Friday, June 6, 2014

The dreaded diet

I always grin when people tell me they're starting a diet. That's not because there's anything funny about it, but it's usually the look on their face when they say it that I find quite amusing. 

It's a look of dread, mixed with a pinch of determination and tablespoon of frustration. Of course I always try to follow up that grin with some sound advice. So if you're looking to tidy things up in the food and beverage department, this article could be of some help. © 2014

The word "diet" seems to have a different meaning for many people, however to me it's simply an eating habit which impacts your body composition. 

So to put things in perspective, if you want to shed a few pounds you simply need to calculate your target body-weight and adjust your total caloric intake based on maintaining that weight.  It doesn't mean you should eat horrible tasting soups all day, or even worse starve yourself until you reach that target. In fact lowering your calories drastically and suddenly may have a reverse effect. Your body can go into a kind of survival mode, whereby it lowers the metabolism in order to preserve glycogen and fat stores for as long as possible.  

You will need to bring out those kitchen scales though in order to weigh your portions, otherwise you'd never really know how much you're actually consuming. Remember all nutritional value is based on raw weight, not cooked. 

On the other hand, if you're comfortable with your weight but feel like you could be doing a lot better for your health, then it's only a matter of swapping what you regularly eat with food that is less processed, lower in saturated fat and sugar. It's really not that complicated and certainly nothing to feel dreadful about. 

So if you eat lots of bread for example, just switch to wholegrain. If you like to add butter or margarine try pouring some extra virgin olive oil instead. If you always have fries with your meal go for baked potatoes. There's always an alternative, and although you could be feeling fine, and you're technically at a healthy weight, your heart may be telling a different story. 

A diet should feel like an exciting challenge to see how disciplined you can be and how quickly you can start seeing results. 

1 comment:

  1. I think for women. We're sort of programmed to think we should eat less and instantly we'll be thin. -shrugs shoulders- I always thought the same until now. I've been told pretty much the same things. Eat more healthy foods rather than starving yourself. It's not good. And for Mothers to do this, it's not setting a good example to their daughters. Who will pick up on this attitude and so the next generation is programmed. I eat a lot of fresh salads and fruits and encourage my children to do the same. Thanks AC for this insightful post. I look forward to your next posting. :)