MANY diet firms will try to tell you that the key to losing weight is counting calories.
But how many of us have tried to do that and still not seen results?
Well, that’s because we’re not approaching fat loss scientifically.
Which is why leading geneticist, Dr Giles Yeo, has come up with the perfect plan for successful weight loss.
Speaking at the Hay Festival, the Cambridge Uni prof shared tips from his book “Gene Eating: The Science of Obesity and the Truth About Diets”.
First things first, he said that dieters needed to accept that fat loss is “difficult”, the Mail reported.
The only way to make it achievable is to “chip away at it a little bit at a time”.
So no quick fixes, no dubious detoxes.
Here are five simple and scientific tips for guaranteed fat loss:
1. Eat less of everything
It sounds pretty obvious but Dr Yeo’s top tip is to simply reduce your portions of everything.
You don’t need to count calories – just actively eat a little less at every meal and of your snacks.
However, experts tend to agree that you can never eat enough of things like dark leafy veg, so try cutting down your portions of meat, dairy and carbs and really bulk out your plate with as much spinach, broccoli and chard as you can.
2. Don’t cut out food groups
Forget going keto. Dr Yeo says we need all the food groups – which means we should be eating things like carbs to function.
“Don’t demonise and exclude whole food groups unless medically warranted,” Dr Yeo said.
“Too much of anything is bad, and too little of anything is bad.”
Dr Yeo previously spent a month living on a vegan diet and said he shed 10lb and saw his cholesterol dramatically drop while eating as much as he wanted.
Gemma Collins is another dieter who has credited going vegan for her incredible weight loss.
She started losing weight as part of her training for Dancing On Ice but she’s revealed that going vegan has been the real secret to her success.
In a caption on Instagram, she wrote: “Thanks for your weight loss comments my hard work is defo paying off #veganlifestyle #eatlifenotdeath”.
So far, Gemma’s shed 2.5st on the regime.
According to a 2018 review of 11 clinical trials, published in the BMJ, veganism can help with weight loss.
But going vegan doesn’t mean that you’re cutting out food groups. You can still get enough protein, fats and carbs from plant-based sources.
One mistake many vegans make initially is not getting enough protein and not feeling full.
While you don’t necessarily need to try meat alternatives, they’ll definitely help with the transition.
And some will genuinely shock you by how tasty and realistic they can be.
Don’t fancy tofu? Try seitan (made from wheat gluten) – the stuff which is often used to make mock-meat.
It’s lower in fat and higher in protein than steak, plus it’s also got a high calcium content which has been linked to increased metabolism and fat burning.
Seitan also contains 28 per cent iron (compared to steak’s 13 per cent).
3. Eat food that takes longer to digest
One reason that people find they can eat more on a vegan diet is that you’re often filling up with tonnes of fibre – and that makes you full.
Beans, dhal, and veg take longer to digest because they’re so rich in dietary fibre.
They can take longer to eat (all that chewing) and they tend to take longer to fully digest.
It’s also a good idea to give your body a break from digestion once in a while to avoid bloating.
So set yourself a 12 hour period in between dinner and breakfast in which you just drink water, herbal tea or black coffee.
4. Eat more fat
Fat doesn’t make you fat – we know that.
But loads of us are still a bit scared of filling up on fats and there’s some confusion about what kind of fats we should be eating.
Dr Yeo says that we should all be eating more unsaturated fats like avocado, nuts and olive oil.
We’re not talking about the fats you get from animal products, as recommended on the keto or paleo diets.
Unsaturated fats come mainly from plant-based sources.
Most health organisations and dietary experts recommend eating saturated fats in moderation, and replacing them with unsaturated fats when possible.
Love cheese? Why not give a nut-based cheese a go instead?
We love Cicioni which is made with fermented almonds and cashews – so packed with unsaturated fats and gut-friendly bacteria.
Get a box from Ocado, £8.49.
5. Don’t fear food
Diet companies thrive on us fearing food. But food is amazing and it’s what sustains us.
Feeling nervous about nutrition and the power of food just leads to disordered eating and poor mental health.
MORE ON WEIGHT LOSS
“It’s better to understand food better and work with it, rather than be afraid of it,” Dr Yeo concludes.
The moment you start to think of it as a friend rather than a foe, food and diet becomes a lot more manageable.
Be kind to yourself, feed your body what it needs and ignore any advice that makes you feel rubbish about what you eat.
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