When looking to lose weight, several factors may influence your progress.
While diet and exercise are often combined to promote weight loss, some may wonder whether you can lose weight via dietary modifications alone.
This article explains whether losing weight is possible by solely manipulating your diet and includes recommendations to help you get started.
When it comes to weight loss, a few key factors determine your level of success.
Calories in vs. calories out
The factor that plays the biggest role in weight loss is maintaining a consistent calorie deficit.
This is defined as eating fewer calories than you burn on a daily basis.
Over time, this will lead to weight loss because your body will be burning through its fat and carbohydrate stores for energy (1, 2).
While you’re in a calorie deficit, your body turns to its fat cells and glycogen, the body’s stored form of carbs, to make up for the lack of energy from food intake.
You can employ numerous dietary strategies to lose weight.
The goal is to eat slightly fewer calories than your body needs for weight maintenance, promoting a gradual weight loss.
The number of calories you need to eat to lose weight is highly variable and depends on a lot of factors, including your sex, height, weight, and other genetic factors.
Some common weight loss strategies include (3, 4):
- Low carb diets. Limiting your carb intake to 50–150 grams daily may help decrease your intake of commonly overconsumed high carb foods. Low carb diets often prioritize protein and fiber-rich vegetables, which help manage hunger and promote appetite control.
- Ketogenic diets. Very low carb intakes of fewer than 50 grams daily can stimulate ketogenesis. This process, in which fat is used as the primary energy source, may help regulate your hunger levels.
- High protein diets. Protein intakes of 0.5–0.7 grams per pound (1.2–1.6 grams per kg) per day promote building and maintaining lean body mass, which supports your metabolism and may reduce overeating by helping you feel full for longer.
- Intermittent fasting. …….