The best diet for long term weight loss is not a diet at all. A permanent lifestyle change is needed to change one’s eating habits. The most successful long term diet focuses on controlling blood sugar instead of focusing on just restricting calories.
Lowering simple carbohydrate consumption prevents spikes in blood sugar and makes it easier to control hunger. Also, increasing fat intake enhances satiety and switches your body’s primary fuel source from glucose to fat.
Almost all the diets eventually fail because they look at obesity from the wrong angle. They are not sustainable in the long term because they are too expensive, too complicated or focus too much on lowering fat and not lowering carbohydrate consumption.
Depends on how you define popularity, but according to Google the keto diet was one of the most searched for queries in 2019. Keto continues to be one of the most popular diets because of the weight-loss success rate and word of mouth proliferation on social media. Here is an explanation on why keto is so popular.
One of the most popular diets out there is the GOLO diet.
Golo has an interesting concept, basically, it’s a copy of the ketogenic diet as it focuses on lowering blood sugar. Great concept, just poorly executed.
However, the difference is they charge you approximately $90 a month for “their” plan and make you take these proprietary herbal pills that cost $38 for 90 tablets.
They call their herbal pills “GOLO Release.” There are a few ingredients in GOLO release that have some promising properties, but they have a minimal impact on blood sugar.
Here are the ingredients to GOLO release:
- Salacia Reticulata Extract
- Gardenia Jasminoides Fruit Extract
- Apple Polyphenol Fruit Extract
More importantly, as far as rating a best long term diet, do you really want to be taking expensive diet pills the rest of your life?
You don’t have to pay a fee to eat foods that lower your blood sugar, you just need to acquire the knowledge to know which foods to eat.
Here is a few solid examples of what to eat to lower your blood sugar.
The other currently trending diet is called the Noom Diet.
The Noom diet is destined to fail as one of the best long term diets because it restricts calories as opposed to controlling blood sugar. I will explain that more in detail later in this article.
Also, the Noom diet membership costs you $50 a month and forces you to log all your food intake in their app that you download on your smartphone.
What if we’ve been looking at long term weight loss from the wrong angle?
The fat stigma is so entrenched in our society that many obese people actually start believing they are inferior to others, that they somehow are not worthy of having a healthy-looking body.
A lot of people trying to lose weight just blame themselves for being overweight and even give up trying to lose it.
Many are stuck in a cycle of Yo-Yo dieting and lose weight, only to gain it right back. There are also those that are in denial and blame it on uncontrollable things like injuries or genetics.
Most are stuck in an endless cycle of procrastination, they’ll start dieting next week, or next month as soon as this or that next life event is over. Do we ever consider why it’s so hard for an obese person to reverse his obesity?
We need to rethink how we think of obesity and quit blaming the individual.
Most people aren’t fat because they don’t have the discipline or are mentally weak. Most just don’t have the knowledge and were never taught as kids how to eat. Many have or had obese parents and are constantly exposed to poor eating habits and most don’t understand how to properly control their blood sugar.
Most obese individuals have lived most of their life eating unhealthy processed foods.
Is Keto the most effective long term weight loss plan?
Keto lowers blood sugar. Let’s put the blame where it belongs. It’s all about the blood sugar (glucose) insulin connection. Sucrose, glucose, fructose, dextrose just to name a few, are similar to many other high glycemic carbohydrates, they are all just forms of sugar and all raise your blood sugar.
When your blood sugar becomes elevated, your pancreas releases insulin to utilize that sugar. The best, sustainable long term diets will focus on controlling blood sugar and insulin.
Without insulin, the sugar would quickly poison the body. Type 1 diabetics must inject insulin into their bodies because their pancreas doesn’t produce it. If they don’t they will die from sugar toxicity.
The pancreas must produce excess insulin to get all that glucose out of the bloodstream. That excess insulin over time begins to damage the body. The body develops resistance to that insulin and it doesn’t work as efficiently as it should.
So to compensate the pancreas has to excrete even more insulin and then the cells get even more resistant. It’s a vicious cycle and the only way to reverse it is to reduce the amount of sugar and carbohydrates that you are putting into your body.
Just like any diet, there are a few downsides to the keto diet. Being aware of them will help you be successful.
A low carbohydrate diet also helps you get fat adapted. becoming fat adapted helps prevent cravings because you can burn fat as fuel more efficiently.
It’s the rise and fall of blood sugar that makes us unable to stick to a diet long term
Sometimes we just can’t control our cravings, and these cravings are real, just like a drug addict that can’t control his addiction. Our blood sugar drops lower than what we are accustomed to, and we actually feel like we really “need” to eat.
Some, even young, seemingly healthy people actually feel weak and get the shakes in between meals or when they miss a meal. This is a sign of “metabolic inflexibility” and a marker that could develop into “metabolic syndrome,” then “prediabetes”, and then full-blown “type 2 diabetes.”
