Which is the best diet?
There are 1001 different diets out there today. And it seems that no matter who you speak to, it’s pretty rare to find someone who is happy with their body shape.I don’t know about you, but as soon as I hear the word diet, it conjures up images of deprivation, hunger and general discomfort. It seems like you need a lot of willpower! To make matters worse, fatigue, hunger and poor sleep can occur when we restrict calories too severely.The truth is, dieting is a recipe for poor health. There is no “one size fits all”.
Diets interfere with both our minds and our bodies:
It’s natural for us to associate food with pleasure. Social events and holidays generally revolve around eating together. As children, we may have been given food as reward which may set up a pattern of comfort eating in later life. We often associate deep meaning to food and have certain beliefs, patterns and behaviours around eating. So actually withholding certain foods can generate strong feelings of emotional pain and discomfort. To create healthy weight loss, we may need to examine these feelings to determine why we are making the choices we do.Lack of food is also considered to be a stressor to the body, as it interprets food restriction as a threat to survival. When we start a diet, our body releases cortisol and adrenaline, to make us more alert and also burn calories more slowly. In pre-historic times, this was useful to help us in times of famine to prevent starvation.Our body also makes a hormone called Leptin, which is responsible for feelings of satiety (fullness) after a meal. In an adaptive measure, dieting causes leptin levels to drop, making us feel the need to eat more to feel satisfied. Repeated dieting attempts may therefore encourage over eating or binge eating. Consequently, most people regain at least several more kilograms within a year of dieting. For lasting results, we need to make permanent change. The only effective way to lasting weight loss is by creating small lasting habits. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
5 Steps to Healthy Weight Loss:
- Listen to your body: It sounds pretty obvious, but it’s best to only eat when you are hungry. If you don’t feel hungry at breakfast, make a healthy smoothie or juice to drink a little later. There is no need to slot into a Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner mindset if you prefer to graze on smaller meals.
- Eat slowly: When you chew your food properly, several beneficial things are occurring. Your stomach can digest and assimilate nutrients more easily, and your leptin levels get a chance to rise, making you feel full on less food.
- Eat smaller serving sizes: Instead of 2 potatoes on your plate, just eat one. Try replacing a full cup of museli with ½ cup instead. Eat 2 rather than 4 slices of bread daily. Try using smaller plates or bowls, it’s easier than you think.
- Delay eating after exercise: If you exercise in the morning, eat breakfast an hour later. Likewise for evening activity, but also ensure you haven’t eaten for 2 hours prior. By doing this, your body uses the energy from your body stores, rather than the food you are eating. Work smarter, not harder!
- Save treats for the weekends: When your diet is balanced from Monday to Friday, you can enjoy a treat on the weekend knowing that you have looked after your body all week. Food is meant to nourish, but also be enjoyed.