The Secret Weight Loss Diet Guide to Help You Lose Weight

The internet is full of information when it comes to nutrition and weight loss.

Unfortunately, much of it is unproven or disproven already by science, which makes it hard to find the right answer.

Instead, the principles for creating a healthy and effective weight loss regime are pretty simple and straightforward.

Here in this guide, we have answered the 20 most common questions related to dieting and weight loss, and we have backed it up by science.

The Secret Weight Loss Diet Guide for Women to Lose Weight Here in this guide, we have answered the 20 most common questions related to dieting and weight loss, and we have backed it up by science.  #intermittentfasting #loseweight #weightlossdiet #weightlossforwomen #nutrition
The Secret Weight Loss Diet Guide to Help You Lose Weight

1. Which diet is best for female fat loss, whether you’re in your 20s, 30s or 40s?

The truth is, the best diet for weight loss will be different for every person. There is no universal formula to be applied to everyone.

However, there are two conditions, which every diet needs to meet in order to be effective in terms of weight loss.

1st condition is the diet must lead to a caloric deficit.

2nd condition is the person must be able to stick with the diet in the long term.

Why the diet must lead to a caloric deficit

In order to slim down, we have to meet the main requirement for weight loss – a negative energy balance.

Science is conclusive that just like anything else in the universe, our body also obeys the laws of thermodynamics.

Evidence has confirmed that weight loss depends only on the size of the caloric deficit (1).

Further evidence shows that reduction in calories leads to a reduction of body weight regardless of the type of diet and which macronutrients it might restrict (2).

You cannot put less energy in your body compared to the energy you spent, and expect not to lose weight.

Any diet that has led to weight loss is a diet that has put you in a caloric deficit.

Why the diet must allow long term adherence to it

A large amount of scientific data suggests that the second most important factor for success in terms of weight loss is sticking with the diet, once it leads to a caloric deficit (3).

Weight loss is always greater in those that adhere better to the diet itself (4).

Even if the diet has led to a short-term weight loss, people who do not stick with it for the long term are prone to regaining their weight (5).

Examples of such diets

Diets that lead to a deficit are usually diets that have restrictions. However, if the diet is too restrictive it is not going to be easy to follow.

Also, diets that restrict your dietary choices too much might lead to nutrient deficiencies, which is again a problem with adherence.

One of the least restrictive diets is the Mediterranean diet, which promotes healthy eating and includes an unrestricted variety of food choices, however, it does not guarantee weight loss.

On the other hand, diets like calorie counting, portion control or intermittent fasting restrict the amount of food you can consume, thus guarantee weight loss if done right, but also allow flexibility in your dietary choices.

And finally, we have the diets that restrict whole food groups, like ketogenic diets, paleo, veganism, etc.

They are very restrictive diets and not so many people can adhere to them. Some diets like veganism also create a risk for deficiencies.

Take-Away: The best diet for everyone depends on the individual. Different people adhere more easily to different diets. Any diet will work for weight loss as long as you stick to it and it restricts your calories.

2. What is the simplest diet plan to reduce body fat?

The simplest diet plan would be controlling the size of your portions, instead of constantly thinking – should I eat that?

Controlling portions size is like calorie counting, without actually counting calories.

You still need to consider the relative energy value of different foods, but it does not involve calculating and measuring the whole day.

This means reducing the size of everything you eat – smaller plates at home, smaller portions at the restaurant, smaller packages at the supermarket.

In order to successfully apply the diet while having good control of your hunger, you can use certain tricks.

For example, fill up each of your portions with at least half of it being vegetables and a quarter of it being protein sources.

Great protein sources are foods such as lean meat, fish, eggs, low-fat dairy, and legumes.

More tricks include: drinking water prior to every meal; eating a salad or a soup prior to a meal; or adding protein to every meal.

Drink a glass or two of water prior to every meal

Drinking water prior to a meal is proven to improve satiety and energy intake afterward.

For example in one of the studies, twenty-four overweight and obese adults were given breakfast with either 500 ml water 30 minutes prior to the meal as a preload or no preload (6).

The energy intake during the meal was significantly less in the water preload condition as compared with the no-preload condition, representing an approximate 13% reduction in meal energy intake.

Another similar study with fourteen participants found the same results (7).

Eat a salad prior to a meal

Eating a salad is also shown by evidence to help people control hunger and eat less.

A study involving forty-two women which either ate a salad prior to the main course or no salad at all (8).

