When it comes to losing weight I often I hear “everyone knows what to eat why is it so why is it so difficult?”.
Partly, this is because of our bodies physical response to a reduction in calories, partly it’s emotional and behavioural, but before we get on to both of those.
Do we really know what to eat?
What we ‘know’ about weight loss and healthy food in the main comes from three sources:
- diet companies trying to push their wares
- food marketers encouraging you to buy their products
- advice from the medical community, based on outdated research
So often this involves encouraging us to eat low calorie, low fat and artificial sweeteners, flavours and additives. Going on ‘a diet’. This simply doesn’t work. It’s a bit like the Emperor’s New Clothes. Just because everyone is saying it’s the way doesn’t make it true.
Diet’s Make You Fat
Often I hear people advocate eating in moderation and not being on a diet 24/7 in order to achieve health and weight loss, but so few people achieve this as diet’s don’t work. 95% of diets FAIL and 66% of people end up fatter than pre-diet within 2 years. A bit of a worry really!
There are many reasons why mainstream diets fail – not least because they focus on short term results and not long term change (despite what they say). Whilst the idea of eating less calories and exercising more is appealing as it’s simple and intellectually makes sense. In reality our bodies just don’t work that way. Our bodies are very clever and if we reduce the calories we eat, our metabolism compensates for this. In order to continue getting results we would need to eat even less and exercise even more. Over time this is unsustainable. Don’t worry though in the rest of this lesson we’ll go through everything you need to know to continue to get results.
It’s so important to realise WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT. You know this inherently, right? However, the diet industry tries to convince us we’re all the same and there is a quick fix. Food marketing tries to convince us to eat food our bodies were never designed to eat. The doctors and NHS dole out one size fits all advice, which is often based on outdated research (which may or may not have been commissioned by the food giants).
Diets. Don’t. Work
All the conflicting advice is pretty confusing Sarah, what can I do?
Everyone all requiring different things can seem really unfair. It’s be so much easier if there was a one size fits all plan and some certainty. What we do know is working out what is best for you:
- isn’t simple (there isn’t a magic pill, despite what the supplement companies may have you believe)
- isn’t a linear process (there may be ups and downs before you see sustained improvement)
- no one can tell you want will work for you
- it’s not a quick, overnight process (though in reality nor are the ‘get slim quick plans’ as they only last 5 mins!)
It’s not all doom and gloom though, promise.
Whilst there isn’t a one size fits all plan. There is a method you can step through to find what’s best for your body. This is great as:
- It’s a long term and sustainable lifestyle (my coach always says to me if you can’t see yourself living this way in 5 years you may as well quit now as it’s not sustainable)
- It allows you to customise your nutrition to your unique needs
- It’s a model you can use again and again if your bodies requirements change over time e.g. due to pregnancy, illness, change in exercise levels, menopause etc.
There are now ways to test and measure our individual genetic make up, our hormonal responses and our emotional needs. Even with all of this though we’re not yet at the stage where a perfect plan could be created for you, it’s be a lot closer than a one size fits all, but still not perfect. However, with or without tests this model allows you to hone you’re lifestyle to fit your needs.
If you want to understand more about the science I recommend this book by Dr Jade and Dr Keoni Teta.