When someone is trying to lose weight, one of the first things she does is begin to substitute low fat foods in place of many of her regular food items. It’s all about the number of calories and the percentage of fat calories when on a diet, and low fat foods are lower in both. Do these low fat diets really help you achieve weight loss?
Does it Work?
Low fat diets can and do work if they are followed properly. Removing hundreds of calories from your diet every day will add up to pounds being lost. The catch is, are you eating other foods to make up the calories you are cutting out? Many people on low fat diets feel that they have been given the opportunity to eat more since the calories are lower than their non-diet counterparts. This is a fatal error in the world of weight loss because low fat foods do not help weight loss if the portions are being doubled or tripled. In fact, low fat diets often fool people into thinking that they are eating fewer calories than they actually are.
So, how do you get a low fat diet to actually work? First, take a look around at what food items you currently eat and see if they have a low fat counterpart. List out the foods on paper so that you can see what calories you are saving per serving. For instance, if you substitute a low fat spread instead of using butter on your toast, determine your total calories and fat percentage that you are saving and write it down. By writing down your totals, you will be aware of which foods you are substituting and have an understanding how many calories you are cutting out each week. This will give you a proper guideline to see if you are losing weight with the changes to your diet. Also, by looking at these numbers, you are forced to really look at serving sizes, thereby keeping you honest about what you are really putting in your mouth.
What Can You Eat?
There are dozens of choices when it comes to a low fat diet. Changing from whole milk to skim milk is a great way of dropping calories. Additionally, adding fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet in place of processed foods like chips and cakes, can have a dramatic effect on your weight. The extra fiber you get from fresh foods will also give you a fuller feeling, keeping you from snacking. If you eat meat, be sure to choose the leanest cuts of meat, and try to choose chicken or turkey over beef because they are much lower in fat.
What Can You Expect?
Before beginning a low fat diet, be sure to keep your expectations realistic. Simply dropping a few calories here and there may not produce the results that you were hoping to achieve. Only by following a plan and sticking to it, can you set your expectations higher. Charting your progress will allow you to make alterations when necessary to achieve your goals. And as always, adding exercise to any diet plan will speed up weight loss, and help keep it off.