It showed that when a low-energy-dense salad is consumed prior to the main meal, it results in a 7-12% reduction in the total amount of calories consumed (counting the salad in).

It is important to use dressings and other sources of fat like cheese sparingly when preparing your salad. They can make the salad itself quite dense in calories.

If you are eating out, ask the waiter to serve the dressing separately, so that you can control how much goes on your salad.

Eat a soup prior to a meal

Another idea to improve the satiety of a meal is the incorporation of water in it – turning it into a soup. This reduces the energy density of the meal and increases its volume.

Studies show that if we compared solid food to its soup variant, the latter provides the feeling of fullness much faster and this results in a reduced total amount of calories consumed (9).

Another study showed that consuming soup prior to a meal reduces the subsequent and overall energy intake (10).

The best options are vegetable and meat soups which are further packed with nutrients, fiber and protein.

Take-Away: The simplest diet plan for weight loss is the easiest for you to follow. Such is the idea of portion control, where you need to simply restrict the size of your portions and consume more satiating foods.

3. I want to lose weight but I love eating. What should I do?

If you want to eat as much as you want, but still lose weight, you need to pick up more satiating foods above all, and prepare low-calorie alternatives to your favorite meals.

There is a large variety of foods that are very good at providing satiation.

This is proven by scientific evidence, such as the index of satiety for common foods (11).

For example, most satiating fruits according to the data are oranges and apples. This is due to the high fiber content in them.

From all carbohydrate sources best fullness is provided with boiled potatoes. This is caused by the protease inhibitors contained in potatoes, which ultimately lead to reduced energy intake and boosting weight loss according to studies (12).

Other highly satiating carb sources are full-grain products such as brown pasta and porridge.

Out of all protein sources, fish has the best index of satiation. This is due to the combination of high-quality protein and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Eat more protein

Generally, all foods rich in protein lead to a prolonged feeling of fullness. It is slower to digest compared to other nutrients

A study compared low-fat and low-carbohydrate diets while matching the amount of calories and protein, and found out that both groups lost the same amount of fat (13).

It shows that enough dietary protein improves satiety greater than fats or carbs and together with a caloric deficit is the main requirement for successful weight loss.

For optimal satiation, you should start adding more protein even in the first meal of the day – breakfast.

A study comparing a low and a high-protein breakfast found out that the latter reduces hunger and overall daily intake (14).

Another study found out that a high-protein breakfast reduces post-meal food cravings in overweight and obese adolescents (15).

Home-cook high-protein, low-calorie meals

There are many healthy and high-protein alternatives to foods we all love, that you can prepare at home, such as protein pizza, pancakes, etc.

Furthermore, according to studies, the more home-cooked meals we consume, the lower the risk to gain excess weight (16).

Take-Away: You can still enjoy eating your favorite meals, as long as you choose more satiating ingredients and foods. A great option is to prepare your own high-protein and low-calorie alternatives.

4. What are the suitable meals for dinner to lose weight?

Dinner is one of the most controversial meals of the day.

It is a popular opinion, for example, that overeating at dinner is a contributor to weight gain.

One of the ways this idea is justified is with the theory that overeating prior to bed would mean that the calories will get stored as fat instead of burned for energy.

In fact, there are studies showing a positive correlation between consuming more calories at dinner and an increased risk of obesity (17).

While it all sounds logical, the truth is we burn calories even while resting.

This is called our basal metabolic rate and it contributes to about 60-75% of our daily energy expenditure (18).

The truth is overeating at any meal will cause weight gain and increase your risks for obesity.

A large meta-analysis of multiple studies found no conclusive correlation between overeating during dinner and excess body weight (19).

The problem might be that most people are simply hungrier at dinner time, after a long day of work and this leads to unintentional overeating, and putting you in a caloric surplus for the whole day.

What meals to include in your dinner.

In order to reduce the risk of overeating during dinner, it is a good idea to implement more satiating but low-calorie meals in it.

The perfect example of such a meal is a salad.

As we already mentioned, eating a salad prior to your main course greatly reduces subsequent energy intake as proven by scientific evidence (8).

Adding a snack in the afternoon, prior to dinner is also a good way to reduce your hunger and prevent overeating.

You can eat carbohydrates at night

Another common myth is you should avoid carbs during dinnertime.

While overeating with carbohydrates during any meal is not advisable, as it might put you in a caloric surplus, it is actually good to have carbs at dinner.

