Welcome to the final instalment of Why Dieting is Making You Fat. If you have stumbled across this post first, check out Parts 1 and 2 here, to help you understand why it isn’t your fault you have kept falling off the diet wagon and this will make a lot more sense. Otherwise feel free to use my top 10 tips to help you shed those pounds for good.
I will say up front that if you’re looking to lose 10 pounds quickly, in order to fit into the lovely little number you bought in the sales last week - the tips below won’t be for you. However, if you’re looking to change your shape for the better and create a long lasting and sustainable way to manage your weight and your attitude towards food then my top 10 tips are a fabulous starting point.
Eat protein with as many meals as possible, it takes longer for the body to break down and keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
2. Go Brown
There’s nothing wrong with carbs when you go complex so switch your regular, white rice, bread and pasta for brown and wholemeal alternatives. It might taste a little bit blah to start with, but get creative, experiment with your spices and learn to love lemon – it gives everything an extra little shooz. Even though complex carbs, still contain sugar, once again it takes longer for the body to break down their more complex formation, keeping the fat at bay from bums and thighs.
3. Eat 5 meals per day
Although that might sound a lot, we’re talking 3 main meals and 2 snacks. A main meal should be the equivalent to two(ish) of your hands and a snack equates to 1 hand. If that looks small – use a smaller plate. If you can get into this it will mean that you stop the feast and famine roller coaster your body has got used to coping with and you have enough energy to sustain you throughout the day.
4. 80/20 Rule
Don’t deprive yourself, if you’re eating healthily five days of the week treat yourself on the other two. Now, I’m not talking sitting down for 3 hours at the all you can eat buffet, but 1 or 2 cream cakes are not going to kill you!
5. Ditch low fat Everything
Stop the press – there’s nothing wrong with a bit of fat! Obviously, I’m not advocating you go out and eat a bucket of lard – but it’s fats and oils that make us fill full. Which is why so often our ’healthy’ low fat (full of sugar) meals leave us wanting more – we need fat, hooray! Low fat foods are also loaded with sugar and artificial sweeteners that don’t do us any favours when we’re trying to retrain our need for sugar laden food.
6. Think Like a thin person
Easy to say, sometimes hard to do, but eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full is definitely a good starting point.
7. Throw away the scales
Constantly weighing yourself only goes to undermine your efforts as soon as you see your weight fluctuate – which if your human you will. Think about other ways that will let you know that you’re changing shape, perhaps noticing as you’re a clothes begin to feel a little looser on you or you one whole down on your belt.
8. See Yourself the Way You Want to Be
Take some time, to get quiet and really see yourself as your ideal weight, visualise the clothes that you will wear, see yourself acting more confidently in situations as your ideal weight, notice how you move, how you will interact with people, notice how you are when you get out of bed in the morning what will you be eating for breakfast? Create a really vivid picture and think about it either before you get out of bed, or whilst you’re in the shower and try to do it every day for a month. If you miss a day no big deal, just do it the next day, by try to do it for as long as many days as you can…Anywhere we go with the body the mind has to imagine first…Just go with it!
9. Get moving
You don’t have to be doing boot camp 6 days a week for things to make a difference, but get walking and if you happen to find yourself at the door of a local exercise class – don’t freak out!
10. Sort Your Head Out
For people that eat compulsively, start looking to understand what your triggers are and what might have been holding you back (if it is more than just having a bit of a sweet tooth) from being where you want to be. Understanding those factors are key for making a sustainable change with your relationship with food.
And one for luck!
If you only want to lose 5 more pounds, before you reach your dream weight, I genuinely urge you not to bother with all this (or any ‘diet plans to be honest), just go out and have some fun. Losing 5 pounds won’t make you a better a person, more interesting person or more fulfilled individual. It might change how people perceive you on the outside, but it won’t change who you know you are on the inside and whether it’s 5lbs of 50lbs in my very humble opinion it’s always better to start from the inside out.
If you would like some more helpful hints, suggestions and recipes that will help you keep the weight off for good check out The Food Doctor Everyday Diet. It’s a fantastic book, and I highly recommend it. Enjoy.