A lot of us start the new year with a diet, however it has been shown time and again that the weight loss from restrictive dieting is rarely permanent & more weight is gained later on. The reason being that you don’t only loose fat but muscle as well, and muscle burns more calories than fat. This causes your metabolism to slow which means you need less calories.
Ok so if dieting is not the answer then what is?
The keys to losing weight are to speed up your metabolism and balance your hormones (to help regulate your appetite and cravings). Here are some permanent changes you can implement immediately without the need for a lot of willpower:
- Don’t eliminate fat, fats such as olive oil, avocado, nuts and coconut oil will make you feel full, speed up your metabolism and help you lose weight1
- Eliminate added sugar and artificial sweetners2
- Eat whole foods, these include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, ie. not processed but in it’s original form. They are more satiating and have many added benefits such as adding fibre, essential micronutrients and natural fats3
- Stop counting calories and focus on eating quality, organic, local food in season. Doing this helps eliminate some of the nasty chemicals that cause you to gain weight (Obesogens) and create havoc with your hormone balance4
- Get off your butt, I don’t mean serious exercise, but it has been shown that prolonged sitting even if you do an hour of exercise daily is detrimental to your health. So get up and move about, stand whilst the commercials are on, avoid long periods in front of the computer5
- Eat protein for breakfast (eg quinoa or eggs) shown to improve hormonal balance and increase satiety during the day meaning you don’t overeat later on6
- Eat mindfully, think before you eat, don’t stand and eat, or gulp down your food. The more you are present and aware whilst you are eating you will notice your bodies reaction to food, are less likely to overeat and are more likely to create better food choices.7
Hippocrates famously said “Let food be thy medicine”. Food contains vital nutrients needed for chemical reactions within the body, when we eat food lacking in these vital nutrients such as highly processed food, our bodies don’t function as well which starts to cause disease. My challenge to you this year is to have the willpower to not diet, to not label foods as good and bad, or use the word shouldn’t when it comes to food. Let’s start nourishing ourselves starting with the food choices we make, food is the fuel that determines whether we have the best day ever or the worst day. Become aware of how your body responds to food, what foods you crave and when. We are all different and you need to recognise what works for you.
Food has the power to transform your life, and help you loose and maintain a healthy weight. It is my hope that you focus more on how the food you are eating is nourishing and feeding your cells and how you feel after eating it, than how many calories or fat it has. It you are wanting help creating a way of nourishing your body that you can implement for life contact us about developing your unique healthy eating plan.
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1. Ebbeling CB, Swain JF, Feldman HA, et al. (2012). Effects of Dietary Composition on Energy Expenditure During Weight-Loss Maintenance. JAMA, 307(24):2627-2634. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.6607.
2. Swithers, S. E. (2013). Artificial sweeteners produce the counterintuitive effect of inducing metabolic derangements. Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism: TEM, 24(9), 431–441. doi:10.1016/j.tem.2013.05.005
3. Murray, M., Pizzorno, J., & Pizzorno, L. (2005). The encyclopedia of healing foods. New York, NY: Atria Books.
4. Holtcamp, W. (2012). Obesogens: An Environmental Link to Obesity. Environmental Health Perspectives, 120(2), A62-A68.
5. Biswas, A., Oh, P. I., Faulkner, G. E., Bajaj, R. R., Silver, M. A., Mitchell, M. S., & Alter, D. A. (2015). Sedentary Time and Its Association With Risk for Disease Incidence, Mortality, and Hospitalization in Adults. Annals Of Internal Medicine, 162(2), 123-132. doi:10.7326/M14-1651.
6. Protein rich breakfast improves glycemic control. (2013). African Journal of Diabetes Medicine, 21(2), 28.