It’s a question millions of us have asked for decades — what are the best ways to lose weight?
Celebs and fitness influencers have touted weight loss pills, meal replacement shakes and supplements, saying they are the secret to their toned, Hollywood-ready physiques.
But these ‘tips’ aren’t worth the paper they’re written on, according to AI.
MailOnline can reveal strenuous workouts, meal prepping and intermittent fasting are among ChatGPT’s top five weight loss tips.
And we’ve published its guide for those who want to test it out. But, be warned —leading experts say approaches to weight-loss are not one-size-fits-all.
ChatGPT crowned the High Intensity Interval Training as the best for weight loss
Two to three sessions of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) per week was the chatbot’s top tip for shredding the pounds.
This workout involves alternating short bursts of intense exercise with low-intensity recovery periods, usually for 30 seconds each, with a typical workout lasting around half an hour.
ChatGPT even provided a list of go-to exercises, which included sprints, burpees, jumping jacks and squats.
The cardiovascular exercise involves working between 80 to 95 per cent of your maximum heart rate, which is calculated by subtracting your age from 220.
For example, a 30-year-old would have a maximum heart rate of 190.
The nation’s favourite work-out guru Joe Wicks, nicknamed the Body Coach, is an advocate of the trendy workout.
And Australian researchers last year found it was more effective at keeping your waistline in check than traditional aerobic exercise, like running or swimming.
However, Dr Duane Mellor, one of Britain’s top dietary researchers, warned exercise can only support weight loss, rather than be the main driver of it.
He told MailOnline: ‘Although HIIT can be the exercise preference for some and can be easier to fit in time-wise, it is not a better type of exercise.
‘In fact, although exercise can help weight management, its contribution to helping weight loss can be limited.’
Videos of people batch cooking meals for the week ahead have clocked up billions of views on TikTok — sparking a trend of its own.
But the time-saving and cost-cutting trend is also one of the best ways to maintain a ‘healthy and consistent’ eating pattern, according to ChatGPT.
It consists of dedicating time in your week to make a big portion of breakfast, lunch and dinner and putting them in containers to be consumed throughout the week.
The chatbot claims that having meals already prepared will help avoid ‘impulsive, unhealthy food choices and promote portion control’.
As a result, dieters can better track what they’re eating and their calorie intake, which can help with weight loss.
Each meal should be balanced and should include lean proteins, whole grains, vegetables and healthy fats, according to the AI chatbot.
The NHS advises you to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables and to drink plenty of fluids each day.
Dr Semiya Aziz, an NHS and private GP, praised meal prepping as an excellent way to control portion size.
She told MailOnline: ‘It often encourages people to think about the varied foods groups needed for a nutritionally balanced meal.
‘This is essential, as when we begin to comprehend the different food types and benefits gained, we begin to eat more healthy foods in general.
‘Preparing meals may also help to aid portion control and avoid the buying of take-aways, which can substantially contain more calories than a home prepared meal.’
Intermittent fasting — going for extended periods of time without eating followed by a period of eating normally — was the chatbot’s third suggestion.
There are four main types of fasting.
What are the different types of intermittent fasting?
You consume only 500 to 600 calories for two days each week. On the other days, you would eat a normal, healthy, and balanced diet with your usual calorie intake.
This involves eating during an eight-hour window and fasting for 16 hours. You eat from 10am to 6pm and then drink water, milk, tea or coffee for the remaining time.
Alternate day fasting
You fast every other day, which can be very difficult to maintain over the longer term.
24 hour fast
People following this diet would fast for an entire 24-hour period, perhaps monthly or weekly.
The 5:2 diet involves eating normally for five days a week and cutting calories dramatically for two days per week — to 500 for women and 600 for men.
Those following the 16:8 plan only eat within a eight-hour window each day, from 10am to 6pm, for example, and fast for the remaining 16 hours.
Alternate day fasting involves only eating around a quarter of normal daily intake on one day, followed by a day of eating 25 per cent more than usual.
And a 24-hour fast involves consuming no food at all for a whole day.
In theory, the diets allow the body to have a ‘break’ from digesting food and sees dieters consume less calories than if they were eating more regularly.
While this type of eating habit has had positive effects on blood sugar levels and short-term weight loss, some small studies saw some people over eating.
Dr Aziz said: ‘This is an excellent way of losing weight but may not be an ideal way of eating for all. There are various fasting/eating regimes proposed.
‘Fasting is a common tradition practiced by many religions throughout the world, mostly for its health benefits and the detoxification of food products.’
Cutting sugar and carbs
Slashing added sugar and refined carbohydrate intake is another cornerstone for weight loss, according to ChatGPT.
Sugar is a type of carbohydrate which gives the body energy but eating too much can lead to weight gain.
There are natural sugars, found in fruit, honey and milk, or free sugars, which are added to biscuits, chocolate and fizzy drinks.
Health chiefs say free sugars should not make up more than five per cent of daily calorie intake, as eating too much can lead to weight gain as well as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
‘Focus on whole, unprocessed foods and choose complex carbohydrates like whole grains, legumes, and vegetables over sugary snacks, sodas and processed foods’, ChatGPT recommended.
While this approach has been proven successful for many, experts stress it is important to choose a diet based on individual preferences.
Dr Mellor said: ‘As for some people intermittent fasting can be useful, whilst others limited sugar and refined carbohydrates can help.
‘But these need to be considered carefully based on a person’s preferences and making sure their diet remains well balanced.’
The daily recommended allowance for free sugar is 30g — those added to food and drink, rather than those that occur naturally in fruit, vegetables and milk — and carbohydrates is 230g for women and 300g for men, according to the NHS.
Tracking your progress and staying accountable is vital for weight loss, according to ChatGPT.
Doing so can help dieters remain motivated and inspired.
There are many savvy and simple ways to track your eating and exercise, with journals and mobile apps being the most popular.
Tracking can help those struggling to shift the scales modify their regime when its ineffective.
ChatGPT recommended joining a support group or finding an exercise partner to share your weight loss journey with and hold you accountable.
It also told keen dieters to ‘listen to your body, stay patient, and make gradual lifestyle changes that you can maintain in the long run’.
Adults should do some type of physical activity every day. Exercise just once or twice a week can reduce the risk of heart disease or stroke, according to the NHS.
Dr Mellor noted that ChatGPT cannot consider how its advice fits a person’s lifestyle and preferences.
He said: ‘It also is not great at considering evidence or bias, it purely looks at the information on the internet and selects options.
‘It is unable to consider how people eat. Often communally which is important for our mental well-being and sense of being connected.’