Low calorie, low fat, slimming world, weight watchers, slim-fast shakes, 5:2, low carb, keto, paleo, vegan etc. etc. There are so many choices and if you follow them you probably will lose some weight.
Honestly, if you restricted your calories enough but only ate chocolate you would lose weight. Of course, you probably wouldn't feel very well and that diet is certainly not sustainable!
We could look to the science to decide which diet is best. There have been research studies comparing low carbohydrate and low fat diets, standard diets compared to Mediterranean style diets and a variety of others. However, most of these have some serious flaws, which may not be obvious from the headlines that the media produce. For example, when looking at low carb diets they often don't consider where the high fat content is coming from - it really matters whether the fat sources are coming from natural 'good' fats, like avocado and oily fish. Low calorie diets naturally tend to restrict processed and refined carbohydrates, such as cakes, biscuits etc, therefore also making them lower carbohydrate than the standard western diet but this is often not mentioned. This type of research, epidemiological studies, are not tightly controlling the variables, demonstrating observational links rather than cause and effect. For example, has a vegan diet really benefitted a group of people, or the fact that it is so much more restrictive and therefore reduces consumption of processed and 'fast food' when adhering to this kind of lifestyle?!
Another key aspect of most diets is that many people will regain the weight (plus more) when they come of the diet plan. I am sure everyone knows someone (or is someone) who has lost weight through a slimming club, only to gain it back.
This is not because of a lack of willpower or because the person is cheating on the diet, it is because calorie restriction causes our metabolism to slow down. Once that happens our basal metabolic rate is reduced and we need less calories for basic function. A study of participants from The Biggest Loser TV program showed that even 6 years after weight loss some of them required 700kcals less due to reduced metabolism. This means to maintain their weight loss they must eat a whole meal less per day or run approx 10km. There is no wonder weight gain occurs!
I want to show you that there is another way, that you can work with your body instead of against it. Wouldn't it be great if you could lose weight without feeling constantly hungry, lethargic, cold and irritable? One where you weren't constantly thinking about food and feeling deprived.
In answer to the question, "What is the best diet for me" - I say this.......
The best diet is the one you can stick to. To lose weight and keep it off, you should look a little more long term and think about it as a way of eating rather than diet. Let me help you find a way that suits you as an individual, works with your metabolism and can really improve your health and wellbeing.
I will be starting a 6 week course on 15th March via zoom for anyone who wants to try a new approach to weight loss, and regain their confidence in time for summer.
Free introduction :
To find out more, I will be hosting free zoom introduction sessions on Thursday 4th March at 7pm, Saturday 6th March at 10am and Wednesday 10th March at 2pm. Come along, with no obligation to find out more about the course content and how and why it can work for you. Zoom ID 786 0106 8591, passcode 'cheese'
Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought:
If - "I could just get rid of this cellulite / my tummy were a little flatter / my legs were longer / my hair was straighter / I could just lose a few pounds", I would be happier"?
I know I have!
The cruelty is, that even when you succeed, the likelihood is you will find some other perceived imperfection to focus on instead.
The hard part is learning to love yourself, to feel like you are enough just the way you are.
This is not easy, and I don't have a magic diet or eating plan that can deal with all the emotions and circumstances that cause self-doubt. However, I do know that emotions and food are very closely entwined. Most people who are looking to lose weight know what they should be doing and what foods they should avoid, so why is it so hard?
Well, our brains are working against us for one thing.
When we are feeling stressed, sad, under pressure, bored, tired, etc. we often turn to food for comfort. I'm not talking a plate of scrambled eggs here, the foods we seek out are the ones that stimulate the pleasure centres of the brain - highly palatable processed foods, usually. Similarly, when we are happy and want to celebrate, we also use food - just think birthday cake (also highly palatable)!!
The problem is that as cave-(wo)men we had to fill up on energy rich, sweet foods when we had the opportunity. We needed to store fuel in-case we didn't eat again for long periods of time. We would likely gorge on fruit and tubers (carbohydrates), if they were available, but this would be quite infrequent. These energy stores would then be drawn down, as needed, to keep us alive while we waited for the next animal kill. As there was no way to store it for later, we would eat all that was available – yes, that includes the brains and brawns!
Now, we have obviously evolved greatly since those days. We have invented technology way beyond my understanding and food is much more available. The problem is that our brains are still quite pre-historic and haven't really changed (got bigger maybe?!). We still seek out the energy rich foods and have a tendency to over-eat, it is a survival technique after all. The problem is that the highly processed foods available now are created and marketed by very clever scientists who know how to manipulate our taste receptors and brains!
I say this for two reasons:
1. The snack food companies are working against you, they know just the right combinations of fat and sugar to trigger the reward centres in your brain. They invest millions in food development, and not for your health. The diet industry is setting you up to fail in the long-term, that is how they stay in business.
2. When you reach your goal on the scales, will that be enough to make you happy? I fear not, for many people. For this reason, I encourage you to focus on food for your health; rather than weight loss (which is usually a positive side effect anyway!)
Food is such an important part of our daily lives, we have to eat to survive. What we choose to feed ourselves provides us with the basic building blocks for every process in our body - growing bones and muscles, digesting food, healing wounds, protecting from disease, learning, loving, living.
I want to help you to:
Love food - Love yourself - Love life