A Look At Different Weight Loss Methods and How They Affect Your Body

In December 2023, a study on the state of Britain’s public health revealed alarming statistics. The cost of the escalating weight issue nationwide was estimated at a staggering £98 billion, with £2.1- £15.6 billion stemming mainly from lost productivity. Here, 2.4 million people who are overweight or live with obesity were revealed to be too sick to work — typically ridden with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or musculoskeletal issues.

This financial toll doesn’t simply underscore the economic burden but also emphasises the pressing need for effective weight loss methods for better public health. Below, we provide insights into four popular methods to guide you in making choices for your personal well-being.

Calorie counting

Creating a calorie deficit stands as the cornerstone of many weight loss journeys. However, while calories serve as nice theoretical units for providing insights into the energy content of foods, they can fall short of capturing the intricacies of nutrition. Dr Duane Mellor from the British Dietetic Association explains how calorie counting neglects factors such as the body’s dynamic energy expenditure and the diverse nutritional values inherent in different foods. 

Most individuals who count calories end up experiencing nutritional deficiencies and a stressful fixation on numerical targets. That is why most health experts would suggest incorporating mindful eating practices instead, wherein one focuses on the body’s hunger and fullness cues and building a healthier relationship with food. 

Fad diets

Characterised by their unconventional eating patterns, fad diets promise rapid weight loss that typically demonises the concept of calories. These tend to be sensationalised by celebrities, fostering a diet culture that believes in the idea of “some sort of magic pill.” The emergence of diets such as the 800 cals diet and apps such as Myfitnesspal exemplify this phenomenon, with the extreme diets by Marilyn Monroe or Beyoncé standing as prime examples that quickly captured public attention.

However, experts are equally quick to point out that fad diets lack the necessary nutritional balance required for sustained health. This can disrupt metabolism and compromise overall well-being in the long run. Thus, individuals are encouraged to maximise their research and consult a healthcare professional before starting any fad diet.

Weight loss programs

Typically guided by fitness and health experts, weight loss programs encompass a multifaceted framework to encourage sustainable weight management. This considers calorie counting alongside elements like virtual workshops or coaching support to help individuals build long-term lifestyle changes.

A critical factor of this method is the supportive environment. With results showing that weight loss is two times more effective when done communally than when done alone, the WeightWatchers program allows you to access weight loss groups near you and your community. These can be conducted online or in person, and individuals also get to access 24/7 coaches for any advice or questions. This can be especially helpful in fostering a sense of accountability for those who struggle with motivation during weight loss. 

Weight loss surgery

Procedures such as gastric bypass or other bariatric surgeries aim to restrict the amount of food the stomach can hold, resulting in significant weight loss over a relatively short period. However, not everyone is eligible, nor does everyone choose to undergo surgery. That’s because of the different post-surgery outcomes that impact recovery.

These outcomes could range from fluctuations in weight to loose skin. These are natural side effects, yet many may find the latter especially concerning for self-esteem. Thankfully, loose skin after weight loss surgery is easily manageable. One can choose to take collagen and increase strength training or even turn to plastic surgery procedures. This can help you foster a positive body image while enjoying the benefits of living at a healthier weight.

As individuals embark on their weight loss journeys, understanding the nuances of each method becomes paramount. By fostering awareness and informed decision-making, you can select an approach that aligns with your goals while prioritising health and well-being.