With diets being thrust upon us in every direction, not to mention celebrity endorsements, it can be very tempting to give the latest diet a try. However, diets don’t always work and there are times when committing to either a crash diet or a fad diet can be extremely harmful to your health. When you go on a diet your body will be shocked into starvation mode due to the sudden shortage of food. Whilst you may lose a few pounds in the first few days your metabolism will soon start to slow down in order to conserve energy and your body will turn to burning fat and carbohydrate stores as fuel.
You will feel tired, weak, dizzy and lethargic, and your nutrient, vitamin and mineral levels will be severely affected and any weight loss results will stop. Furthermore, once you start eating normally again you will see that the weight will pile back on – plus a little bit extra for good measure.
Many of the crash or fad diets out there involve reducing your daily calorie intake to between 500 and 1000 calories. That is not enough to sustain an average adult! Plus, some diets include high sugar bars, juice cleanses, protein shakes or meal replacement drinks, and even some diuretics.
Why your diet is not working?
At The QHotels Collection Health Clubs, we are huge advocates of eating a healthy, well-balanced and nutritious diet. Losing weight successfully is all about making the right food choices and finding a happy balance. Plenty of regular exercise, combined with a healthy, varied and nutritional diet and regular sleep is the perfect formula.
Plus, addressing any stress, depression or anxiety issues is a must as these can have a negative effect on hormones, and consequently your weight.
When people go on a diet, they become absorbed and obsessed with food. So whilst many dieters think they are being good, they are often unconsciously sabotaging their weight loss results.
1. Always eat breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day for a reason! It will kick start your metabolism and stabilise your blood sugar levels. Plus, eating a slow release carbohydrate such as porridge will ensure you remain feeling full and sated until lunchtime.
2. Make sure you are diet aware. Eat at least 5 portions daily of fruits and vegetables – although adding in a few extra servings of vegetables is definitely a good thing. Lean protein, such as chicken or turkey without the skin, seafood, fish, tofu, dairy and eggs should constitute about 30-40% of your daily food intake. And carbohydrates are your friends – but only when they are unrefined. So avoid at all costs white bread, white pasta, pizza, cakes, biscuits, white rice etc.
Instead, choose brown rice, jacket potatoes, wholemeal pasta, brown or granary bread, quinoa, pulses, legumes and other natural grains.
3. Log everything you consume for 7-days and make sure you include all foods, snacks, nibbles and drinks. Your favourite cappuccino or latte is laced with calories (about 200 to be precise). A nibble on a chocolate biscuit or a couple of small sips of wine is 50 calories.
4. Eat mindfully and concentrate on your every meal. Try eating at the dining table without the TV or radio on as it is proven that we ignore hormones in our bodies which tell us we’re full when we are side-tracked or concentrating on something other than the process of eating.
5. Schedule time to eat – and don’t eat on the run. When you’re working or dashing off to do the school run, making time to eat can be a challenge and grabbing food on the go is a ‘no no’. It is proven that this erratic style of food consumption is far more likely to lead to overeating and snacking. Instead, set aside time for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and make a conscious effort to sit calmly and quietly to help your digestion.
7. Drink plenty of water. Your body can confuse thirst with hunger. So when you feel hungry, have a glass of water first as it will hydrate your body and help to prevent you from overeating. Also, make sure you keep fruit juice intake to a minimum as it is high in sugars and calories.