Why do we need a personalised approach to weight-loss?
According to the latest science, here are the secrets to the effective, healthy and long-term weight-loss:
1. Eat natural foods instead of processed foods.
Eating whole, unprocessed food without labels will eliminate the need of counting calories.
Eat: lean meat, fish (especially the oily types, such as salmon), eggs, nuts and seeds, vegetables, fruit, coconut oil for cooking, extra virgin olive oil for salad dressings, lentils, beans and quinoa (always rinsed and pre-soaked), brown basmati rice and gluten-free oats.
Don't eat: anything that has an ingredients list.
2. Avoid sugars, grains and potatoes.
Simple carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta, pizza, biscuits or potatoes, affect the body in a similar way to sugar. This kind of carbohydrates triggers a rapid spike in blood sugar, therefore it's considered to be the culprit of weight gain. Refined carbohydrates add on extra kilograms through their high glycemic index, which means they cause a quick surge in blood sugar. The sugar is then stored in muscle and if it is not used, it turns into fat.
Choose root vegetables and whole grains instead of refined carbohydrates and eat them sparingly - remembering that reducing the consumption of refined carbohydrates can be especially important for weight-loss!
3. Include good quality protein protein and healthy fats.
Good choices of protein are lean organic or wild meat, game, poultry, fish and eggs. Plant protein sources are also great, such as nuts, seeds, beans and pulses. Including protein with every meal will ensure the feeling of satiety.
Include healthy fats in your diet (avocados, nuts, olive oil). Cook with healthy saturated fats (coconut oil or ghee). Add extra virgin olive oil to salads. To boost omega 3 levels, consume two to three portions of oily fish per week. Remember oily fish as SMASH (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring).
Diets need to be personalised to the needs of the individual!
There is no one single diet that is better than others for long term sustainable healthy weight-loss.
The largest ever study on glucose responses in humans, covered almost 47,000 meals and followed 800 subjects for each meal for a week. Glucose sensors were used to track glucose levels, and the results showed that different people had different responses to individual foods. For example white bread produced huge spikes in some people, but not others. Different people were affected by ice cream, but not necessarily the same people who had a spike after white bread. Rice produced a spike in some subjects, including in some who were not affected by ice cream or bread.
Conclusion was that it’s not just about the properties of the food, but the personal features of the person eating it, such as age, lifestyle factors and microbiome.
Therefore, these guidelines are just the basis for further personalisation, each individual should be considered unique and the key to success is to choose the diet that is most do-able for you, tailoring it to your individual needs. This way, you will be more motivated to stick with it for the long-term.
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About Karolina Lukaszewicz
Karolina Lukaszewicz is a registered nutritional therapist, trained in naturopathic nutrition at the prestigious College of Naturopathic Medicine in London. She founded Get Eat Right Nutritional Therapy, offering online nutrition advice via Skype, and 1-2-1 consultations in London and Borehamwood (Herts).