Today, I wanted to talk to you about diets. The diet industry is a big one and it wouldn’t be doing well if it didn’t work, would it? I know friends who have been on some of the popular diets here in the UK. You know the ones, you have to go to meetings each week and get weighed and you have eating plans with rules you need to follow. The good thing about these types of diets is that they allow you to eat big meals, so you don’t feel hungry, and they also make sure that no food groups are eliminated. People can lose weight and still eat carbs!
I have seen friends lose weight on these diets and that’s great. They do work, for some people. What I have also noticed, though, is that people need to stay on these diets permanently or they will put the weight back on when they go back to their old way of eating. I was also taught this on my Personal Training course and, as a result, I never recommend any diet plan to my clients.
If you want to lose weight for a special event then a diet plan will probably work for you. Be careful though, because when you go back to eating normally you might put on more weight than you lost and actually weigh more than when you first went on the diet. This is because when you restrict your daily calories, especially if this is a drastic shift, your body goes into starvation mode and clings to every calorie it gets. So, when you start eating normally your body will cling to every calorie, worried that you are going to starve it again. This is why people go on yo-yo diets and it can be the start of a downwards spiral.
If diets don’t work how am I supposed to lose weight?
First of all, do you really need to lose weight? I have seen so many people who are a normal weight, who are still not happy. This can be an issue because of social media. There are influencers with amazing bodies and they do a lot of work to keep them that way. This is not possible for most of us who live a ‘normal’ life and have regular routines. There are other people on social media who have used filters and apps to help them look much slimmer than they are in real life. People should be aware of that. If you are a normal weight but feel being thinner will make you look or feel better then you may benefit from seeing your GP as this may be linked to anxiety or an eating disorder. If you know you are overweight and you are about to go on a diet, again, it wouldn’t hurt to see your GP as a lot of practices can refer you to local support groups and suggest healthy eating plans or local exercise groups. In the meantime, here are some tips…
- All calories are not the same – a sausage roll will have a different effect on your digestive processes than a baked potato
- Eat as natural as possible – reduce the amount of processed food you eat
- Try to replace all white carbs (bread, rice, pasta) with brown versions. You will soon get used to the taste
- Avoid hidden sugars. Check ingredients to make sure that there is either no sugar or it is listed as one of the last ingredients
- Step up your intake of fruits and vegetable
- Drink 2 litres of water a day
- Walk as much as you can and ideally try to hit 10,000 steps per day
It is the small changes that make a big difference. I’d love to hear how you get on!