This is also explained as the irritable, hangry feeling. Here is the science of why we get that hangry feeling.
So bear with me a minute while I get into the science behind it. The role of mitochondria is to produce the energy (ATP) currency of the cell and to regulate cellular metabolism. The mitochondria primarily use either glucose or ketones for energy.
Glucose is made from the digestion of ingested carbohydrates, and ketones are made from the breakdown of fatty acids. Your cells need a constant source of carbohydrate/glucose to sustain energy levels, but Ketones can be made from either the fat you ingest or the fat you already have stored, and ketones can be a source of energy also.
Your body will always use glucose if present before it will break down fat into ketones. Our body has evolved to have that fat preservation function built into it from ancient times.
In times of famine, our body wants to have a source of energy in reserve so we won’t starve to death. That fat preservation function that kept the human species from going extinct, is unfortunately now making us fat and sick.
Why are so many people obese today?
We have lost the ability to use fat as energy!
Here lies the problem, most of us have lost the ability to use fat as energy because we have never lowered our glucose levels enough to force the body to start breaking down fat into ketones to use as energy.
This phenomenon is called metabolic inflexibility. Just like anything, if you don’t use it, you lose it.
So after a workout or when you miss a meal your blood sugar gets low and the metabolically inflexible become hungry, shaky, weak, jittery and even irritable. It’s no coincidence that this year the word “hangry” was added to the Webster’s dictionary.
Being metabolically inflexible means our mitochondria have never developed the ability to use fat as fuel, so we just can’t cope without a constant source of dietary glucose.
There’s light at the end of the tunnel, however
The beauty of the human body is that it is very adaptable and in most cases can heal itself. Our mitochondria can be taught to use fat as energy again. The human race evolved using fat as fuel.
When your mitochondria adapt to using fat as fuel then it’s very easy to sustain healthy eating because your body can either utilize dietary fat as fuel or when that gets low can easily tap into your stored fat and use that as fuel.
When you are in a state of ketosis you are using fat as fuel.
This is called being metabolically flexible, your mitochondria can seamlessly switch between fat and glucose and you have almost unlimited energy and far fewer cravings with the feeling that you “need” to eat.
When we can quickly and easily use our own fat as the fuel we have developed fat-adaptation, or we have become Keto-Adapted.
Depending on our level of mitochondrial dysfunction (metabolic inflexibility), we can adapt our mitochondria in a fairly short time from between 3-6 weeks by simply intermittent fasting and drastically lowering our intake of carbohydrates while raising our ingestion of healthy fats.
As your body gets accustomed to using fat as energy, it gets easier and easier
Consider these findings from a Yale study that discovered mitochondria adapt their function in response to sugar: “We found that when sugar increases in the body, mitochondria in some brain neurons rapidly change their shape and their function is altered.
These findings imply that alterations in this mechanism may contribute to the development of metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, in which the body is not able to clear high levels of sugar from the blood.”
For mitochondrial health, the answer appears to become fat-adapted and minimize our sugar intake. The reality is we should utilize for energy as little sugar as possible over a lifetime as possible.
The Keto Diet is the most effective diet for long term weight loss.
I’ve done extensive research into this topic and I was very skeptical myself until I actually tried it and I can attest it actually works very well. The metabolic changes that happen to your body when your mitochondria can efficiently use fat as energy are miraculous, your body is much more adaptable than what people think.
The science is there, here is a link on PubMed to a scientific study titled, “Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients“
Here is the conclusion of the study:
“The data presented in the study showed that a ketogenic diet acted as a natural therapy for weight reduction in obese patients. It significantly reduced the body weight and body mass index of the patients. Furthermore, it decreased the level of triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and blood glucose, and increased the level of HDL cholesterol.”Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients
Over 300,000 people die every year from obesity-related diseases!
So don’t get down on yourself, if you’re overweight forget about the past and make a commitment to change your life. Here are 12 steps to get started on a Ketogenic Diet. If you carry a healthy weight and are not obese, don’t blame the obese, it’s really not their fault.
There is a lot more going on here than just a lack of self-control. We are all fighting human evolution and the fact that the standard American diet is much too high in sugar and starches.
We have to be more supportive and not be scared to have the conversation. It’s a sensitive subject, people don’t like to be confronted about obesity.
All we can do is improve our own diet and be supportive of others. But we need to be less worried about offending someone and more worried about saving someone’s life.
We have to work together to end the obesity epidemic. If you want moral support or looking for more knowledge or even Keto recipes head over to the Ketogenicinfo Facebook page with any questions, comments or concerns you might have.
There are a few exceptions, for example, when a pregnancy occurs. This article explains the best diet for pregnancy might not be a low carbohydrate ketogenic diet.
The best diet for long term weight loss is also the best at preventing gestational diabetes and other health related problems.
Insulin resistance is the primary contributor to gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Following a low carbohydrate diet improves insulin resistance and can help prevent both conditions.