What’s the first thing you think about when you want to lose weight? For most people, the instant reaction is to start dieting.
Diet starts tomorrow, right?
When we talk about dieting, we’re talking about restricting ourselves to a certain way of eating. You have many types of diet out there, loads of which claim to be the secret answer to weight loss and health. However, the reality is that dieting won’t help you lose weight – and it certainly won’t help you be healthier.
Why is this the case? Why do we believe that dieting is the answer? Here are some reasons that explain why dieting should be avoided:
It’s not sustainable
Most diets are simply non-sustainable. You might be able to stick to them for a few weeks, but you can never continue eating these foods for the rest of your life. As a result, you won’t see long-term weight loss or wellness gains. Sure, you may see some initial changes while you’re on the diet, but eventually, these changes slow down. You start to get sick of the diet, so you stop.
Or, even worse, you follow a diet that only spans a specific period. It’s a 12-week diet, or something similar. This is stupid as it means that you go back to your old ways once the diet is over, ruining any progress you made.
It’s too restrictive
Furthermore, dieting is far too restrictive. It actively forces you to only eat certain foods and avoid others. This means you develop an unhealthy relationship with food. When you feel like you’re not allowed to eat certain things, it makes you crave them more and more.
To make matters worse, you then feel bad if you stray from the diet. You eat something that you’re ‘not allowed’ to eat, and you mentally punish yourself for it. In fact, there are some studies that suggest a link between strict dieting and developing eating disorders.
So, how do you lose weight?
Firstly, you need to be more active. The more active you are, the easier it is to eat to lose weight.
Secondly, you don’t need to follow a strict diet; you just need to have a balanced one. Eat a good combination of foods to get as many nutrients as possible. A good rule of thumb is to try and eat the rainbow; this means you’re eating loads of fruit and veg with every meal. It can be useful to chat with a local nutritionist as well; they can help you come up with a meal plan that you can follow every week.
The trick is to eat meals that you actually enjoy while ensuring they aren’t too high in calories. Calories are the main thing to worry about when losing weight. This is why being active is so crucial. If you’re active, you burn more calories, making it easier to lose weight.
So, in summary, don’t start dieting if you want to go on a weight loss journey. Instead, start eating healthier meals involving whole foods. Manage your calorie intake and you will see long-term results that are sustainable.