So you want to lose weight, lead a healthier lifestyle, or you’re just sick and tired of feeling tired and lethargic day after day, and have finally decided to take some action. Well congratulations, by making your own decision to improve your diet you’ve taken the hardest step and everything should get easier from now on.
But does it?
Well no is the unfortunate answer for the majority of people. You would think that there would be standardized, easily available information on the correct diet to follow, but instead wherever you look for help you are bombarded by large amounts of complicated and often conflicting information. Which out of the DASH diet, the Paleo diet, Weight Watchers, Biggest Loser diet, or any other of the hundreds of diets out there would be suitable for me? Should I use the information that is being given to me on the numerous websites or will I achieve better results if I pay a subscription or for a personalized plan. If any of this sounds familiar, then don’t worry, as you are not alone.
The main problem I have seen develop in the world of diet and nutrition is the involvement of the commercial sector. As the national average bodyweight is steadily increasing, so are the number of people who want to cash in. Numerous companies are offering what they describe as guaranteed methods to lose weight, and all they require for this invaluable information is a slice of your hard earned money. As for that guarantee, well if you don’t lose the weight they promised you will not likely see return of your money.
Many of the diets out there are what are described as ‘crash diets’. These are very tempting as they offer the hope of rapid weight loss and the body you’ve always wanted ‘in only four weeks’. The problem with this form of dieting is that although they do often yield results, they are not sustainable for any given length of time and more than likely within a few months you will be back to where you started. They also take a large toll on the body as they often result in restriction of essential vitamins and minerals due to lack of variation within the diet. This can result in undesirable side effects such as hair loss or poor skin quality.
So what is the secret to sustained weight loss and a healthier you?
Well in all honesty there is no one magic formula to weight loss, which is why I don’t subscribe to the notion of marketed diets. Each individual is different and has varying requirements and as a result different needs from a diet and exercise regime. The most effective way to help someone lose weight and keep it off is to empower the individual so that they understand WHY they should eat a certain way or exercise a certain number of times a week. Most diets complicate matters with detailed calorie requirements, specific macronutrient breakdowns and absolute restrictions on certain foods. Not only is this not sustainable as a way of life but it is also inaccurate as it does not take into account the huge variability in metabolic rate (the rate at which the body uses energy), or activity levels between individuals.
We human beings are remarkable creatures who have managed to survive for tens of thousands of years. One of the ways we have done this is to develop advanced regulation mechanisms involving nerves and hormones to help keep us fit and healthy. Modern day foods and lifestyles have resulted in a distortion of this system so that we no longer stop eating when we have consumed enough, which has impaired our ability to control our own bodyweight, but luckily this can easily be undone. In the following series of articles I intend to teach you how to reset your body’s internal regulatory mechanism so that you can once again take control of yourself, and with it lose weight and stay healthy without having to starve yourself or follow rigid plans set before you.