Lockdown has taken its toll on us all, in varying degrees. If your exercise regime went out the window week three, and you’ve been reaching for the biscuit tin in a desperate need for comfort, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking it’s time to diet.
Western culture feeds us full of sugar then hypnotises us into the latest diet craze. This short-term fix will lead to a long-term cycle of frustration and further weight gain. Here’s why dieting is not the road to take.
1. It’s all about calorie control
Contrary to common believe, restricting your calorie intake isn’t the solution. Depending on lifestyle, everyone burns calories at a different rate. Balancing hormone levels is the key to success. You can actually take control of yours through your diet and lifestyle, and this will determine whether fat is stored or eliminated. High levels of insulin (through too much sugar and refined carbohydrates), oestrogen (pumped into meat and dairy products) and cortisol (through stress) can lead to weight gain.
2. Fat makes you fat
It’s important to understand the good and bad fats. Saturated fats, found in processed and fried foods, are not good for your waistline. Unsaturated fats, found in avocados, nuts and olive oil, are essential for your health, and eaten in the right quantities, will help maintain a healthy weight.
3. Eat low-fat foods
Don’t be fooled by low-fat products. Check the label, and the fat will have been replaced by sugar, artificial sweeteners or both, neither of which will give you any nutritional goodness or sustained energy.
4. Eat less
If you follow a macrobiotic lifestyle (eating a plant-based whole-food diet consisting of fresh fruit and vegetables, pulses, grains, nuts and seeds), you can actually eat more. Not only that, everything you do eat will keep you fuller for longer, eliminating cravings for sugary snacks.
5. Fruit juice is healthy
Swapping fizzy drinks for off-the-shelf fruit juices isn’t a recommended switch. Processed juices are devoid of the natural fibre in fruit, and the natural sugars are condensed into unhealthy quantities. There is no replacement for water, and if you fancy some flavoursome and healthy teas, try our healing drink bundle, which can be added to our The path to better health plan
6. Carbs make you gain weight
Carbs receive bad press and are very misunderstood in Western culture. High-fibre complex carbohydrates (root vegetables, whole-grains and pulses) should be part of a balanced diet as they contain many essential nutrients your body needs. It’s the simple carbs (pasta, processed bread, cakes and biscuits) that cause the problems.
7. Skip meals
This is one of the worse things you can do. You’ll feel tired, irritable and the hunger will eventually catch up with you, causing you to reach for unhealthy treats or a high-calorie feast. Keep your metabolism fuelled by eating the right foods regularly.
8. Dieting makes you lose weight
In the short-term yes, but diets are unsustainable. Once you resume old eating habits, your old weight and more will soon creep up. The only way to maintain a healthy weight is to make a complete lifestyle change and enjoy a balanced whole-food diet.
Have your say
Are you in a dieting rut? Have you lost motivation and don’t know where to start? Combining the right food choices with regular exercise will improve your body chemistry. Cravings will naturally subside. Eat your way to a healthy weight with The path to better health