The secret to successful dieting - don’t!
Living a healthy lifestyle is not easy. We’ve all had times in our lives where we’ve felt dissatisfied with our health. Maybe you’d like to lose a few inches from your waistline, shed a few pounds from the number you see on the weighing-scales, or have the fitness to take up a new sport or hobby. When we face moments like this, it’s tempting to take a short-term approach and try one of the many ‘fashionable’ quick-fix diets that we’re told will give us instant results.....
Take the keto diet for example. It involved removing carbohydrates from your diet to force the body to burn its fat stores for energy. The diet itself involves increasing your intake of fatty foods to sustain this. The Atkins diet is a similar plan. Other popular diets involve cutting out other food groups such as dairy or gluten.
These diets can produce some great results initially which can make them seem worthwhile, temporarily. But there are some concerning problems with these quick-fix diet plans that mane them unsustainable for creating a truly healthy lifestyle.
Side effects are one problem with diet programmes. Depriving your body of carbohydrates as with the ‘Keto diet’, for example, can have adverse effects ranging from headaches, nausea and fatigue to insomnia and increased heart-rate.
The main problem, however, with these quick-fix diets is that they are just that – “Quick fixes”, once the plan has been followed and the desired weight lost, there is no structure in place for living a healthy post-diet lifestyle and often our unhealthy habits will return and weight will be gained all over again. This is because when we follow short-term diet plans, we are just sticking to a temporary set of instructions for a short term goal rather than creating eating habits that will help us become healthier for the long term.
The solution is something so very simple, that not many people realise it. To lose weight, and keep it off, in the long-term or just to maintain the healthy lifestyle you already enjoy, all you need to do is keep a balanced diet. A balanced diet just means ensuring you eat the right quantities of each different food group and are careful not to overeat. It doesn’t mean cutting out a certain food group like carbohydrates with the ‘Keto Diet’ or dairy or gluten as with other fashionable diet plans.
As the ‘eat-well plate’ (below) shows us, our bodies need certain quantities of each and every food group to function most effectively, and yes that does mean even a little sugar and fat! If we cut any one of these food groups out of our diet, then the body is missing something it needs and your health will suffer. This is why short-term diet plans are hard to stick to, because your body is craving the nutrition it is missing.
The great news is: A balanced-diet, isn’t actually about dieting at all. There’s no strict plan you need to stick to, and no set duration. All you need to do is familiarise yourself with the ‘eat-well plate’ (above), and the ‘Harvard Food Pyramid’ (below) and use these as a guide when preparing your meals and choosing your food at the grocery store. Soon this will become part of your routine and your balanced diet will continue without you even thinking about it. Best of all, if you make sure to keep a balanced diet in the long-term, there will never be any need to ‘go on a diet’ and you will beat the ‘yo-yo’ cycle of gaining and losing weight once and for all. For a healthier lifestyle, healthier body and healthier future, ditch those quick-fix diets and invest in a healthy, balanced diet that will change your life in the long-term, not just for now.