It has been scientifically proven that meals rich in carbohydrates raise the levels of tryptophan and respectively – serotonin (20).

While carbohydrates lack tryptophan, the rise in insulin levels lead to decreased blood levels of other amino acids that compete with tryptophan, thus more of it reaches the brain and transforms into serotonin.

Serotonin can be transformed into melatonin which is an important hormone for the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle.

We need sufficient amounts in order to have a good, quality sleep.

Take-Away: Any meal can be suitable for dinner, as long as it is well balanced, including proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, as well as does not lead to overeating and a daily caloric surplus.

5. How much weight will I lose if I don’t eat lunch or dinner?

Skipping a meal in order to lose will only work if you are in a caloric deficit.

As we have already mentioned you will lose weight depending on the deficit you have created (1).

However, skipping a meal does not guarantee that you will indeed eat less and be in a caloric deficit.

For example, you might compensate skipping lunch with an extremely large dinner, or vice versa, which will ultimately result in no weight change at all.

Also, skipping lunch or dinner might lead to drops in your blood glucose levels. This will make you feel tired and sluggish, or even affect your mood.

Low blood sugar can make you more nervous and easily irritated.

Eventually, you will crave something fatty and sugary, which is rich in calories and eat it as a snack.

The result is that you might eat more calories from that snack, instead of if you had a proper lunch or dinner.

Skipping a meal is not a good idea for weight loss because it is also not sustainable on a regular basis.

As we already mentioned, adherence to the diet for the long term is the second most important principle to be met, in order for a diet to be effective (3, 4, 5).

Take-Away: Skipping meals such as lunch or dinner is not a good idea for fat loss, as it can lead to unintentional compensation during the rest of the meals and extra snacks with highly caloric foods. It is also neither sustainable nor healthy.

6. What are some healthy ways to lose 40 pounds in 4 months?

According to most scientific sources, as well as the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), a healthy weight loss is about losing 1 to 2 pounds per week (21).

The exact amount of weight that a person can lose in a healthy manner will most importantly depend on his/her starting weight.

If the person is severely obese, losing 40 pounds of weight, for example, will not be that high of a percentage compared to the starting weight.

However, for someone around 170 pounds or less, losing 40 pounds in just 4 months is not advisable.

This is because you need to create a deficit of over 1000 kilocalories per day to reach that goal.

If your maintenance calories are already less than 2000+ kcals such weight loss is not healthy.

With the consideration of the starting weight in mind, there are many healthy ways to lose 40 pounds in 4 months for obese people.

Do not follow a specific diet to lose weight quickly and stay healthy.

The most important thing to avoid is the restriction of food groups, as it creates the risk of deficiencies (22).

Instead, to lose weight quickly, focus on the main factor for weight loss – calorie restriction.

You should still enjoy a large variety of foods in order to prevent deficiencies. Sometimes supplementation with a multivitamin is a good idea.

It is fairly easy nowadays with so many calorie counters to estimate the calories you burn daily, depending on your weight, body fat and physical activity.

Calculating your intake, by weighting your meals and listing them down throughout your day can give you a fairly good idea of how much to eat and when to stop for the day.

The caloric deficit should not be higher than 15-20% in order to stay healthy during fat loss.

Add more physical activity.

Adding extra physical activity will help you prevent deficiencies, as you can also eat slightly more and maintain your desired caloric deficit.

Almost every sport can help you burn more calories. For very obese people even walking more can help increase caloric expenditure.

It is best to pick a sport that you like so that you can be more consistent with it for the long-term and maintain your weight-loss more easily.

Take-Away: Losing more than 1-2 lbs. per week is advised only for obese people. The best approach to those cases is no higher than 15-20% calorie restriction and adding extra physical activity.

7. Will eating fewer meals a day help me lose weight?

Eating a reduced number of meals per day can be healthy and effective for weight loss under some conditions.

For example, such is a variation of the intermittent fasting diet, which consists of daily fasts not longer than 16-18 hours and eating within a 6-8 hours window.

This naturally creates a caloric deficit and leads to weight loss. It is also speculated to increase the insulin sensitivity of the organism.

It is also very suitable for people with busy schedules, which do not have time or access to a healthy meal during work.

For example, breakfast can be skipped and you can start eating from 1 pm. till 9 pm.

A study also shows that intermittent fasting as a diet can be beneficial for people with eating disorders (23).

However, intermittent fasting might not be suitable for everyone. For example, some people with morning cravings simply cannot skip breakfast.

