Obesity is a common and growing problem in the UK.
The NHS estimates that it affects one in every four adults, and around one in every five children aged between 10 and 11.1
Maintaining a healthy weight is important as it not only prevents obesity, but it also helps to lower your risk of developing conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
It can also help you feel good about yourself and give you more energy.
Having a balanced diet that includes a combination of protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and fibre can help you to reduce and maintain your weight.
Over the years, nutritionists and scientists have developed diets that encourage eating less or more of a particular kind of food, in order to achieve rapid weight loss.
Some diets focus on reducing your appetite, while others restrict calories, carbohydrates, or fat.
Different diets work for different people. It is vital to get the right advice from a registered medical practitioner before you start, as you may otherwise choose a diet where you might be losing out on key nutrients.
Many people are too hard on themselves when they diet, setting unrealistic and undefined targets, which is why they often give up too easily.
It is therefore vital to choose a diet that fits with your lifestyle and one that you can realistically dedicate yourself to in the long run.
There are many different diet plans out there that can help you lose weight quickly.2
Here are just a few examples:
The 5:2 diet is based on a principle known as intermittent fasting, where you eat normally for five days a week and fast on the other two.
The Paleo diet mimics the ‘caveman diet’ and consists of foods that can be hunted, fished, or gathered such as meat, seafood, eggs, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices.
For more information about its possible benefits, read our paleo diet guide.
This diet replaces the intake of carbohydrate-heavy foods such as pasta, rice and bread with whole foods, natural proteins, fats, and vegetables.
The Keto diet focuses on lots of fat and few carbs. For more information on whether or not this could be suitable for you, read our explainer on the keto diet.
The New Atkins Diet is a protein-rich diet, with no restrictions on fat, and a daily carb allowance of 20 to 25g.
Plant based diets involve eliminating all meat, poultry, and fish, and in some cases even eggs and dairy products.
There are many benefits to a plant-based diet.
Weight Watchers operates a points-based system, where different foods and drinks are given a value, depending on their calorie, fat, and fibre content.
Burning fat is a key part of losing weight.
Your body burns fat naturally through diet and exercise but sometimes this is not enough.
Fat burners are any dietary supplements or related substances that claim to burn excess fat from your body. For more information, you may like to read our guide on the best fat burners.
Supplements can help you lose weight, but they will never actually melt your body fat away.
To choose the right weight loss supplement you should ask yourself the following:
For more information, check out our guide to weight loss pills and supplements. It is always advisable to consult a dietitian or nutritionist to see what is best for your personal health and wellbeing.
Here are our top 10 tips on how to lose weight3:
Don’t skip breakfast – it sets you up for the day and helps to reduce cravings.
Drink plenty of water – between six to eight glasses every day.
Get your five a day – make sure you are eating five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.4
Eat whole foods – they are healthier, more filling, and less likely to cause overeating.
Only eat when you are hungry - and try to avoid unhealthy snacking.
Get active – start a new sport, go for a brisk walk, or visit the gym.
Eat slowly – it helps to make you feel fuller for longer.
Reduce your portion size – use a smaller plate to better control the amount you eat.
Weigh yourself – do this once a week, to help you keep track of your weight loss progress.
Sleep well – adults should get between six to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.
Last updated: 18 March 2021