Did you know that dieting has nothing to do with healthy eating?
In fact, in order to create a long-term healthy lifestyle for yourself, you need to ditch the diets!
Dieting is a short term ‘solution’ to a lifelong ‘problem’.
After all, we need to eat three times a day for the rest of our lives. So, if you are serious about your health and your weight, you need to think about how you can eat healthily, three times every day, for the rest of your life!
In the U.S. alone, the diet-industry is now worth a whopping $20 billion! There are a lot of shareholders out there hoping you don’t develop a long-term healthy eating lifestyle that is enjoyable and sustainable and based on real, natural, healthy food! They want you to keep spending your hard-earned cash on their short-term diets and diet products, that will have your weight going up and down like a yo-yo as you hop on and off one diet after another.
Less Dieting, More Weight Loss?
Many of these diet products and systems actually cause you to put on weight once you stop using them. Whether it is the ‘cabbage soup’ method, or some powdered mixture, these diets are based on food that is pretty repulsive, so that you eat very little of it. They have nothing to do with healthy eating. Here is what happens: You eat very little while on the diet. Therefore, you are not taking in sufficient calories for your body to function normally. Your body is programmed by evolution to panic in this situation and goes into ‘starvation mode’. This means that you burn muscle, not the fat you want to lose! Then your entire metabolism slows down in order to preserve what energy your body still holds in its fat reserves. Then, when you come off the diet and go back to normal eating, you pile on the weight because your metabolism is slower than it should be.
You may mistake this for meaning that the diet worked, because you put on weight when you stopped it. And so you become hooked on yo-yo dieting, never really sorting out a healthy eating lifestyle that you can live with day in day out.
Look, it probably took you thirty years to put on three stone. Do you really think you can lose it permanently in three months? You might, but in another few months, you’ll have piled it back on again.
5 Steps to Long Term Weight Loss
To lose weight and keep it off, devise a plan you can stick to for the rest of your life, not just for the next few months. Here are the crucial five steps to include in your plan:
STEP 1. Have a good breakfast!
This is where your daily healthy eating plan should begin. People who eat a proper breakfast eat less junk and less fattening food throughout the rest of the day. The best breakfast you can eat is one based on oats. I recommend organic oats with seasonal fresh fruits and berries. In winter, heat it with a little water and make a lovely porridge. In summer, make up your own delicious oat-based muesli mix.
STEP 2. Most overweight people eat far too much from the top of the food pyramid and far too little from the base.
To lose weight permanently, cut out, or cut down your intake of biscuits, cakes, fatty and sugary foods. These are treat foods. Keep them for treats, don’t graze on them all day! Eat lots more fruit and vegetables. Switch to wholegrain breads and cereals and the fibre in them will fill you up much quicker than the more processed ones. Snack on seeds and nuts when you are peckish!
STEP 3. Start homecooking and cut out ready-meals and take-outs, most of which are too salty, too fatty and contain little nutrition.
All you need is a weekly rota of recipes that are easy for you to prepare and cook. Do a little research at the beginning and soon you will find that homecooking is not as time-consuming as you thought it would be. It’s about being organised enough to plan what you are eating, do the shopping for it and make the time to cook it.
STEP 4. Exercise!
What you eat alone, will not solve your weight problem if you do not exercise. Daily exercise is best, but do try to exercise at least four times a week. If time is short,or if you dread the thought of the gym, build some exercise into your normal routine. Take the stairs instead of the escalator. Walk, or cycle short journeys instead of using the car. Spend less time watching TV and get moving instead! Go swimming with your kids instead of watching them from the poolside. And whenever you walk, whether it is around your office building, or around your own house, if you walk briskly, that counts as exercise! So, just speeding up a little, can increase the benefit you get during your normal day, without ever having to sign up at a gym.
STEP 5. Be happy!
Enjoy the food you eat and don’t obsess over it. Happiness and wellness go hand in hand. When we feel happy, we are less likely to indulge in destructive, or dysfunctional eating habits. Cultivate your happiness along with your healthy eating lifestyle—they are not separate!
These five steps are all habits that you can sustain for the rest of your life—healthy eating habits, healthy exercise habits and a healthy, happy outlook will add up to a healthy lifestyle that can only increase your well-being and longevity. If you do adopt these habits, you have much more a chance of being successful in achieving permanent weight loss, than the yo-yo-dieters who pay $20 billion each year for products and methods that don’t work! If you don’t believe me, a recent survey carried out in California, followed a group of women over a ten-year period. At the end of the decade, the women who dieted had put on more weight than those who didn’t!So ditch the diets and build yourself a healthy lifestyle instead.
P.S. Remember my motto: Healthy eating is enjoyable! It really is! Make it enjoyable for yourself and then you will stick to it!