For them, it is better to have a satiating meal at breakfast and reduced caloric intake throughout the day.

Others have their workouts in the morning. Working out fasted significantly affects performance and reduces its effectiveness so it is not a good option.

There are also people, especially women who normally have lower blood pressure.

Intermittent fasting can lead to drops in blood pressure and blood sugar and it is not suitable for them.

According to science, intermittent fasting doesn’t have any advantages in terms of weight loss, compared to other diets.

A meta-analysis compared it to other weight-loss diets with caloric restriction and found no superiority of intermittent fasting (24).

It simply creates a deficit by skipping a meal and restricting the time of the day during which you eat.

Take-Away: Restricting the time window in which you can eat and thus reducing the number of meals you eat leads to healthy and sustainable weight loss in some people.

8. What is the fastest way to lose weight in 15 days?

The fastest way to lose weight is by a severe caloric restriction.

Such diets usually restrict the amount of calories you can eat to no more than 800 and they are called “crash” diets.

Unfortunately, these diets can be as dangerous, as effective.

First of all, every highly restrictive diet increases the risk of deficiencies of vitamins and minerals.

A study comparing a “crash” diet (<800kcals) to a regular low-energy diet (~1200kcals) found out that the crash diet leads to faster weight loss but at the price of more side effects (25).

Side effects included intolerance to cold and flatulence.

Also, the participants lost more lean body mass (muscle) with the crash diet which might potentially harm their metabolism.

That finding is confirmed by other studies as well (26).

According to some studies, there also might be an increased risk for the formation of gallstones during rapid weight loss (27).

On the other hand, evidence shows that people who were more balanced towards their approach and went on a regular low-calorie diet, rather than a crash diet, maintained their weight loss for longer (28).

If you still want to go on a crash diet, it is strongly recommended to consult a registered dietitian, who can also monitor your health throughout the process.

Take-Away: A crash diet is the fastest but not the healthiest way to lose weight. It should be strictly monitored by a medical professional. Also, the effect of it might not be long-lasting.

9. How does a female over 50 can lose weight?

The fact is we gain weight much faster with age.

First of all, we start losing muscle – after the age of 50 muscle mass decreases with at least a percent every year according to evidence (29).

This leads to a reduction in our basal metabolic rate – we start burning less energy every day.

While the metabolism of all tissues is reduced with age, fat tissue is not affected as much as muscle (30).

This is why it is now easier to gain fat.

Furthermore, middle-age is a period when most women enter menopause.

Because of the natural decrease in levels of estrogen, studies show that this period contributes to the accumulation of fat around the abdomen (31).

While it is true that in order to cope with excess weight, you need to apply the already mentioned principles – eat fewer calories and stick to your diet for the long-term – there is more to it when it comes to weight gain with age.

Eat a bit more protein

Because you are now losing muscle, you need slightly more protein in your diet to preserve it.

Multiple scientific evidence supports this recommendation (32, 33).

There are even suggestions that the general health recommendations for protein consumption should be changed for middle-aged and elderly people from 0.8 up to 1.0g of protein per kg of bodyweight.

Protein consumption will also act favorably to the immune system, the management of chronic diseases – very common in older people, as well as to the general strength and health.

Consult with a physician if you have entered menopause

The best approach for everyone should be individualistic when it comes to weight loss.

Especially if you are going through menopause, it is best to consult with a physician.

A medical doctor can accurately decide if you are in need of a diet, or maybe hormone replacement therapy is the better option

Take-Away: In addition to a caloric restriction and good adherence to your diet, after the age of 50, you also need slightly more protein in your diet, in order to preserve your metabolism while losing weight.

10. How does eating salad help you lose weight?

Salads help you lose weight by improving satiety while being very low on calories.

The satiating effect of salad is contributed to by two things – increasing the total volume of the meal and the high content of fiber in most vegetables.

Salad can be a good source of fiber.

Fiber is proven by evidence to help increase satiation and prolong the feeling of fullness after consuming it (34).

There are two main types of fiber – soluble and non-soluble. Vegetables contain mostly non-soluble fiber.

Consuming more non-soluble fiber is also important because it aids digestion, prevents constipation and protects against one of the most common types of cancer – colorectal cancer (35).

Soluble type of dietary fiber can improve glycemic control (blood sugar) and lipid profiles (lowers blood cholesterol) (36).

Best sources of soluble fiber are oats, beans, peas, lentils, apples, citrus, berries, chia, etc.

