If you want to lose weight, you have to go on a diet right? It’s all about what types of food you are eating, and how much of each food group you consume, above everything else. But what if we have the wrong end of the stick? What if diets weren’t the best way to lose weight in the long term? Read on to find out more.
A Quick Fix
Diet plans like this 5:2 fasting or the ketogenic diet often seem like a quick and easy way to shed those extra pounds. They promise that by following what they say you will see results and feel like your old self again. In fact, we are so invested in this idea, that the diet industry has become a huge money making the machine. But do diets actually work?
The Basic Maths
Well in one sense they do work. It’s basic maths if you eat less (and move more) you will have a larger caloric deficit. A bigger deficit means more weight loss. Around 3500 less per week of a pound for weight loss!
But is going on a ‘diet’ the best way to achieve this? Well yes and no. Yes in that it can be quick and simple, a great way to lose few pounds before a big event or a summer holiday where you have to squeeze yourself into a bikini.
In fact, one other most popular reasons diet plans are so popular is because you don’t have to think too much about them. For example, you eat what they tell you to. So you know whether it’s a safe food or not, and you don’t even have to be in tune with how hungry your body is or what your body actually wants. But that is where the problems lie as well!
The Problems With Diets
Being unaware of how hungry or full you are, or what your body wants to be fed isn’t a great idea. You can do all the diet programs in the world! But unless you actually get in tune with your body, you won’t ever be in charge of your eating without applying some serious willpower to it!
Diets can also set up a reliance on the cycle of dieting. Which can often be unstainable, causing you fail and then have to start the cycle all over again.
So instead of looking for the quick fix diet solution, it can be more beneficial to develop awareness about what, how much and why you are eating. Then you can learn to distinguish your body’s true hunger signals from other things like emotional disturbance or habits.
Some people use mindfulness strategies for this. Although it is worth noting that folks with a long-standing overeating issues can be helped by procedures like gastric sleeve surgery. This is where the stomach size is made smaller, meaning it is much easier for them to pick up on their full signals.
So being more aware of what we eat and when we are full might not be the quick fix option. But maybe it is a more sustainable and realistic way of losing weight and having a better relationship with food? It’s definitely food for thought!