Recommended eating guides for weight loss
Recommended eating guides for weight loss
A paleo diet or stone age diet is based upon how our ancestors would have eaten during the Palaeolithic period (roughly 2.5 million years ago to 10,000 B.C.). This eating approach mimics a hunter gatherer style of eating. Some suggestions are that this style of eating is more suited to our genetics.
Paleo Foods: lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, vegetables and fruits, nuts (not peanuts) and seeds.
You can find more information including meal plans our downloadable Paleo diet eating guide
Evidence suggests that eating a Mediterranean diet can help you lose weight and is beneficial for people with heart conditions, Type 2 diabetes and may help those with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. This dietary approach is also safe to follow during pregnancy.
The Mediterranean diet involves eating delicious, unprocessed foods. This includes rich and vibrantly coloured vegetables and fruit, oily fish, lean meats, nuts, seeds and their oils. You will need to cut out refined and processed food and snacks.
If taking Orlistat or Xenical and following this eating approach we would recommend swapping oily fish to a white fish, such as cod or tilapia, or a lean meat such as chicken or turkey or legumes such as lentils or chickpeas.
You can find more information including meal plans our downloadable Mediterranean diet eating guide
Some people find that intermittent fasting offers a way to lose weight that fits easily into day to day life. There are no banned foods although our nutritionist recommends that you eat ‘real food’ and avoid eating processed foods.
Two to three days a week you will follow a low calorie eating day of between 600 and 800 calories, and then follow a healthy eating plan on the other days.
This style of eating can be combined with any of our other recommended plans and can be a great way to boost weight loss.
This Diet is NOT suitable for those taking diabetic medications.
You can find more information including meal plans our downloadable Intermittent fasting eating guide
Low carbohydrate eating
This way of eating reduces carbohydrate rich foods so you will be eating less bread, pasta and potatoes and cutting out sugary snacks. You will instead focus on foods naturally low in sugar. When eating this way you may find that your body is better balanced. You may notice that you experience fewer cravings and mood swings.
We would recommend that you enjoy three low carbohydrate meals every day and avoid snacking to support blood sugar balance.
Low carbohydrate eating can be enjoyed by all the family and combines well with intermittent fasting and time restricted eating.
You can find more information including meal plans our downloadable Low carbohydrate eating guide
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Weight Loss Advice from the Lifestyle Medicine team
The weight loss advice provided here is intended for those aiming to lose weight who are over the age of 18 with a BMI greater than 25 or 23 if from a Black, Asian or minority ethnicity. It is not intended to be for children or those under 18 years of age. Please see the advice below if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
Evidence suggests that no diet has a significant weight loss advantage compared to any other diet, the key to successful weight loss is to choose the dietary option that you can commit to long term.
Our lifestyle medicine team has selected four different dietary approaches that you may like to try. Evidence suggests they can all support long term health and weight loss. These dietary approaches are all based on eating unprocessed healthy foods, and are suitable for long term dietary change. We advise that you choose the plan that you can commit to and that fits with your lifestyle. You should also combine healthy eating with increasing your daily activity. UK guidelines are for adults to aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of activity a week.
Safety Advice - If you are diabetic then any significant change to your diet can alter your blood sugars and puts you at risk of hypoglycaemia (very low blood sugar). You should speak to your GP or diabetes Nurse to have your medication reviewed if you are undertaking a new eating plan.
If you have pre-existing medical conditions or are taking regular medications some diets may not be considered suitable for you to follow. If this applies please speak with your doctor, nutritionist or dietician to help you lose weight safely.
If you are pregnant, it is important to have a healthy diet full of fruit and vegetables. If you are overweight, the best dietary approach for most women is the Mediterranean diet. Please speak to your midwife or GP about any significant change to your diet and ensure you stick to the usual dietary restrictions during pregnancy.
We would expect that you would notice health benefits and weight loss from following any of these eating approaches after 3 months. Please see additional information within the specific eating approaches.
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Meet Our Lifestyle Team
Dr Sam is a GP, yoga and nutritional therapist, writer and meditation teacher. She believes in taking a holistic approach to care and is joint Clinical Lead for Lifestyle Medicine with a focus on weight loss.
Ruth is a BANT Registered Nutritionist®, health and wellness coach and registered nurse. She is passionate about lifestyle medicine and supporting people to improve their health and quality of life.
Dr Sarah is a GP and trained physiotherapist. Joint Clinical Lead for Lifestyle Medicine, she’s committed to helping patients improve the quality of their health and wellbeing through positive lifestyle change.
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Page last reviewed by: Dr. Christina Hennessey 23/08/2021