Salad can contribute to increasing meal variety.

Adding a salad prior to the main meal adds more color and variety to your meal.

Making healthy food more attractive can help you stick with your diet for the long term.

Raw vegetables are also very dense in nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals. The recommended amount is at least 400 grams of fresh fruits and vegetables daily.

Be careful with dressings such as oils or extra cheese on your salads.

In comparison to the vegetables, oil and cheese can be extremely caloric and can easily double or even triple the calorie content.

Take-Away: Salad contributes to weight loss thanks to its high fiber and low-calorie content. This makes it a healthy and nutritious tool to improve satiety and maintain optimal weight.

11. Can eating one meal per day be healthy?

Eating just once a day is an extreme of intermittent fasting or the warrior diet – it is basically a 23h fast, including the time for sleep.

The diet will more often than not lead to reduced caloric intake since it is rather hard to ingest all the calories you need for the day in one sitting, but it is not impossible.

Evidence has suggested that the diet helps weight in some people (37).

However, there might be health problems caused by the diet.

The first and most dangerous risks are if this single meal for the day is not well balanced.

Studies have found that following the diet while eating an unbalanced meal leads to an increase in blood pressure and cholesterol (38).

Also, overeating during that meal can lead to gastrointestinal problems, such as reflux and bloating.

Another risk is hypoglycemia – feeling extreme hunger, physical weakness, shakiness, fatigue, and brain fog.

Finally, the biggest issue with the diet is that it is rarely sustainable, and people are likely to gain their weight back when they return to their old habits.

Take-Away: Eating just a single meal per day can be a helpful method for weight loss but it is not sustainable and it might not be healthy for the long term.

12. What are the most common weight loss myths?

There is a huge amount of myths when it comes down to weight loss methods and tricks.

Especially the internet is full of advice that is unproven or proven not to work.

Some of the most common myths are:

Supplements can help you lose weight.

The truth is there is no supplement found that will help you burn more fat.

One of the most popular weight-loss supplement for example – L-carnitine have been proven multiple times to be ineffective in terms of weight loss (39, 40).

The only supplement, which slightly increases thermogenesis and thus calorie expenditure is caffeine.

There is scientific evidence for its effect (41).

Unfortunately, the effect is neglectable and there is also tolerance developed towards it with time.

Calories are not important.

Many diets promote that they can lead to weight loss without restricting your calories and how much you can eat.

However, these diets more often than not restrict your dietary choices, such as excluding your carbohydrates sources, or fat sources, etc.

This ultimately leads to a caloric restriction in some people, which is the reason the diets can have weight loss effects.

The science is conclusive – as we already mentioned, whether we gain weight or lose weight depends on our caloric balance, and not on how much carbohydrates, fats, or other foods groups we consume (1, 2).

Eating after 6 p.m. makes you fat.

Again, there is no other factor that determines whether you gain or lose weight but your energy balance.

Eating before or after 6 p.m. will not make you fat, as long as you are not in a caloric surplus.

There are no changes in your metabolism after a specific time that will make you more prone to gain weight.

A gluten-free diet is a healthy diet that can help you lose weight.

A gluten-free diet is a very important part of the treatment of some conditions, such as celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (42).

However, many people nowadays follow a gluten-free diet, without actually having any increased sensitivity to gluten (43).

While many people simply believe that such a diet is healthier or that it might even aid weight-loss, the truth is different.

Actually, the nutritional value of most gluten-free alternatives is much lower, compared to regular food (44).

Gluten-free foods are lower in fiber, iron, zinc, potassium, and B-vitamins.

It might potentially lead to deficiencies if those foods are not replaced by other dietary sources.

Cleansing/detox works and can help you lose weight.

The presumed goal of a cleanse or detox is to flush out toxins out of our bodies.

However, which are those toxins, that such programs want to flush remains a mystery to science.

Our bodies have built-in detoxifier – the liver, whose main function is neutralizing many different chemicals and either utilize or neutralize them.

The typical methods for detox are not just useless, but potentially harmful – fasting or drastically reducing food intake, consuming only liquids or drinking too much water.

There is a risk these practices might even damage and slow down your metabolism, thus making it easier to gain more fat afterward.

Take-Away: The internet is full of unproven or disproven advice towards weight-loss. We have to be careful about the sources of information we use, especially when it comes down to health advice.

