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Since the beginning of time (or at least it feels like that) the diet war has waged on and on, many a battle has been won by one diet or another, but which one is the best? Which one should you be following?
Since the beginning of time (or at least it feels like that) the diet war has waged on and on, many a battle has been won by one diet or another, but the truth is that there is no ‘best’ diet. Yes, I did just say that! I have not lost my mind, let me explain...and then I’m going to tell you how you can make small changes to how you eat and still lose weight.
I was recently out for dinner with a friend, and they were thinking about going back on a diet. They’d lost about 24lbs a couple of years before and had loved how they looked at that weight, and they wanted to get back to that again. It really made me wonder about the concept of diets and what defines success when dieting??
Faddy diets that sell magazines and hit the headlines connect so powerfully with the vision of the body beautiful sell the dream that you can achieve the body beautiful in a few short weeks with little or no effort. And then there is the low carb, no carb, low fat, paleo, clean eating the list goes on an on!
If you’ve dieted before and you're looking to start a new diet, I’d like to ask you to stop and think about a diet that worked for you in the past, then ask yourself these two questions.
1. What did you like about the diet?
2. Why did you stop?
I love to get clients to ask themselves these questions. Most people stopped the diet because in some form or another it didn’t fit in with their day to day life – it wasn’t sustainable.
"a diet is like a puppy it’s not just for Christmas, it’s for life"
Maybe it was too restrictive, took too much effort, they didn't enjoy the food, or they just felt hungry all the time, but the horrible thing is that often they put all the weight they lost back on (and more). When I'm working with clients, I try to help them think of a diet more like a puppy it’s not just for Christmas, it’s for life. The diet that works isn’t the one that gets you in the outfit for the Christmas Party or the swimsuit for the summer holiday, it’s the one that lasts. Dieting like crazy, losing weight and then going back to the old habits and putting all the weight (and more) shouldn’t be the definition of a diet that works.
Does that mean the diets that make big promises like ‘lose 7lbs in 7 days!!’ don’t work?? Well, it depends on your definition, of it working – if you stick exactly to that type of plan you will lose weight. I was looking at one this week that involves eating just vegetables one day and another day eating only bananas. I did despair a little that this kind of madness is being sold to people as a diet, but the diet will make people lose weight. It works because there is an extreme calorie restriction and for a week or two with enough motivation (the upcoming holiday/party) it’s difficult it’s achievable to follow it…but not for long…and when the diets end the feast begins, filling up on all the food and drinks that were banned and ta dah…the yoyo diet in action.
You remember the bedtime story of the tortoise and the hare? When it comes to diets be the tortoise. We all love to see results, and we want to see them fast! But if a diet doesn’t do anything to change the underlying habits, then you will lose the race.
This is a formidable secret weapon for getting the body you want. Over the last 20+ years, portions sizes have sneakily increased. From burgers to bagels and who doesn’t love a bagel?? A bagel in the 90s was 20% smaller than today – so what I hear you cry! Well about 5lbs of body fat a year is that answer. If you did nothing else and just ate a little less of the same foods at each meal, a little would add up to a lot over a week, and your body will change.
As portion sizes have grown so to have plates and bowls. I was in a nice Italian restaurant a few weeks ago, and this giant bowl came out with what looked like a tiny portion of pasta in the middle. Ten minutes in it seemed like I’d not started it yet. Big bowls and plates make big portions look smaller – obvious I know, but two things happen:
firstly, You put more on the plate, so it makes it look like you have a proper meal. secondly, Regardless of hunger if it’s on the plate, you eat more.
The trick is to use small plates, it makes it look like there is more food there more and you eat less…because it helps you stop eating when you are full. (Added bonus it helps with tip one).
This can be one of the easiest ways to start making changes. I used to drink my coffee with milk and three sugars, now I love my coffee black no sugar…I know I’ll go polish my halo now…but seriously, depending on how you drink your coffee it can save you 300 calories or even more per drink…to give that some context a mars bar is 260 calories.
Of course, it’s best to avoid, but if you are eating fast food resist the temptation to go large…or when you go to subway and they ask if you want the meal deal you say …’no’.
May 10, 2020
Lots of people tell me, 'we eat healthily' but they still aren't happy with their bodies and feel like they are doing everything right but somehow it's not working!? Why!
The 101 Plan will change your life! Step by step, month by month we help you to be the healthiest, happiest you that you can be.
The 101 Plan is the only guide you will need to transform your body, lose weight, tone up and get fit; but if we stopped there we would be letting you down!
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