Just Don’t Diet!

I realise that this is a strange title, however it really is my philosophy on eating.

keep-calm-and-don-t-diet-10If you have to go on a super strict diet to lose weight, than the chances are it won’t stay off. The human body is designed to stabilise at a weight. So what does this mean? It means if you want your body to sit at a different weight (higher or lower), you need to make a complete lifestyle change to achieve this.

To achieve a lower weight you will consistently need to exercise more than you currently do, and eat meals that are either less energy dense or smaller in size!

The opposite is true for individuals that are trying to gain weight, however they specifically need to increase the amount of protein energy rich foods in their meals, and ensure that their exercise is balanced with a strength components (and not too much cardio).

In this piece I’ll be focusing on the majority of the population that are looking for a change in their weight, and this is the group that want to lose weight.

Research has consistently told us that ‘yo-yo’ dieting is dangerous. What I mean by this, is losing 10kg, and then gaining 8-12kg back, then losing 4kg, and gaining 3kg back, etc etc. Over time research has demonstrated that individuals that are losing and gaining the weight back on tend to find themselves at a weight higher than what they initially started at. In conjunction with this, we know that individuals that do have up and down weight changes, are more at risk for several serious health risks. These include cancers (particularly breast cancer in women), diabetes and heart disease. Some of these health issues are related to the changes in hormones (particularly oestrogen for breast cancer), however others are linked to the end weight that individuals reside at long term.

I understand that it is not easy to lose weight. But thinking that there is an easy option, unfortunately I’m the bearer of bad news. And there isn’t. To lose weight, and keep the weight off for life – you need to make changes to your whole lifestyle (and possible your partners and families) to ensure it stays for life.

Sally Muir – Dietitian

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