I would be the first to admit I have been on diets before, I have tried the herbal life diet some years ago and got some good results from it. I reached the lightest I had ever been since my twenties and the compliments were constant from friends and family. I have always been into training and kept going to the gym during the diet which accelerated my progress.
I maintained going to the gym after reaching my ‘goal dress size’. I felt like a new person and went and got a whole new wardrobe. Slowly and steadily I noticed the weight starting to creep back on, I was determined not to go back on the diet and began the uphill struggle against my body, eventually within six months I was back to my original weight before the diet. I made a promise to myself to find out more about nutrition and weight loss. I had been training in gyms for years, three times a week and knew lack of exercise was not the problem.
So below is the advice I would like to give to anyone who is thinking of using a diet from my own personal experience
- Your body has a natural size – some people are naturally skinny, others have a bigger shape and more curvy look. Some people unfortunately retain more water than others. There are so many variants of the personal genetics Amazon is filled with books on the subject. This also goes for the often forgotten [in the diet world] by different body shapes. You need to understand which one you are, if you have never been less than a size 12, it is going to take time and a lot of effort to drop two dress sizes and maintain it. Maintaining it being the key, any ‘crash’ diet that produces these results will be short-lived and can leave you very demoralised when the weight creeps (or piles) back on.
- It’s about the long-term – Diets are a quick fix. We like quick fixes for that wedding or event when we want to fit into a particular outfit. What we forget is we are actually damaging our bodies. The yo-yo effect on our bodies can leave your skin stretched and elastic. This makes it a lot more difficult to slim down the next time a diet is attempted. Add on top of that having children and ageing, then it becomes apparent the battle is really upon us. A longer term approach to nutrition will benefit us from an internal health perspective, it will shift the weight incrementally in a safe way and be easy to maintain as no sudden changes in your body shape or weight.
- It’s in our minds – This sounds obvious and forgive me as sometimes it really is that simple. It’s about nutrition and we all want to change the way we eat. I love desserts and the more unhealthy they are the harder I find to resist. I understand this desire so instead of suppressing it I work on controlling it. I will share the dessert if out with friends, tell the restaurant not to add the chocolate sauce, I will forgo the starter and add a large healthy salad (hold the dressing there fine waiter, none for me) to my main meal.
These are the lessons, amongst many others that I have learnt over time. The saying ‘nothing comes easy’ is so true when it comes to losing weight and maintaining it. The process doesn’t have to be grueling, there just isn’t any quick fixes out there. What is often never mentioned in these diet manuals is we also have fat between our internal organs, clogging up arteries and putting our health at risk. Regular exercise and a nutritional eating lifestyle are the only ways to ensure we give ourselves the chance at a long and active lifestyle.
I would like to hear your thoughts? Do you find diets the best option? Do you detest exercise and use diets as an alternative? Have you had a diet work for you or ended up gaining more weight as a result?