Dieting Dos and Don’ts!

Step 1: Don’t diet.

I hate the ‘D’ word, it has lost all meaning to its true definition! A diet in my opinions means the foods you eat on a daily basis. However, this word has been hijacked by companies, celebrities and fast fix enthusiasts to describe a restrictive type of diet with the goal of weight loss for that ‘perfect’ body. Ooh try the Atkins diet, try the Alkaline diet or ketosis diet and you’ll lose weight and look fab! But for how long will you lose weight for? And at what cost?

So how do diets work? In order to understand how diets work we need to understand how weight loss and weight gain works. Weight gain begins occurs when your energy intake (food) is greater than your expenditure (activity levels). Weight loss happens when you burn more calories than you eat. Simple? If I want to lose weight I just eat less right?!

To a degree yes, but what generally happens is after a period of time your body adjusts to the lower calorie intake and your weight loss plateaus. So what do you do then? Cut more calories and more calories, eat less and less? Your brain may see this as the solution but your body does not. If you restrict your energy intake over a long period of time your body goes into ‘starvation mode’. This is your body’s way of protecting itself incase this shortage of energy continues for a long period of time.

So you can’t lose any more weight and your meals consist of very small amounts of food and your body has gotten used to this limited intake that in order to maintain what you have already lost you must eat this way forever! How many people do you know that are on a lifelong ‘diet’. Dieting can also add stress and complicate people’s lives. Worrying if you lost weight from one week to the next is not worth the seesaw of emotions!

Step two: Do make healthy changes to your food.

Eat natural, unprocessed foods. Make sure you have a little of everything in your meal. By that I mean proteins, carbohydrates and fats! Vegetables are amazing, these sweet, crunchy and bitter food types contain magic pills full of vitamins and minerals that keep us healthy. Try your best with every meal, if you fail, try again.