"I've tried every diet and..."
This is one of the first things that a new client might say to me. Followed by a description of the diets they have tried and 'failed' and the weight that they have regained. I see this on a daily basis! And it is really not that surprising considering the research. It has been established that 95% of people that go on a diet will regain the weight they lost.. plus more (they don't sell that in the marketing!!).
The simple phrase "I'm starting a diet.." suggests that there is an end. Once you have finished your 12 week program or 30 day detox you go straight back to normal habits. Yes, you may have lost weight, but how did this impact your body and the way that you feel? Weight loss shouldn't have to be a dramatic change. Making small, sustainable changes over a period of time is going to have a much greater impact on your health and weight. If you are generally eating better, you will start to feel better too!
There are many reasons why a person may regain weight. The number one reason I have come across in my practice is that the diet simply didn't work for you. It is really important to realise that you did not fail. Sometimes reflecting on what worked well and what didn't is a great start. The positives may be some skills that you continue to use in the future. While the negatives are things that you don't want to recreate. This is where I come in. As a dietitian, I provide individualised advice that suits your lifestyle and food preferences (often lost in a meal plan). This is what I feel is missing from many diets.
The restrictive nature of diets also causes many problems. Have you ever felt that a food (let's say chocolate) was a definite no no? You start by resisting the food and keep saying no to yourself.. up to a point. After saying no a couple of times, you still can't get the thought of eating the chocolate out of your head. Then all of a sudden you have eaten twice as much as you wanted... then the guilt sets in. After this you may have a couple of responses; you get motivated to continue more strictly with the diet or you give up the diet because you were unable to 'control yourself'. Does this sound familiar? What if I told you that chocolate can fit into a healthy balance? (This is the best part of my job!). When you start to make healthier choices and allow yourself to have all foods, you actually eat less of these foods. When you do eat them, you can really enjoy them without the feeling guilty.
So where do you start?
Include foods from all of the foods groups. Avoiding certain food groups can lead to nutrient deficiencies and work against weight loss.
Write down some goals that aren't related to weight loss (this could be having more energy, feeling better, feeling comfortable in clothes etc.)
Start to listen to your body. Use a hunger rating before going for seconds or try to slow down when you eat and learn when you become full.
Making a change to wholegrain cereals and breads instead of white, switching to low fat dairy and being prepared with snacks can all make a big difference.
If you are fed up with the constant battle with yoyo dieting give me a call today to break the cycle and get that balance right.