BistroMD Health Library

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Weight Loss

From the effects of the hormone cortisol to the role of genetics in weight loss, this category is packed with everything that you need to know about losing weight the healthy way.

Best Weight Loss Plan for Long Term Results

Navigating the ocean of possible weight loss plans can feel as daunting as sailing across the oceans of the world would be. It helps if you have a few rules to follow in order to successfully find the best plan. See these guidelines we’ve listed for the most success while following a weight loss plan.


If you don't want to waste time searching for the best weight loss plan, and especially if you are looking for long term results, look no further.  Here are few things that will make deciding on the best plan for weight loss quick and easy. You'll want to make sure you investigate a few key things that the best weight loss plans in the country all seem to have in common.

We've come up with a set of essential rules for the best ways to lose weight when following a plan for weight loss. You will absolutely want to follow these if you want to lose weight and keep it off.

Guidelines to follow for the best weight loss plan:

1. Don't cut out a whole food group. 

It is vitally important choose a balance of foods to make sure you don't miss out on any key essential nutrients. When you completely cut out a whole food group –for example, grains, breads, potatoes, cereals, pasta—you might miss out on the fortified vitamins and minerals that are found in these foods. It's better to reduce your portion size of these foods, rather than to completely cut them out for months on end to lose weight. Also, it's nearly impossible to cut out an entire food group for your whole lifetime, and this could set you up for future failure when it comes time to begin maintaining your weight.

2. No fewer than 1000 calories, per day, unless recommended and supervised by your doctor.

While keeping your diet at 900 calories per day may seem like the best way to lose weight in the moment, it's actually the worst. Why? Because you will without a doubt begin to lose lean muscle tissue.  This is the last thing any of us want when we are attempting to achieve a healthy weight. Muscle protein is the largest contributor to metabolic rate, meaning it burns the most calories, even at rest. When you lose muscle, you'll see the scale drop, but this is not from losing fat! The fat tissue is still there, so it is extremely misleading when you inspect the scale. So steer clear of plans that decrease daily calories to under 1,000 kcals per day.

3. Focus on habits and lifestyle change.

The best weight loss plans all have one thing in common. They help you switch your entire lifestyle, not just your diet. Normally they will include lots of education, portion control, and will list ways to help you develop skills in food preparation. They should absolutely provide tips on how to order at restaurants, and what a healthy, balanced meal looks like. The best weight loss plans almost always help you with grocery shopping lists, or planning menus for a family. Most importantly, these plans will focus on changing how you live your life around food – not just making temporary changes. If a program claims they have a fast way to lose weight, then you might want to think twice, because you may not develop the skills you need to keep the weight off once it's gone. And no one wants to have to lose weight—again.

4. Skip diets that skip protein, or recommend severely limiting protein intake.

If a diet is dropping your lean protein intake drastically, such as a vegan or vegetarian diet, you might want to skip it. You can easily add in all the healthy foods that a vegan diet contains—and achieve all the same health benefits—without dodging lean proteins.  Contrary to popular belief, beans are NOT a complete source of protein.  We're not sure where this rumor began circulating, but it's absolutely false and here's why: Beans contain a very, very small amount of lysine. Too small to count toward your daily amino acid needs. And so you MUST combine them with another food source, such as rice or bread, in order to get the complete amino acid profile your body requires. But the real problem is this: any of the amino acids found in plant foods will never be absorbed as well as amino acids from lean animal proteins. Plants contain fibers and indigestible complexes that bind amino acids and minerals, making them much more difficult to absorb.  Lean proteins are easily broken down into separate amino acids, and are readily absorbed along with minerals like iron and zinc.  So if a plan encourages a total vegan diet, you might want to reconsider the protein part, and embrace all of the healthy foods present in a vegan diet.

5. No fat and ultra-low carb diets are a no-go.

Most of us have moved on from the 80's and 90's no-fat dieting craze.  However, there are still diets that recommend removing all the fat you can from your diet, which is truly crazy. You absolutely need certain essential fats. Without them, you might develop dry skin, texture changes in your hair, and deficiencies in certain vitamins, such as Vitamin A, D, E, and K. Additionally, your brain is composed mainly of fat, and healthy fat intake is crucial to maintaining healthy brain function. The essential fats you need are found in a variety of foods, such as flax seed, chia seeds, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, salmon, and avocados.  Any diet that does not include foods that contain essential fats is one you will not want to explore.

In summary, the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to follow a weight loss plan, such as bistroMD, that focuses on lifestyle changes, and helps you learn the skills you need to achieve a normal weight. Explore our menu and get started today!

Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on October 05, 2015. Updated on October 20, 2015.


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