The things people do to lose weight but which actually don’t work ...
How many of us have tried, in vain, to lose weight by means of the latest fad diet? How many times have we attempted to lose those excess pounds, but failed? And how many of us are feeling like losers, weak in spirit, unable to give up those treat
Firstly, the truth about weight gain: weight creeps on over time, literally years. And it won’t come off in minutes. Genuine weight loss takes genuine effort and time. It is not impossible, but it takes commitment. And some basic dietary changes.
What do we do to lose weight only to find out that these tricks actually don’t work at all?
Taking weight loss supplements – no, I’d usually stay away from these as they may increase your metabolic rate and thus “fat burning”, but only as long as you take the supplement. As soon as you stop taking them the weight most likely creeps back on. Also a warning note, they may not always be the best quality, so if you do chose weight loss supplements make sure to buy them from a shop you can trust (health food shop, pharmacy) and never from the internet. Also: do not take them for long periods.
Crash dieting – skipping meals, or dramatically reducing your food intake for a period of time such as 3 weeks. This only works while you are doing it. Your body will switch to a “fasting” mode if too many calories are cut out. The reverse is that it will start holding on to weight as soon as the diet returns to normal, and you may find yourself gaining more weight than you were carrying before the crash diet.
Dramatically changing your diet without prior consultation – most of us don’t know what suits our body without being able to “listen into” our body and being in harmony with it (many people are, but more actually are not). A Nutritional Therapist like myself can help you find out what kind of food suits your body best, and you can adjust your diet accordingly without going hungry or denying yourself foods.
For Example, my body works best on a good balance of proteins, fats and carbs. I do have to be careful not to eat too many carbs as I put on weight quickly and feel mentally sluggish and tired. I don’t sleep well then. I found out I cannot tolerate gluten, and since not eating it I have the energy of a Duracell bunny, more than I have ever had. Without proper advice I would have never detected this and would still be trying to cut out food groups ad lib.
Is it true that eating just before going to bed is a bad idea? – yes, one should try to eat more than 2-3 hours before going to bed. To help digestion, ease pressure on the oesophageal valves and reduce reflux. We also sleep better if our body is not working hard at digesting food. Sleep is a restful state and digestion is actually quite hard work for the body, so don’t combine the two.
Cutting out fat from your diet? – a really bad idea in my opinion! You need fat for too many bodily processes, it burns into highly useful energy and builds your body. By all means, cut out that “heart attack special” fry up breakfast with all sorts of puddings and wedges, etc. You can also go easy on cheese and milk in general. But do increase your intake of nuts, seeds, vegetable oils like olive or coconut oil, and eat full fat yoghurts.
Skipping breakfast? – usually a bad idea as you rely on your body to help you release energy from stored fats. Your body will want to replenish the energy to these cells and will end up holding on to fat for the morning “fast” tomorrow. Better to eat something, however small the portion may be. And don’t use coffee or cigarettes to wake you up! Start with a glass of water or herbal tea if you find your body does not like waking up to food.
To be honest, wanting to skip breakfast in itself is a sign there is something not working as it should, and you might be well off to see a Nutritional Therapist like myself.