Nutrition is the key to making weight loss permanent. Fad diets are not a great alternative to a well balanced diet. When nutrition is sacrificed the body doesn't function properly, and this can lead to health problems as well as putting even more weight back on.
A fad diet is only a short term solution. Once the weight loss has ended, the dieter returns to the eating lifestyle that made them fat in the first place. Like I mentioned earlier, you can gain it all back plus more. Let me explain. As mentioned before the amount of calories that you burn in a day depends on your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). The RMR depends on the amount of lean muscle mass that you have in your body. The more muscle mass you have the higher your RMR will be, and the less lean muscle the lower your RMR will be. When you diet this way, the nutritional deficits that you put your body through cause your body to react in a way that is not healthy.
When the body is lacking nutrients, it takes them from the only source it can. YOU!! Tapping into the bodies own nutrient stores to make up for the deficit. This means muscle and bone, not stored fat. Now you will lose lean muscle mass, and that will cause a drop in your RMR. The result is an unhealthy body from lack of proper nutrition, and lower muscle mass and bone density.
So what is the proper way?
Change your lifestyle.
No, you don't have to change everything you eat, but those who do will achieve the greatest benefits. Just by making sure your body is getting the proper nutrition, and then cutting back on calories, you will not only lose weight but also be a healthier person.
Most people have cravings when they diet. These cravings are the body telling you that it doesn't have the nutrients it needs to function properly. Change some of the foods you eat. When you eat more nutritionally packed foods, the cravings will lesson and could stop altogether. This makes the weight loss more successful. Don't forget to exercise though.
So, what kinds of foods are the most nutritionally packed? Here is a list of some foods that are really healthy.
Raw Milk - non-pasteurized, non-homogenized, from grass fed cows. (This means not from your local grocer.)
Grass Fed Beef - meat from cattle, that eat only grass in their diets, no grain feeds. High in Omega-3 fats.
Farm fresh eggs - from chickens that eat a natural diet. (Dark yellow yolks are more nutrient dense than light colored yolks.
Fruits - any fresh fruits, NOT CANNED.
Whole Raw Nuts - unshelled nuts; peanuts, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds, etc... (unflavored)
Natural Oils - Coconut, Peanut, and Palm Oils are actually good for you, because of the high Omega-3's.
Avocado - Full of vitamins, minerals, micronutrients, antioxidants, and mono-unsaturated fats.
Wild caught fish - High in Omega-3 fatty acids. Stay away from farm raised fish.
These are just a few, more will come later.
The best rule to follow is to look at the ingredients. Foods with the least amount of additives will be in their most natural state.
Foods to avoid at all costs.
Margarine - real butter is by far better
Processed Cheeses - Velveeta, Cheese Whiz, you get the idea
All vegetable Oils including Canola or anything fried in vegetable oils.
Grain Fed Meats - hard for you body to digest, and cause the production of fat storing hormones in your body.
High Fructose Corn Syrup - found in Ketchup, Soda, Fruit Jelly, some Cereals, Pancake syrups, energy drinks, sports drinks, canned fruit, etc...
All Artificial Sweeteners - same as grain fed meat.
All Foods containing grains - grains are not as important to your health as the "Experts" say. In fact they are not important at all. The worst of these grains are wheat and corn. This includes the grain fed meats mentioned above.
So called "Diet Foods - Weight Watchers, Lean Cuisine, Heath Choice, and Kid Cuisine for example.
Cool Whip - Just hydrogenated oil in a bowl.
Anything that says "Low Fat", Sugar Free", "Fat Free", or "Diet".
Any Soy products
Any Pasteurized dairy product
These are just a few, but are important to avoid.