Continued from previous page.

With plenty of fad diets available these days, choosing the one that is right for you can be a tough choice.

Dr Tham Kwang Wei, Senior Consultant and Director of the Obesity Metabolic Unit, LIFE Centre, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the SingHealth group, advises, "Many of these diets are effective for weight loss but because they can be drastic compared to one’s usual diet, they are often not sustainable and weight regain often happens."

She adds, "With weight loss diets of any kind, fad or not, the more one is able to adhere to it, the more successful it will be for weight loss. However, ensure that other problems do not ensue like dehydration, vitamin deficiencies, and kidney stones. Hence, to lose weight and maintain it successfully, it is best to change one’s eating habit rather than go on a special diet."

However, it is important to note that while dieting calls for a cutting down on fat and sugar, maintaining a balanced diet - ensuring your body has sufficient carbohydrates, protein, fat, fibre and essential vitamins - is still a must. Furthermore, having adequate protein in your diet also helps minimise muscle reduction during weight loss.

3 basic ways to cut calories while ensuring your body gets the nutrients it needs

  1. Choose foods with less fat: 1g of fat has 9 calories while the same amount of protein or carbohydrate has 4 calories.
    • Cool soups, stews and curries and remove any solidified fat before eating.
    • Remove the skin and any fat from meats before cooking.
    • Grill/roast food rather than fry it.
  2. Choose foods and beverages with less sugar: Sugar has “empty calories” (calories with no nutritional value), which is why it is important to reduce your sugar intake.
    • Choose plain water over sweetened drinks
    • Add less sugar to your tea/coffee.
    • Ask for less syrup in desserts.
    • Choose packaged products labelled “unsweetened”, “less sugar”, “reduced sugar” or “low in sugar".
  3. Eat more fibre: Whole fruits and vegetables (not just their juice) as well as wholegrain foods will help to keep you feeling full longer.

Read on to learn about the types of exercises that are effective for weight loss.

Ref: N18