Inspired by the topic of recent conversations I’ve had, I thought it’s time I talk about this subject 🙂
There are so many health programmes on TV, so many magazine articles, Wonder diet Ads, so many Celeb ‘diets’.
Sometimes it’s hard some times to filter the truth from the fabricated lies.
My view on the ‘D’ word
DIETS– Diets are contradictory and confusing and there are way too many companies trying to make a profit from desperate people and not all of them work.
Diets that tell you to ‘cut out’ natural groups of food completely – that help your body to function, in my opinion (unless you’re intolerant) is a nutritionists nightmare!
Why don’t diets work?
A mixture of things can affect the outcome of diets not giving the results you desire, such as ….
- Lack of Will power, motivation, supervision and support to stay on track
- The Diet you choose isn’t balanced Nutritionally and doesn’t curb certain cravings (again unable to stay on track)
- Diets don’t tackle the issue of addiction whether it’s sugar or food in general,
- Diets don’t tackle the psychological issues that some people may have with food, no diet will give you the results that counselling or tackling your problems will,
- Some are not tailored to your needs
- Some Diets don’t teach you about basic Nutrition
- A Diet cannot change your attitude to food (only you can do that)
- Fad diets that advise Starving the body of the right amount of calories/nutrients can make your body ‘hold on’ to the fat cells.
- Not all Diets advise any physical activity which has been proven is needed for optimal results.
- Some diets are so restrictive with no ‘treats’ or things to look forward to people find it hard to stay on track.
- Giving up or cutting down things that are high in fat/sugar or caffeinated can cause emotional reactions such as mood swings, irritability, lack of concentration and not all diets give advise or support for this.
One of the MAIN reasons people fail after dieting is because they start to eat like they did before the diet and so they put the weight back on that they had lost.
If you are determined to lose weight healthily whether it be for your health, confidence, family, what ever the reason may be here are some tips that might be useful to you;
- Get advise from your doctor who will check your over all general health and will let you know if you have any un identified health issues that could affect your results, or indeed play a part as to why you are over weight.
It’s also a good way of keeping track of your improvements because you will have something to compare it with.
- Understand Calories, how much you burn in a day and how much you need to consume to lose weight;
- Change your attitude to food, when you start to learn about even basic Nutrition you will learn that every food group has a job, and about the positive or negative effects it has on your body.
- Start making healthier choices, for example if grains are a part of your diet you can swap your white bread, pasta, and rice to Brown /whole wheat, swap sugar for more natural sweeteners like honey.
- Try not to buy processed foods and get familiar with what to avoid on the ingredients list.
- Choose Healthier options, Grill, boil, steam and poach your food ban frying in your house hold unless it’s with a low-calorie spray such as fry light or flora cuisine.
- Can you trust yourself with naughty food(high fat/high sugar)? If the answers no and you binge if it’s in your house remove it completely,
- Treat yourself, if you set yourself a goal and you feel justified in treating yourself once a week with a chocolate bar or once a month with a take away, do it. It’s an incentive just remember portion control (you don’t want to undo your hard work).
- Choose lower fat or Healthier options of food you like to eat.
- When you leave the house always take a healthy snack with you and a bottle of water, you won’t have the excuse of buying something bad for you while you’re out because ‘you’re hungry or thirsty’
- Always eat before you shop (this will deter you from over buying)
- Plan your meals, make a food shopping list and stick to it
- Don’t skip meals, it’s bad for your body, get into good eating habits, eat things that release energy slowly.
- Some people find it really useful to keep a food diary and stick it on the fridge so you remember to fill it in,
- Not all fats are bad fats, eaten in moderation our bodies need vital nutrition from healthy sources of oils and fats such as unsalted nuts like walnuts, avocado, oily fish extra virgin olive oil(eaten cold as a dressing).
- Cut out fizzy drinks, even the diet versions are terrible for you they are filled with chemicals, it serves no purpose to your body. There are also added sugars in other drinks it is in your interest to read the labels of everything you consume!
- Portion control is a big one to get to grips with but it’s so important
The battle of the bulge is easier if the whole family is on board, try to find some one like-minded to share tips ideas and motivation with,
- Keep yourself motivated by talking to some one who has the same goals as you, you could put pictures that inspire you on your fridge, as your phone or laptop screen saver and swap them regularly so you don’t start to ignore them!
- Re think your snacks cupboard, in mine I have filled up kilner jars with healthy snacks and every one in the house hold has a mini pot to fill up and take with them when they leave the house:
In our jars we have unsalted nuts (almonds and walnuts), coconut shavings, banana chips, dried apricots, cranberries, dates, prunes and raisins, also yogurt coated apricots and dark chocolate drops.
- Always check items claiming to be ‘healthy’ don’t have any hidden nasties like extra sugars and unnatural dye, I have found these even in dried fruit!
- Move your fruit bowl next to the kettle and grab a piece of fresh fruit when you leave the house or are running late.
- If you like crisps swap them for baked alternatives, and limit you’re amount (don’t buy family sized big bags only buy individual sized).
- If you are trying to lose weight Research suggests your diet should mainly be made up of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, (including pulses) whole wheat carbohydrates (or potato with the skin on), a controlled amount of dairy or (calcium/ vit D rich alternatives) products and healthy fats.
- Get moving ..Research suggests your more likely to succeed if you up your physical activity, find something that you like that’s suitable for your fitness level.
A few examples are: Walking, Briskly walking, taking the stairs instead of the lift, chair exercises, Pilates, yoga, jogging, zumba, spinning, boxing, running swimming even rollerblading.
- Ultimately it’s all about finding the right combinations of eating healthily, portion control movement and motivation that work for you!