As we become more advanced and as we have a greater variety of food available to us weight is becoming a bigger issue. The human body is quite simple if we look at it from a point of design.
The main function of food is generating energy and making our bodies move. However what diets are really effective to keep out bodies lean into our 30s and 40s?
The original human diet
Humans originally were a group of ape-like creatures who used to inhabit the inner forests of savannas and were mostly nomadic in lifestyle, similar in lineage to bonobos and chimpanzees as humans shifted away from forests they have a greater amount of hard foods to choose from. The early diets of humans were quite mixed and varied and this can be observed from fossil records . Humans being closely related to other great apes such as bonobos and chimpanzees it can be observed from their diet that these apes are most of the time very plant-based and especially fruit based.
As humans started to branch off from the other ape species and evolved methods of cooking hunting and gathering were common, with a diet consisting of hunting meat and gathering insects, plants, fruits, nuts and seeds.
So what does this got to do with weight loss?
Basically you are what you eat! The calories you put in and the quality of the calories determines you end body shape.
Calories in calories out and where they come from
When it comes to calories we seem to be obsessed with how much calories a particular food contains however when we eat food we must not only looks at calories but what form of calories is the food coming from ? 100 calories of white pasta vs 100 calories of broccoli. Of course the later with be less fattening that eating a bowl of pasta but why is that so? what is the reason behind this?
The whole food forms (natural original forms of food as found in nature) are not just empty calories they have other components that lessen the impact of the food on the body. Fiber and micro-nutrients are easy to find in whole plant-based foods, while processed foods lack these important components and in order to overcome this disadvantage companies add vitamins and minerals to supplement the deficient foods.
Originally all processed food was unprocessed before it became altered into a different form. This process of alteration is the reason why processed foods tend to have such an impact on our insulin levels and tend to cause weight gain. food groups that are highly processed and tend to spike insulin causing a sugar stress response are the following:
|High glycemic index foods
|Low glycemic index foods
|White rice, pasta, white mashed potatoes, white bread, soft drinks,
ice cream and milk chocolates and candy
|Sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, rolled oats, quinoa, Brown bread, seeds, nuts
Barley, citrus fruits, legumes, beans.
Ok so what is a glycemic index (GI food)?
The Glycemic index is a measure of how fast or how slow sugars are released from the food we eat, of course, the more processed the food is the easier for sugars to seep out of the food we eat and tats not really a good thing.
The higher the GI of the food we eat the more processed carbohydrates they have. on the other hand low GI foods are more fiber dense and have a loss overall sugar burden.
So how do we lose weight fast?
In simple terms losing weight is reducing the total calories consumed and increasing our energy usage by exercise.
Diets that focus on low caloric intakes such as plant-based diets and vegetarian diets are optimal for rapid weight loss and also help to reduce the incidence of diseases such as type2 diabetes. A modified plant-based version of a keto-diet may also be tried. research has shown that consuming a keto-diet (if done right with healthy fats, nuts, and seeds) can aid rapid fat loss.
How do diets compare?
Various studies that compared diet consumption to body mass index BMI showed that diet has a significant impact on the overall body composition and overall weight disparity between dietary groups. Vegans overall followed by vegetarians, pesco-uovo vegetarians and then omnivores have the overall lowest BMI from all diets.
Another interesting point is that vegan diets showed less weight gain when compared to omnivores with aging .
The major issue with consuming these diets is the acceptability of these diets by the participants. Most of the participants had a harder time keeping up with the diets and this created a problem with adherence which led to a reduced weight loss .
It is important that when selecting a diet we find a diet that is evidence-based and that truly and effectively creates weight loss that is tangible.
Vegetarian and vegan diets that are mostly plant-based, overall seem to be more effective at promoting weight loss then diets that contain meat or animal products, also of note is that people consuming these diets are less likely to regain weight even with increasing age.