Most of us have made at least one resolution for the new year and for many that will be to lose weight as well as eating more healthily and exercise more often.
While it is great to be able to fit back into that awesome pair of trousers that has become too tight, eating healthily should be your top prioritiy.
That is because eating healthily means you are paying attention to what you feed your body, rather than you simply fill it with empty calories.
You can lose weight on even the worst type of diet as for the first time period, eating fewer calories than you need trumps everything else. Some stubborn and originally very healthy people have done their best to drive home this particular point.
A few years ago, someone became famous upon losing a bunch of weight while eating 3 meals a day at McDonalds.
And now, this year, someone else is trying to bring the same point across by following an icecream diet for 100 days that will simply consist of protein powder and icecream.

This point of view is called the 'IIFYM' principle: 'if it fits your macros' , make sure to hit your targets for Y kcal and eat X grams of protein, carbs and fats and fill it in whichever way you want.
That's all fine and dandy, but they forget micronutrients matter too. You can't subsist on such a diet without getting deficiencies.
In the Netherlands there was a big stir past summer, when two qualified dieticians had published a vegan diet book, which looked awesome but upon analyzing the menus, these contained far too little protein and inadequate amounts of vitamins and minerals. This may be expected from untrained enthusiasts but is inexcusable for professionals.

Do try to focus on food quality when you are starting a diet and if you do things right, quantity (fewer calories due to improved satiety) should follow.
Bring variety in your menus by eating different types of veggies and fruits and do not eat the same protein sources either.
Even then it is not so easy to avoid a deficiency in minerals or vitamins. Especially deficiencies for vitamin D and K as well as the minerals iodine, selenium and zinc are quite common and present in a majority of teh population.
Taking a decent multivitamin is always a good idea, but essential during a fat loss diet.
Finally : do NOT start a crash diet without consulting a qualified expert with a good track record, who will guide you through a diet unharmed without crashing your metabolism and who is up-to-date with scientifically advanced protocols using refeeds and carb-ups. You do NOT want to end up like the poor participants of famous tv-diet programs in which the vast majority regained everything they had lost and every single person had a slower metabolism.

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