13. Can eating 5 times a day help you lose weight?

The idea that eating more often, for example, 5 times a day can help you lose weight, by speeding up your metabolism is just another myth.

The actual increase in metabolic rate due to food, called the thermogenic index of food, depends on the amount and type of food consumed, not the frequency.

This means whether you consume 3 meals by 500 kcals or 5 meals by 300 kcals, your thermic effect and energy balance is going to be the same, thus no change in weight.

Many studies have compared eating many small meals or just a few larger ones and have found no difference (45, 46).

For some people eating 5 meals a day might be better if it helps them to be more satiated and consume less food in total for the day.

On the other hand, some people tend to eat more, the more meals they have, so eating more frequently might actually result in weight gain.

Take-Away: Eating 5 times a day has no benefit in terms of weight loss compared to eating just 3 meals a day when the total caloric intake is the same.

14. How to lose weight if I can’t afford healthy food?

It is, in fact, harder to lose weight with processed and unhealthy foods, however not impossible at all.

It all comes down to satiation and calories. Even if the food is unhealthy, if you reduce the total amount of food and calories taken, this will lead to weight loss.

For example, you can start by reducing all your portions by half.

In order to keep yourself satiated, you can try drinking a glass of water prior to your meals and adding a salad.

Another option is to prepare your meals at home, using healthy and satiating ingredients – eggs, dairy, vegetables, etc.

Furthermore, as we already mentioned eating more home-cooked meals is linked to less body weight as shown by evidence (16).

Take-Away: You can lose weight with unhealthy food as well, as long as you manage to reduce your calorie intake and control your hunger.

15. What is a vegetarian diet for weight loss?

A vegetarian diet can easily be used as a tool for weight loss. Since you avoid meat and eat more plants, the diet is usually low in fat and high in fiber.

However, you also need to restrict the usage of sugary, fried and oily foods, as they are quite dense in calories.

Limit the amount of oil you use on salads and other meals.

The low-fat content contributes to lower overall energy intake, thus a caloric deficit that results in weight loss.

The high fiber aspect increases satiation and adherence to the diet, as it helps manage hunger better.

These aspects are supported by scientific evidence, as a review of multiple studies shows significant benefits of following a plant-based diet in terms of weight-loss (47).

Avoiding red meat and processed meat can also provide further benefits, such as reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and overall all-cause mortality (48, 49, 50, 51).

Still, this does not make a vegetarian diet more effective for weight loss compared to other calorie-restricted diets.

You should still consume eggs and dairy, in order to prevent deficiencies, such as iron, calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D deficiencies.

Take-Away: In order to make a vegetarian diet suitable for weight loss, you need to restrict the amount of oily, fried and sugary foods, even though they might be plant-based.

16. How to lose weight without dieting?

You do not need a specific diet in order to lose weight, as long as you change your habits which prevent you from slimming down.

However, if you are looking for a way to lose weight without even changing your eating habits, the only way to eventually achieve a caloric deficit is by doing a lot of extra physical activity.

You can lose weight by improving your habits, without following a diet.

Habits that can make it challenging to lose weight include emotional eating, eating without paying attention to satiety, not eating enough satiating foods, eating in front of the TV or other distractions, eating too fast, etc.

For example, emotional eating can often lead to binges and overeating (52). Avoiding chronic overeating is going to aid weight loss.

Also avoiding distractions and being more mindful while eating is proven by studies to aid weight loss (53).

According to studies, eating slower, helps with satiation and pleasure from food, while it is also helpful with reducing energy intake without restrictions on purpose (54).

Take-Away: You do not need to follow a specific diet in order to lose weight. In fact, it is better to simply change your eating habits with such that lead to reduced caloric intake, because it is much more sustainable than a diet.

17. Is eating less mandatory in terms of losing weight?

The mandatory principle in order to lose weight is to eat less than you burn.

However, this doesn’t mean you have to restrict your diet you are currently following.

Instead, you can affect the other half of the equation, and increase the amount of calories that you burn.

While it is best to pick a sport which you like the most, since sustainably and consistency are the most important factors for any aspect of weight loss, not all physical activities are equal.

You will need more physical activity, which builds muscle.

In order to burn a maximum amount of calories, you will need a physical activity that not only burns a lot of calories but also boosts your metabolism.

From a scientific standpoint, the most effective one is resistance training, aka lifting weights. It is simply the best method to build and preserve muscle tissue.

Muscle is almost 3 times more metabolically active than fat tissue and makes up more than 30% of our total body mass, which makes it one of the main drivers of our metabolism (55).

