What’s the ‘best’ diet? With so many diets out there, how do you know which one is for you?
You have the Juice diets which you replace your meals with a juice meal replacement. You have the Points type diet plans which means you are given a list of foods that have been awarded points and you have a set amount of points you have in a day. There are so many out there and yes, some do work. You lose weight. Great!
But did you know, the average person gains 11 pounds for every diet they go on? And to top it off, not only do you lose fat, but if you are not exercising, you also lose muscle too! And so the yo-yo effect begins…
You may be aware of someone overweight that continuously states they don’t eat that much. It is most likely they have just damaged their metabolism by yo-yo dieting. But surely, it’s not just about losing weight now, but we all want to keep it off, right?
Firstly, you have to want to lose weight.
Losing weight is not easy. And if you really do not want to, the struggle is there from the beginning. You will be battling with yourself. The battle between ‘should I have the doughnut or the apple’ or ‘should I have the burger or the fish’. If you are not 100% committed, it’s likely you will go with your usual option, which is not always the best option. It’s just too easy to give in to temptation if you are not 100% committed.
Secondly, you need to educate yourself.
It is not about a 4 week diet. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you cannot go back to eating the way you did before. If you want to keep it off, you need to understand nutrition and understand your body. Understanding the effects food and exercise have your body. Understand how much protein and carbohydrates you should have with each meal. Know how much water you should be consuming. Understand the effects of drinking alcohol and how much is ‘OK’ in a week. It’s not just about the now, it’s also about the future. It’s a lifestyle change, not just a ‘best’ diet.
Thirdly, you need to reduce your appetite.
This does not happen over-night and takes willpower. Do not starve yourself because this will not only play havoc with your metabolism. not only that, you are more likely to binge eat. reduce food in-take slowly. allowing your body to adapt to the slow changes in your lifestyle.
Finally, speaking of metabolism, you need to increase yours.
But most diets out there, due to the sudden decrease in calories, will make you have less energy. Also, there is no fitness plan with these diets so not only will you be hungry, you will have no energy and your metabolism will slow down. eek! exactly what you don’t want.
Your other keys to successful weight loss:
Cheat days: Be careful how you reward yourself. It is not about undoing all the hard work you have done for the whole week prior. Think of it as a day you have a cheat meal or cheat snack. Just remember you don’t want to start going backwards. Keep it up and just have a little cheat.
Make sure you are getting enough sleep: Sleep is so important in your day to day life. Realistically yes, it is not always possible. If you work shifts, have a young child or even just daily stresses may mean you end up heading to bed later than you would like. Your aim should be 7 – 8 hours per night. Even mild sleep deprivation can affect the hunger stimulating hormone (Ghrelin) to go into overdrive and reduces levels of the hormone that suppresses appetite (Leptin). This can cause you to feel hungry when you are not. And not only that, simply the longer you are up, the more likely you are to snack and eat late at night.
*An Article from research conducted by Harvard university has stated ‘that there’s a link between how much people sleep and how much they weigh. In general, children and adults who get too little sleep tend to weigh more than those who get enough sleep.’
When to eat: Eating at the right time plays a key role in weight loss. Most importantly, how late you eat. You should be aim to eat at 2-3 hours before you go to bed allowing your food to start digesting. Food to close to bed can cause bloating or even gastro reflux for the suffers out there. Also eating too close to bed may mean you are not hungry first thing in the morning. Which means you may be tempted to skip breakfast (the most important meal of the day to ‘fire your body up’ for the rest of the day).
Get up and move!
OK, so you have an office job. It’s hard, but try to get up and move for 2 minutes at a time, every 30 minutes.
Some countries, including Australia and Finland have actually made recommendations that children limit screen time, such as TV and video games, to just one or two hours a day. Encouraging them to get up and play!
Recent research has suggested that exercising at least 60 minutes a day can offset the negative effects of sitting too much throughout the day.
So what is the ‘best’ diet?
Unfortunately diets do not work so the answer is: there is no ‘best’ diet.
The key to losing weight, keeping it off and staying healthy is to make a change. A lifestyle change. A lifestyle change that you can sustain. Take all the bad, and replace it with the good. Change the way you have been thinking, follow the key factors mentioned, feel good about yourself and make the right changes!