The best diet for weight loss…

Personal training and personal trainer Mosman

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By Rod Navajas

Firstly, let’s ensure we understand that every time you step on the scale, you are not just measuring Weight Loss body fat mass. Total body weight encompasses not only fat but also organs, muscle, bones, water, and various other components.

So, stepping on a scale might not yield the precise insight you’re seeking: “Have I lost body fat?” After all, reducing body fat mass is the ultimate goal, not diminishing muscle mass or altering bone density.

Since research focusing explicitly on body fat mass loss as the primary outcome is relatively scarce compared to studies examining total body weight, let’s look at the best strategies that lead to weight loss.

The verdict…

A meta-analysis that aimed to compare different diets and their effect on weight loss concluded that:

“…most calorie-reducing diets result in clinically important weight loss as long as the diet is maintained.”

Pretty straightforward, right?! As long as you can stick to it, any diet works.

The study also concluded that:

“…behavioural support and exercise enhanced weight loss.”

No brainer, right?! Combine a dietary intervention that you can stick to with exercise and group support, for example… voilà! Weight loss, baby!! 

(I wish I could make it sound like Ronnie Coleman, one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time, with his famous “Lightweight baby!” line after squatting more than 300kg for reps – watch it here: link).

But it’s not that simple when you live in a highly obesogenic environment like we do today.

So, what can we implement that is easy and effective? What strategies can lead to a calorie-reduced intake?

The article would be too extensive to cover all the alternatives, but I will share two of my favourites.

Stick to a Whole Food Diet, Mostly!

Imagine eating as much as you can and still losing weight? 

That’s exactly what this study found. Subjects in the study could eat as much as they wanted. 

One group only had access to ultra-processed foods – think Cheerios, bread, hot dogs, chocolate milk, fried chicken, croissants, English muffins, cheese and crackers, and others. See Fig 1 for one of the ultra-processed meals.

Fig 1. Ultra-processed meal example – Egg (Papetti’s), turkey bacon (Jenni-O) and American cheese (Glenview Farms) on an English muffin (Sara Lee) Tater tots (Monarch) with ketchup (Heinz) Orange juice (Sun Cup) with NutriSource Fibre

The other group only had access to unprocessed foods – think Greek yogurt, spinach and chicken breast salad, scrambled eggs, baked sweet potato, oatmeal with walnuts and banana, fresh fish with steamed broccoli, fresh fruit for snacks, and others. See Fig 2 for one of the unprocessed meals.

Fig 2. Unprocessed meal example – Entrée salad with grilled chicken breast, baked sweet potato, corn (Monarch, from frozen), avocado, onions, tomatoes, carrots on green leaf lettuce Vinaigrette (red wine vinegar (Giant) and olive oil) Skim milk (Cloverland) Apple slices with fresh squeezed lemon juice

Groups were provided all the meals while living at the clinical centre. They stuck to these diets for 2 weeks and then switched over.

Participants consuming ultra-processed foods ended up eating more (500kcal/day) and gained weight, while the group consuming as much unprocessed foods as they wanted, lost body weight.

Consume Enough Protein

I have written a fair bit about protein, and this is a pretty unanimous consensus in the research community.

You have a few reasons for that: 

A. Increased satiety 

B. Increased thermic effect of digestion 

C. Prevention of muscle mass loss

Combined, these factors make you feel fuller faster, spend more energy to digest and absorb nutrients, and support the main tissue in the body responsible for increasing energy expenditure once physiological needs are met.

So, if I could only give you two pieces of advice in relation to weight loss (and hopefully fat loss), I would ask you to stick to unprocessed food and keep tabs on your protein intake in every meal.

How can Fitness Lab help:

Keeping regular baseline measurements of your body composition is a must. This can be achieved by undergoing a Bio-Electrical Impedance assessment or, if we want to concentrate only on the subcutaneous layer of fat, we can also use calipers.

Fitness Lab provides access to adequate strength training, delivered through our Personal Training sessions (tailored to your strengths and limitations), and cardiovascular conditioning and mobility (small group classes).

We also address lifestyle factors such as sleep, stress, social life, screen, and sitting time (the 5 ‘S’). These can indirectly affect your results when it comes to weight loss.

Habit implementation tactics and mindset strategies are crucial points when trying to change your routine.

Our 5-Week Challenge Program combines all of these:

  • Nutrition
  • Training and accountability from one of our Personal Trainers
  • Lifestyle factors
  • Mindset
  • Monitoring

It’s a no-brainer – it’s a 5-week period of mutual commitment: between you and us!

If you are ready, book your qualifying call by clicking here.

Warning: Expect results when you put the work in!

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