We want you to forget about dieting and embrace a better lifestyle for a happier, healthier you. Ingraining nutritious and delicious real foods into your everyday life will help you to look and feel great. What's more, you'll never have to worry about the regimented routine or reckless restriction of a so-called diet for the rest of your days!
Our Unhealthy Obsession with Weight
We're obsessed with numbers, be it those on the scales or on those on the packet. Aside from being time consuming, complex and confusing – scrutinising these just isn't necessary!
By making healthy lifestyle and food choices you can remove the need for constant mathematical analysis! Put simply, if you’re getting some exercise and eating food that is good for you most of the time – you’ll find it hard to gain weight.
Remember, a ‘healthy’ weight for one person can be anywhere within a wide range (find out yours with a Body Mass Index calculator https://www.bupa.co.uk/health-information/tools-calculators/bmi-calculator
So why not adopt a more self-focused approach and aim for a weight that makes you feel happy, healthy and body confident?
Forget Miracle Weight Loss Products!
Something really unsettling about some diet products is the blanket claims they make when it comes to expected weight loss. How often have you seen or heard something like "Lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks!" or "Drop 1 stone in 1 month!" Anyone can pick up these products from the shelves - yet these marketing moguls apply this one-size-fits-all approach.
It’s understandable that people would invest in so-called diet and weight loss products in an attempt to accelerate their efforts. But the reality is that they don’t offer anything a normal diet can’t provide. It may be hard to swallow but losing weight isn’t easy and there’s not much we can do about that.
How Can I Lose Weight Then?
So, that’s no to diets and no to diet products, where do we go from here?! As boring as it sounds, the only way to lose weight is to expend more energy than you take in. In other words, eat less and move more! And if you don't need to lose weight then you should aim to maintain your healthy weight by balancing your food in and energy out.
Ditching the Diet for a Healthier and Happier You
Here's just a few reasons why you could be better off ditching the diet:
- Diets make us Miserable
Food gives us pleasure - we look forward to our meals, we enjoy eating them and we feel satisfied following them. Swap this out for a calorie-restricted, tasteless option and expect hunger and dissatisfaction.
Plus, because most diets work by drastically reducing calorie intake, this deduction of energy won't go unnoticed. Not having enough energy affects our mood, memory, motivation and ability to concentrate. This makes everything more difficult and will leave you feeling pretty irritable and unhappy.
2. You could end up Gaining Weight
Drastic diets that lead to massive weight loss in a short amount of time are not sustainable. When food is restricted for so long and then reintroduced, your body will hold onto it like its gold dust. This leads to the post-diet weight gain that characterises yoyo dieters.
Furthermore, restricting your energy intake causes your body to crave high-calorie foods. It recognizes that you're eating meals which aren't going to meet your energy requirements and so creates the cravings we know too well, in an attempt to seek out high-fat and high-sugar food which is energy dense.
3. Diets Drive Deficiencies
Many diets are founded on the principle of cutting out entire food groups. Whether it's low-carb or fat-free, this puts you at risk of missing out on other key nutrients also found in that food group. For example, carbs are high in fibre and fat contains essential fatty acids we can't make ourselves.
All foods are made up of macro and micronutrients, so skipping carbs or fat is likely to impact your intake of vitamins and minerals too. Vitamins and minerals play a role in the repair, growth and maintenance of almost every cell in the body - so not getting enough will leaving you looking and feeling worse.
4. Diets can Create Health Problems
Restricting your dietary intake can have all sorts of adverse effects such as fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, constipation and low mood. These are all your body's way of telling you that you need to fix something.
A wise man (or woman!) once said "listen to your body's whispers before it has to scream" - so if you're noticing these symptoms when on a diet, it's likely that you're taking it too far and need to increase your intake.
How can I Thrive with a Diet-Free Life?
Following a diet is just one thing you can do to lose weight, so if you’re ditching the diet you can focus on these core principles to promote overall health in the long-term.
Choose Real Foods
Real food is food which is as close to its whole food roots as possible, i.e. minimally processed. Processed foods, think junk food, tend to be full of empty calories, artificial ingredients and hidden nasties and so are best avoided!
You don’t have to set the 5am alarm for bootcamp or sign up for a triathlon to stay fit. Any way you choose to move counts as energy expenditure – helping you to burn calories off from the food you’ve eaten and prevent weight gain.
- Get some Shut Eye
Rest and relaxation are essential to help us regenerate the energy we've spent throughout the day. Getting quality sleep leaves you feeling energized upon waking, and less likely to grab some caffeine or sugar for a pick-me-up.
- Treat Yourself
Indulging in your favourite food once in a while won't do you any harm. Food is as much about enjoyment as it is nourishment, so don't deprive yourself. Leading a healthy lifestyle in the long-term allows for the odd treat now and again.
Author: Stephanie Masterman @NutriNoggin
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