Many popular diets, such as the Atkins, Zone or Ornish diets focus on calorie control, portion sizes or excluding certain food groups. Two recent studies have shown that these types of diets may not provide the body with the full range of nutrients it needs to sustain optimum health, particularly over the long-term.

These studies, published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that these types of diets could lead to micro-nutrient deficiencies.

As people become increasingly aware of the health consequences of being overweight more people than ever before are undertaking some form of weight loss program to try and get their weight under control. However it is important to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way that doesn’t put stress on the body. Maintaining a healthy weight requires long-term changes in eating habits and lifestyle choices, something that many ‘short-term’ focused diets do not emphasize.

Researchers in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition said “We found that among a free-living population trying to follow alternative weight-loss diets, the intakes of several micronutrients were potentially inadequate, which differed by diet group. Given that successful weight loss and its maintenance require adopting new dietary habits and sustaining them on an ongoing basis, the long-term implications of these potentially inadequate intakes could result in clinically relevant nutritional deficiencies.”
Does this mean that ‘dieting’ isn’t healthy?

It is important to remember that there are many short and long-term health issues connected to being overweight and therefore efforts should be taken to reduce excess weight and maintain a lean body. The process by which you achieve this doesn’t need to be healthy or deplete the body in anyway and it is possible to follow a low-calorie diet and still provide your body with all the nutrients it needs to sustain optimum health.

The key is to not focus on quick results or short-term gains, but to make lasting changes to your diet and lifestyle which will enable you to lose weight in a controlled manor.

How to lose weight and maintain results without depleting the body

Research has shown that you are more likely to lose weight if you follow a diet plan or program; however it is also entirely possible to lose weight on your own.
Before even starting a diet, create realistic goals and write them down. Ideally share your goals with friends as this makes them more ‘tangible’ and your friends can help to keep you accountable.

Then take a look at your existing diet, particularly your portion sizes and food choices. Swap fatty convenience foods for healthier low-fat, nutrient dense alternatives.
Next make a plan to incorporate exercise in to your daily schedule; this doesn’t need to be anything extreme, but getting some form of physical activity on a daily basis will help you to burn fat and increase the body’s metabolism.

If you decide to follow a diet plan it’s important to avoid extreme diets, such as laxative based colon cleansing or juice fasts as well as diets which require you to exclude certain food groups.

Instead look for a weight loss program which focuses on long term results and encourages you to make changes to your eating habits and lifestyle choices to ensure you can maintain results for the long-term.

Author's Bio: 

Tom White is an experienced nutritional cleansing coach and Independent Isagenix Associate. Tom has helped over 1000 clients achieve their health and weight loss goals and uses a holistic approach with a combination of cleansing, supplementation and mindset to aid clients on their journey to optimum health.