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Ditch The Diet To Be Slim And Healthy

What is common among just about everyone who has weight challenges is that the person is either “on a diet” or “off a diet” . As soon as they are “off a diet” they resume their old habits.  And they pile on even more weight on.  Here's how to break the cycle...

A high proportion of my clients seek my services to help them with weight loss.   They don’t realize that they need to ditch the diet to be slim and healthy.  In most cases they have been battling to control their weight for many years. Often since childhood. They have usually tried every diet out there and failed time and time again. This cycle of failure leaves them feeling overwhelmed, ashamed, guilty and weak. In the majority of cases they want to lose their excess weight as fast as possible. If their determination is high they might stick to the regime and reach their goal weight. For others, the regime is too restricting and unsustainable so they fail. 

What is common among just about everyone who has weight challenges is that the person is either “on a diet” or “off a diet” . As soon as they are “off a diet” they resume their old habits. The very eating habits and lifestyle that caused them to be overweight in the first place. This cycle of gaining and losing weight will continue until they change something. The first step is to identify what they are doing which contributes go their weight gain. Then they can make appropriate lifestyle changes and thus ditch the diet to be slim and healthy. 

Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet, England (2020), found the majority of adults were overweight or obese. This figure stood at 67% for men and 60% for women – while 20% of Year 6 children were classed as obese. 

Change has to start at home. Adults need to be good role models for a healthy lifestyle and provide healthy food at home. Then future generations will be not be overweight and obese. These daily habits become embedded for life in children and thus future generations. 

When I meet clients for the first time I want to help them identify what is perpetuating their weight gain. Here are some key questions you can ask yourself :-

If you were once slim

When did it change? What was going on in your life at that time that contributed to your weight gain? Did you turn to food for comfort to cope with emotional issues? Did you for any reason stop eating regularly? Did you eat “on the go” grab anything that was easy and available ie chocolate, crisps, take away 

If you were overweight as a child

How did you feel about yourself? Were you teased? How did your family view your weight? What did you do to make yourself feel better? 

How often do you eat?

If you skip meals it slows down your metabolism. When you go several hours without food your body doesn’t know when the next meal is coming. It will then store fat for your survival. 

Do you plan your meals?

When you begin your day do you know what you are going to eat for the rest of the day? Do you take lunch and healthy snacks to eat throughout the day? When you arrive home do you “see what is there” or do you decide first thing in the morning? Think about re-fuelling your body regularly throughout the day. When you are very hungry you will grab anything that is quick and available; Often not healthy! If you fail to plan you plan to fail. 

Do you eat fast/moderate/slow?

It takes about 20 minutes for your body to communicate with your brain that it is satiated. Fast eaters do not give their body time to do this and they tend to over-eat. If you feel uncomfortably full about 20 minutes after eating it is because you are eating too fast. Try slowing down, take small bites of food, chew slowly, and put cutlery down between each mouthful. 

Where do you eat?

Do you eat in front of the TV/whilst reading/working on the computer/driving? Eating is a sensual experience! Try focusing all your attention on your senses as you eat. See the different colours. Smell your food. Feel the different textures. Chew slowly. You will be surprised how you can gain far more satisfaction from eating and can be satisfied with less. 

How healthy is your diet?

How often do you have take-aways (because you didn’t plan?) How much sugar do you consume every day? – sweets, sugary drinks, alcohol How much high fat and processed foods do you eat? 

As you answer these questions you may understand the source of your current habits.

Finally:- 

What is the first thing you can do today to ease change? It might be something as simple as:-

  • Having 1 small sugary drink per day instead of 1 litre.
  • Eating regularly
  • Taking lunch to work (even if that means asking for help if you don’t have time to prepare it).

You don’t have to starve yourself!  Ditch the diet to be slim and healthy and start to enjoy eating in a healthy way. 

If you can

  • identify what is causing the problem (you cannot change what you don’t acknowledge) and
  • work on changing one bad habit at a time.

You can begin to experience success, which will motivate you to do the work towards your goal. 

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