There are so many diets and diet clubs out there and different fads… so what do you do?
All the diets out there are very different from each other, some cutting out certain foods, eating more of another, and there are various results from weight loss to health improvements.
What makes the diets the same is that they all encourage eating whole foods. You never see a diet suggesting you eat cake or processed foods at every meal. No, they all ask you to eat whole foods, lots of vegetables, fish, pulses depending on whether you look at meat or non meat diets. Naturally by cutting out the ‘junk’ – sugar, processed foods, takeaways you will see a difference in your weight and in your health. Its not a miracle diet it has been out there forever.
Personally, I find calorie counting, weighing foods out etc is all a bit of a faff and time consuming. We all know if we strictly reduce our calorie intake we will lose weight, absolutely. However, how long can you sustain that for? What happens next? We can’t sustain it for very long at all and when we stop the strict calorie intake we eat everything we weren’t allowed normally to excess and over months, years of this pattern you can end up putting all the weight back on plus more!
Do you notice you feel hungrier when you are on a diet? Yes? That’s because studies have shown that our satiety hormone, leptin decreases and our hunger hormone ghrelin increases. Top this with the fact you start to crave the very foods your diet claims as ‘forbidden’ and if you eat some you feel out of control and eat so much more. You then become obsessed with food and in a cycle of binge eating, irritability, distraction.
Research shows the constant yoyo dieting of losing and putting weight back on is bad for your health.
So what do you do?
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!
You have an inbuilt food/weight management system. When you are hungry (ensure you drink at least 2 litres of water daily) you eat, when you are full you stop. We all have it but many of us bypass this clever management system.
We have also got ourselves stuck in a time routine, the clock says its breakfast, lunch or dinner but what if your stomach doesn’t agree? Is it not best to listen to your body and eat when you are hungry? I have days I don’t eat right away but a bit later in the morning when I feel hungry. There are days I eat more than another day. If you need to be at work can you bring your food to go and eat when you are ready?
DROP THE FORBIDDEN LIST
If you crave what you are not allowed then focus instead on what you are allowed. Complete a whole foods, better for your health list of foods. Try and fit as many as you can in and look at eating more colourful foods, fruit & vegetables.
Stop cutting out whole food groups altogether. If you know you will crave it and you can’t go the rest of your life without eating eg carbs then take a sensible approach. Unless you have been advised by a qualified practitioner, don’t cut out food groups. Learn how to make a healthy plate for each meal (part of my wellness programme) we know what isn’t best for our health but if you really need the not so good, incorporate it in small amounts.
Enjoy your food, the texture and the taste. Find new recipes and ways of cooking your food to make it more interesting instead of the same food in the same way every week. Know that eating better is going to make you feel better and hopefully drop some weight as you go.
Don’t embark on something you know you can’t sustain for any length of time. Focus on the wholesome , nourishing foods and over time you will need ‘junk’ less and less as you will getting all the nutrients you need from your better choices.
Take small steps and don’t dive in full on if you are not that type of person. Decide to make a change a week or every few days to make it more manageable.