Low fat or low calorie?
One of the most wide spread health disorders in the world is definitely obesity. It is estimated that over 64% of Americans are overweight and over 36% are obese. Now these figures show how big a problem of being overweight has become. This is perhaps caused by variety of factors such as eating too much, eating fast foods and greasy foods (like Hamburgers, Pizza, Fried Chicken, French Fries etc.), having too little exercise and activity along with having too much stress. All of the factors above with combination of each other can cause serious problems and obesity. Of course obesity can also lead to variety of disorders such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Thus the necessity of dieting becomes very clear with the information above. However, one of the dilemmas that have been plaguing dieters is the question: Which one is better? Low Fat Diet or Low Calorie Diet?
Well one thing that you can count on is the fact that both diets have their cons and pros. In a low fat diet, you are required to reduce your fat intake as much as possible. In this diet, it is assumed that you are not eating too much and you just need to cut down on fat. As you know, fat molecules are deposited in the body so that they build up around your belly and stomach and cause you to be overweight and give you belly fat as well. In a low fat diet, you will be prohibited from eating fatty foods like chicken skin, pork, fatty beef, high fat milk and cheeses, along with salami and sausages. You would be required to eat lean meats and proteins like chicken breast with no skin, lean red meat, grilled fish etc. In addition, you would need to eat things like low fat cheese, low fat milk, and low fat yoghurt. One of the other things that you have to watch out for in a low fat diet is the fact that you need to stop using fatty oil based substances like corn oil, canola oil, butter and margarine. These are all saturated fats and they will cause you to gain weight. You will need to use things like olive oil on your meals and salads. (Also no salad dressing under any circumstances). Olive oil has also been found to burn fat and reduce cholesterol at the same time. You will need to abstain from deep frying your foods with any type of oil. In a Low fat diet, you would be able to eat as much as vegetables and as much as fruits that you want as they will not contain any harmful fats or cholesterol.
In contrast in a low calorie diet, your main concern should be on reduced calorie consumption. This diet is mostly appropriate for people who are eating too much. Thus having a low calorie diet will reduce your calorie consumption and stop the buildup of weights at once. In a low calorie diet, you would be mainly concerned with eating less and getting fewer calories in the process. So what does this entail? You will need to cut on all high calorie foods including some vegetables and fruits. While they are permitted in the low fat diet, vegetables like potatoes, carrots and fruits like pineapples and strawberries are not permitted in a low calorie diet due to their high calorie or high sugar content. Also in a low fat diet you would be permitted to eat pasta etc, but in a low calorie diet, there would be restrictions on eating pasta and breads etc.
Thus as you can see, although their goals are similar; low fat diet and low calorie diets differ in some aspects. As a general rule, low fat diets are more appropriate for people who don’t eat too much, but rather eat the wrong things while a low calorie diet is more appropriate for people who eat too much and need to control their calorie input drastically. However, experts usually recommend that you combine the qualities of both diets to lose weight and also to gain a life style of losing weight. What does this mean? You should create a diet for yourself in which you cut back on eating unnecessary fats like margarine and butter, but you also lower your calorie intake as well. The part that you have to watch out is you should not create a program for yourself that gives you an impression of being in a “diet prison”. This is perhaps the main reason why so many hundreds of diets fail and millions of people every year become more and more over weight. Many people after one time or another feel too constricted and psychologically they feel compelled to break their diet and they end up eating more to compensate for the time that they dieted. Thus in the end they perhaps become even more over weight than when they had started.
So then what is the solution? You need to give yourself treats from time to time. This means that although pasta is forbidden in a low calorie diet you should eat your favorite fettuccine at least once a week. It means that if you like to eat ice cream, and then although it is not allowed in a low calorie diet; you should eat yourself your favorite ice cream at least twice a month. Another example is with a low fat diet. You may like eating steaks and thus you should indulge yourself with a T Bone steak once every 10 days to compensate for your diet.
Experience along with many research shows that more flexible a diet is, then more chance it has of working. Always stay away from diets that focus on just one food group. Ex popular diets like no carbohydrate diet, no protein diet or no fats diet has all been shown to be faulty by medical researchers. A healthy diet must combine something from every food base in order to be successful. Then and only then a diet has a chance of succeeding and you can reach the weight that you always wanted.