Even just two weekly sessions of weight training can be effective in maintaining and improving muscle and speeding up your metabolism towards weight loss.

According to studies, weight training is also highly beneficial for overall health (56).

Take-Away: Burning more calories is just as efficient as eating less, in terms of weight loss when the result of the energy balance is similar. The best way to burn more calories is weight training, as it also boosts your metabolism.

18. How to lose weight through diet only?

You do not need anything else than diet change to achieve a negative energy balance (aka a caloric deficit) and thus – lose weight.

Energy balance is the equation between calories taken in with food and drinks, and the calories being used for various things like physical activity, metabolic processes, organ function, etc.

If that balance is negative – fewer calories taken than burned – your body has no choice but to lose weight, and vice versa.

The calories consumed will depend on our diet, while the calories expended are determined by a combination of factors.

The factors are – basal metabolic rate, physical activity, and diet-induced energy expenditure (18).

Basal metabolic rate is our resting energy expenditure – the amount of energy needed for our body to simply function – heartbeat, brain function, kidney filtration, breathing, etc.

Even though this doesn’t involve the energy expended for physical movements and activities, it makes up for about 60-75% of total daily calories.

The basal metabolic rate depends on numerous factors like body size, body composition, and hormones.

Physical activity doesn’t include just cardio and sports but also all spontaneous movements, and daily routines with physical activity.

Diet-induced energy expenditure is the one used for digestion, transport, and storage of the food we consume.

Physical exercises like cardio and fitness can help you build muscle and improve physical and mental health, but they are not mandatory for weight loss.

Take-Away: Diet on its own is a sufficient factor in terms of weight loss, as long as it leads to negative energy balance – caloric deficit.

19. What exactly is ‘healthy weight loss’?

Healthy weight loss is a diet plan, which does not hide risks for any diseases or disorders occurring during following it.

It provides a medium rate of weight loss (at first, no more than 1-2 pounds per week) without severe caloric restriction.

Your calories should not be restricted to more than 15-20% of your maintenance calories.

Furthermore, it should not restrict healthy food options, because this might lead to a deficiency of important vitamins and minerals.

Many modern diets do not meet the last criteria.

For example, the vegan diet – it restricts all animal sources, however, only animal products contain an absorbable form of iron (57, 58).

This leads to the most common type of deficiencies – iron deficiency (59). It results in anemia, weak immune system, and disturbed cognition (60).

Another example is the ketogenic diet, which involves too much saturated and hydrogenated fats, compared to the amount of fiber consumed.

This might increase the levels of LDL as suggested by some evidence (61).

LDL is a type of cholesterol that is responsible for an increased risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases.

Take-Away: A healthy weight loss diet does not restrict calories over 15-20% of your maintenance level, nor it requires avoiding healthy food options because that might lead to various deficiencies.

20. Can a woman go on a diet during pregnancy?

It is not a good idea to follow a diet during pregnancy unless prescribed by your physician.

According to scientific evidence, recommendations are that you need an extra 300-400 kcals during pregnancy, depending on the month you are in (62).

You also need extra amounts of certain microelements such as folate (Vit. B9), vitamin E, magnesium, etc. (63).

We want to avoid any risk for deficiencies as it might lead to health risks for both the mother and the baby (64).

This is why we strongly advise against any self-restriction or alternative diets, such as veganism, paleo diets, ketogenic diets, raw-eating diets, Atkin’s diet, Dukan’s diet, etc.

The only foods that should be restricted are animal liver and vitamin A supplements, due to the teratogenic effect of retinoids (65).

Also, alcohol and tobacco smoking have to excluded from the lifestyle of a pregnant woman.


Dietary restrictions are not healthy during pregnancy and might lead to problems for both the mother and the baby.

To sum everything up in this secret guide to help you lose weight

In this guide, we have answered the top 20 most common questions related to dieting and weight loss.

As you can see from most of the answers, the key to healthy and sustainable weight loss is 3 main factors.

They include a less restrictive regime, creating a calorie deficit, and adherence.

Any diet can be effective and healthy, as long as it doesn’t restrict healthy food choices.

The Secret Weight Loss Diet Guide for Women to Lose Weight Here in this guide, we have answered the 20 most common questions related to dieting and weight loss, and we have backed it up by science. #intermittentfasting #loseweight #weightlossdiet #weightlossforwomen #nutrition
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