Don’t Diet

The first thing that Stuart White mentioned to me when we talked briefly about this weeks article was – ‘I really must shift this extra weight I put on over Christmas’. If someone like Stuart, who I would consider to be in fairly good condition for a semi-professional football player, feels like this what must most other people be feeling like. Although I was reluctant to join the bandwagon of talking diets at this time of year I suppose I had really ought to give you, what I consider, to be the best advice I can.

To be honest I find a bit of a shame that the diet industry prey on people who really need good advice and seem to pounce on them with a barrage of potions, lotions, pills and false promises, because a good proportion of those people really would like to see a permanent change. Turning of a new leaf, fresh start, New Years resolutions individuals are really looking for something that will help them when mentally they are really well prepared because they have good motivation – but how long will it last?

The diet industry is successful because diets are unsuccessful! Over 90% of people who go on a diet will end up putting the same weight back on, or more, within two years. This is not rocket science and certainly not new news, although being the season for topical discussion you will be hearing about all sorts of ploys to entice the mindful into trying one or another ‘new’ diet. More than likely this will mean cutting out one food type or the other, only eating on Sundays or making sure you have done 400 press-ups before you are allowed a carrot! Strange then when we have probably all over eaten over the ‘silly season’ do we all ignore what is sensible and all try to conform to a diet that makes us over conscious of food sorts. Initially we feel great – ‘I’m on this new diet I feel great, lost two pounds this week already’ eventually though we tend to get cravings for the things we have had to cut out and when our ardour cracks we revert to eating even more and then wonder why the weight goes back on. Yo-Yo dieting is very common and really messes up the delicate and finely tuned metabolic rate that our bodies rely on.

What is the answer then? This is where things get really tough because what most people need, rather than a quick fix is something much tougher to stick to than a simple diet and that is a change of attitude towards their eating habits. It is more sensible to be in touch with their bodies, understanding the feelings of hunger and satiation. Also it is vital to understand more about food types and choice of foods. Fats are a complex area, poorly understood by most as some are good for us, some are not so good, but all hold a greater amount of calories than nearly all other types of food. Unfortunately fats are the flavour carriers in most processed foods and consequently if we are prepared to buy processed foods we have to understand that we are consuming more fats than would seem needed in most diets. Generally we are lazy and want little or no preparation of food when we get in from work hence we tend not too have a great deal of fresh vegetables and fruits – all that chopping and slicing! If we were to eat meat we would probably avoid the nuisance of cooking fresh fish and maybe go for a sausage or burger. As I have mentioned before this all boils down to good planning and preparation. We must take a keen interest in what we eat, when we eat and how much we eat or run the consequences of putting weight on.

To shift those extra pounds of weight you put on over Christmas don’t go on a diet change your overall lifestyle and attitude towards sensible healthy eating and regular exercise for the rest of your life. I know without even telling Stuart he will be sensible with his food and probably train a few more times over the next few weeks. He will then be a similar weight to what he was just before December and will stay there, or there about, for the rest of the year.

If you are serious about your lifestyle and really would like to make a difference to the way you approach your health and fitness then visit and get in touch with Steve Young.

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