Diets do not work and I believe that many more people are now beginning to believe the same. I have seen many people lose weight but it is rare that the weight loss is maintained for years afterwards. I come from a family where many of the women have been on diets and in turn they have seen their weight fluctuate. This is often referred to as ‘yo-yo dieting’.
My Mum was placed on a diet from a very young age, as she was over weight, and even given slimming pills at the tender age of 15. None of this helped her to lose weight, or gave her what I believe to be the most fundamental thing, a healthy relationship with food.
The problem with diets is that they demonize certain food groups and make you think that you should avoid them at all costs. I do not think that any food group should be abandoned, you should just eat it in moderation. As a teenager I was quite over weight, at my heaviest I was over 13 stone and wore a size 18- 20 (UK Size) but my Mum taught me how to eat healthily rather than putting me on a diet.
I believe that this is the reason why I have a good relationship with food and I have been roughly the same weight for just under 15 years. I have been a size 10 since I left school and now at nearly 30 I am the same dress size. I eat what I believe is a healthy diet and I have snacks, alcohol and take away in moderation. I exercise regularly, take vitamin supplements and drink plenty of water.
“You can initially lose 5 to 10 percent of your weight on any number of diets, but then the weight comes back,” said Traci Mann, UCLA associate professor of psychology and lead author of the study. “We found that the majority of people regained all the weight, plus more. Sustained weight loss was found only in a small minority of participants, while complete weight regain was found in the majority. Diets do not lead to sustained weight loss or health benefits for the majority of people.”
The diet industry continues to make billions each year as people believe that the latest fad diet will work, or that a diet that I celeb followed will also help them; and in many cases it will but only for a few months. Developing a healthy life style which involves exercise and healthy foods is much more sustainable than any diet and in turn it will make you feel better and be more energetic.
There is no need to feel irritable and hungry on a diet that will probably not work for you in the long-term. When you feel hungry that is the first step towards failure as that is when your body believes that you are starving and sends a message to your brain that you need fatty food now. I look at this in more depth in my article 10 Things You Need to Know About Losing Weight.
Diets cause you to become obsessed with food, you also get into a mentality of believing that you should ‘treat’ yourself if you have had a good day which results in you eating things that you may not have if you were not on a diet. I believe that the following are good tips to follow and I incorporate them the majority of the time:
- Eat what you want in moderation
- Minimize your in-take of processed foods
- Eat when you are hungry
- Stop eating when you are full, do not feel obligated to clear your plate
- Eat lots of fruit and vegetables
- Take regular exercise
- Drink plenty of water
- Make conscious food choices; by this I mean choose what you want to eat, enjoy it and move on. Even if it is not a healthy food choice you should not feel guilty just do not have it too often.
- Try to get enough sleep each night, lack of sleep has been linked to weight gain as people tend to grab sugary snacks for energy during the day to counteract the tiredness that they feel.
A healthy life style and making healthy food choices is a much better way to lose weight and it also gives you a much better changes to sustain the weight loss.