Weight loss is a tricky and tasking journey. Losing weight comes with a lot of work, effort, motivation and self-discipline to stay focused on your targets whether it is for health benefits or for aesthetics. There are different methods used when one seeks to lose weight- usually diet and exercise. These methods may be combined to reach a target weight faster.
There are several myths on weight loss, especially on diets. One of the popular ones relates to blood type (blood group) and your diet and is mostly proffered by practitioners of alternative medicine. Here, a food plan is created for each blood group and the end goal is a faster and more efficient weight loss journey. Let us examine the facts properly.
WHAT IS THE BLOOD TYPE?
This is the classification of blood into different groups based on the labels (called antigens) on red blood cells. Blood types are inherited from both parents. There are different blood types or groups but the most commonly used classification type is the ABO system with blood groups A, B, O and AB. An equally important blood grouping classification is the Rhesus classification. It is very important especially with blood transfusion.
WHAT IS A BLOOD TYPE DIET?
This was popularised in the late nineties by a naturopathic physician who published a book on achieving ideal weight and in living healthy. He discussed how eating according to your blood type (from actual food to condiments and spices) is best for your weight loss journey and overall health as some food types may cause diseases. He wrote that the best diet for optimal health is the easier diet to digest, which is related to the different blood groups as the body digests foods differently.
For each blood type, he created a meal plan for how best to lose weight. For example, those with blood group AB should eat more dairy products, fruits and vegetables and eat less chicken, corn and beans. People with blood type A should eat more vegetables, fruits and avoid meat. He also listed different supplements for each blood type. This was thought to help increase energy, boots the immune system and improve overall health.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS THE BLOOD TYPE DIET?
Research carried out to examine the effectiveness of the blood type diet revealed no benefits in using the blood type diet. There was no relationship found between weight loss and blood type. In fact, the meal plan may be harmful to your health if you have certain health conditions warranting special diets (e.g. people with diabetes or high cholesterol may have complications when they eat high caloric or high cholesterol diets). As such, basing your meals on a blood type diet is restrictive as many healthy food types are excluded. If you need an effective meal plan for any reason, speak with your dietitian. Weight loss has nothing to do with your blood type.
WHICH STRATEGIES FOR EFFECTIVE WEIGHT LOSS CAN I USE?
The following are effective strategies you may use in your weight loss journey. While they are very effective, they may fail to work in some cases.
- Eat a balanced diet but in small fractions. Avoid late dinners, processed food, fast foods and fatty meals.
- Drink more water, avoid soda and alcohol.
- Set a weight loss goal and follow up on it regularly. Always keep track of your weight.
- If you require help with reminders, enlist the help of a friend or a professional.
- Speak with your nutritionist or dietician.
- Exercise more. You may register at a gym and get professional help with exercises designed to help you lose weight.
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