Why diets don't work and why you should ditch them for good
I will admit I have always been a taken in by the latest fad diet. You name it I have tried it and guess what none of them actually work.
If you do lose weight when you are able to stick to them then you can guarantee you put it straight back on when you stop the diet.
The main problem with diets is…
You are denying yourself certain foods and as soon as you say something is off limits it seems even more irresistible. Then you are basically using your willpower to resist tucking into every food that is not allowed on your diet.
You only have so much willpower.
If you use your willpower all day it will eventually run out. When that happens you will inevitably cave in and eat even more of the cake or chocolate or chips or pizza that has been calling your name.
This then becomes a never ending cycle of denying yourself fattening or unhealthy foods and then eating lots when you do allow yourself. The result of this is losing weight then gaining it again.
What can you do to get out of the diet cycle?
Start introducing healthy habits one by one
If you try to do a huge overhaul of your diet all at once you it is too much adjustment in one go. I have tried to do this so many times in the past and it has lasts about 3 days before I cave in.
I got the tip from reading Alice Liveing’s story in her book. This was a game changer for me. The changes I have made that have lasted have been simple ones like reducing the amount of bread I eat gradually. Now I have it occasionally but on the whole avoid it and substitute it with vegetables or a rye cracker or oatcake. This has reduced bloating a huge amount and I have been able to keep to it has it has been a gradual change.
A little bit of what you fancy
If there is some cake for a birthday or a pudding on offer when someone cooks dinner for you rather than denying yourself any I find the way to feel like I am not missing out is to have a taster portion. Then I can enjoy it and but don’t feel like I have abandoned my healthy eating.
Think about your food choices carefully
Stopping for a moment to think about if you really want to eat something can help you to make healthier choices. Sometimes we just eat something because it is offered to or put out in front of us. If you allow yourself to be more mindful you can realise that you may actually want something that will offer more nutritional value.
Drink lots of water
If you are de-hydrated even slightly you can think you are hungry but you actually just need a drink. Also if your body is lacking vital nutrients this can make you crave sweet or salty foods. Looking after yourself and keeping hydrated will help you to know when you are actually hungry.
Avoid food labelled low fat or sugar free
This generally means that its full or processed artificial ingredients, sugar or sweeteners and all of which is no good for you. Eating lots of foods like this is basically not going to help you get slim or stay slim. Its actually something I am working on to reduce in my diet at the moment. I am cutting down gradually and will let you know how I get on.
Take food with you
I always take food with me to work or if I’m out and about for the day as it can be hard to find something healthy to buy. This way I can be sure I have lots of raw veg to snack on or a banana to keep me going and don’t dive onto the biscuits.
Reduce portion size
Eating smaller meals was one of the first major changes I made and once I adjusted to it it was easy to stick to. Often we eat much bigger portions that we need and when eating out restaurants cater for the bigger appetite. This is really one of the easiest changes you can make. Eating slower and savouring your food will help too.
The all important exercise
Diet isn’t everything. We do need to move our body to keep the metabolism going and also to stay toned and firm. Fitness doesn’t have to mean running a marathon or anything extreme. Simply walking I have found can be the best exercise. I lost the baby weight after having both my girls by walking lots with the baby in the buggy.
The important thing is to do something active every day and vary the types of exercise you do.
I actually do a lot of home HIIT workouts and yoga along with running but if I have a weekend where I don’t feel up to doing a run I will go for a walk. Getting the stairs and choosing to walk rather than drive somewhere is the easiest way to incorporate fitness into your day.
The biggest think I have learnt is really to change one thing at a time and go back to basics. Make meals yourself and avoiding anything out of packet that might contain preservatives or be processed. Include as much fruit and vegetables as possible and most of all enjoy your food.
If there is one thing to keep in mind about getting or staying slim it is to work towards healthy eating rather than any quick fixes.
If you can change your habits you can change your life and free yourself from the diet trap.