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Weight gain normally happens gradually as you eat more and exercise less, so it can be really worrying when you seem to gain weight suddenly without warning. If this has happened to you, don’t panic! Express.co.uk chatted to Dr Alona Pulde from leading global nutrition app Lifesum (www.lifesum.com) to find out the reasons behind rapid weight loss and the five best ways to lose weight fast.
Weight gain really comes down to calories in and calories out – it’s that simple.
The quickest way to gain weight is to increase the caloric density (calories per pound) of our food. This translates to packing a lot of calories into a small amount of food.
Dr Pulde said: “When we eat these foods, we satisfy our calorie requirement but we don’t feel satiated.
“In fact, we continue to feel hungry which leads us to eat more of these foods.
“This is because our hunger signals depend on two factors in the body: the number of calories we consume, and the stretch in our stomach which depends on the bulk of our meal.”
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Dr Pulde added: “Whole plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes are low in caloric density and high in bulk.
“These foods fill up our stomachs with fewer calories and make great choices for those trying to lose weight.”
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Dr Pulde said: “Get rid of liquid calories, particularly soda and juices that are high in sugar and low in fibre and nutrients.
“If you want to indulge, choose fibre-rich smoothies that use the whole fruit, not just the juice.”
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Add whole plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes to your diet.
The doctor added: “These foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals that optimise your health and appropriately regulate your hunger signals.
“Lifesum has so many wonderful recipes to help you add plant foods to your diet, including their recent Climatarian Diet meal plan.”
Lower or eliminate your salt intake to help you lose weight.
Dr Pulde said: “The weight loss contributed here is mostly water weight.
“However, decreasing high salt foods also reduces the consumption of foods packed with it, e.g., processed, junk, and fast foods, which ultimately results in losing fat.”
Dr Pulde advised: “Eliminate highly processed foods, junk foods, and fast foods.
“These foods are calorically dense and high in fat, sugar, and salt.
“Not only do they contribute to chronic diseases such as heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes; but they also confuse our hunger signals resulting in over-consumption and weight gain.”
Reduce your caloric density but whatever you do, don’t restrict yourself!
One of the most vicious and unsuccessful traps for dieters results from yo-yoing between restriction, deprivation, and bingeing.
Dr Pulde explained: “We require calories to survive which means we need to eat. When we restrict, our body gets the message that it is starving and it fights back to protect its survival.
“As a result, we can only restrict ourselves for so long, regardless of willpower.
“Instead of restricting, choose the foods that support optimal health and encourage weight loss. These are your fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.”
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