DO NOT GO ON A DIET.
Let me start with the statistics:
- The UK dieter starts and fails an average of four different diets per year
- The UK dieter loses an average of 3kg (just under 7lbs) per diet before falling off the wagon and giving up completely
- 95% of dieters fail
Most dieters blame a failed diet on the diet itself; specifically, that it’s not sustainable because if doesn’t fit into their lifestyle. I’m not totally convinced by this. Ultimately, if you want it badly enough, you will make it work. Regardless of whether I agree with the diet or not, if you follow a diet properly, you should see weight loss results. You may not lose fat or feel great on the diet but you should see results.
However, here are my issues with most diets, be it the Juice diet, Special K, Atkins, the 5:2, Dukan, Cabbage Soup, Slimfast, Herbalife or Weight Watchers:
- You do not eat for optimal health – you eat to be slimmer
- The aim is not to lose fat – the aim is to lose weight
- They do not take into account your lifestyle (career, family set up, personal health, activity levels)
- You WILL be hungry
- How do you maintain it? Once you’ve drunk yourself thin or counted your points to a size 10, what do you do next? Do you just keep drinking shakes and juice with the odd cereal bar in between?
- 95% of people on the aforementioned diets, FAIL!
I could go on but you get my point. Diets are silly things – set up to make money out of us. In reality, a diet is just a way of eating but we associate it with losing weight. We’re all on diets: healthy eating, junk food, vegan, gluten free, a bit of everything etc. However, this word ‘diet’ makes us think of being hungry, depriving ourselves of the things we love, feeling guilty if we have one morsel of tasty food, not being able to have dinner with friends or a takeaway on a Saturday night and generally feeling like life as we know it, is about to end.
And now we find ourselves in January – the month of the NEW YEAR, NEW ME resolution. You’ve probably already picked your poison (diet) and mentally, you are soooo ready for this. This is your year. This is the year that you finally stick to your diet. By the summer, you will be strutting around the pool in your bikini and wedges. Or will you? Going back to the statistics above, only 5% of you ‘dieters’ will stick to your diet. I couldn’t find the statistic on how many of that 5% keep the weight off permanently but I’m guessing it’s not high. So that’s perhaps 2 or 3 people out of every 100 that will actually keep the weight off permanently. So, what’s the answer?
Well, first of all, forget this new year, new me mentality. Sure, it’s a new year but I’m guessing that you’re pretty amazing already so forget the new you. Let’s talk about a healthier and more confident version of the fabulous person that you already are instead. Let’s start on a positive note.
Secondly, let’s not use the word ‘diet’ because that sucky word has negative connotations, as already mentioned. If you feel the need to label it somehow, simply tell yourself, and anyone that asks, that you’re adopting some better eating habits – not only to shed some fat but also to feel better on the inside too.
What are these good habits that I speak of?
- Include 1 portion of each of the following in every meal: Protein, Good Fats and Veggie Carbs. If you want dense carbs like rice or potatoes, earn them! Have a workout, go on a long walk or swim, then have dense carbs in your first meal after exercise.
- Portion control: Have a palm sized portion of protein, a fist-sized portion of veg, a thumb-sized portion of good fats and a cupped handful of dense carbs. Easy-peasy! No counting calories or macros and no weighing. Start there and then adjust based on results. Not losing much size? Reduce your carbs and fat intake but do not eliminate them completely. Losing too fast? Increase your carbs and fat intake. For men, double all those sizes.
- Snack right. Go for an apple and peanut butter between breakfast and lunch and a protein shake and nuts in the afternoon.
- Do not cut out everything you love. If you want a G&T in the evening, have one but just one. If you love chocolate, keep a small portion for the end of the day.
- If you want a takeaway on a Saturday night, have it! BUT eat right the next day. Don’t let a naughty Saturday night become a whole weekend of bad eating and plan for the takeaway too – reduce your overall intake in your other meals that day.
- Drink water – lots and lots of water. The more water you drink, the less you retain!
- Let go of any guilt – life is too short to feel guilty about food.
- Start 90:10 – 90% good, 10% naughty – once you’ve reached your goal, change that to 80:20 for maintenance.
(Photo cred: Precision Nutrition Methodology)
Nutrition out of the way, now it’s up to you to bring the discipline and willpower. If you’re reading this on the CheltenhamMaman site, then I’m going to assume you’re a mama. Well, there’s reason number one for eating for optimal health… your kids. Eat for longevity; eat to see them grow up and have kids; eat so that you’ll be fit enough to throw your grandkids in the air and catch them or hold the back of their bike when they’re learning to ride it; eat to stave off sickness and even to help prevent serious illness. Eat in a way that teaches your kids these good habits too. In an age of technology, where our children are so exposed to airbrushed and filtered images of D-list celebrities, earning their money through promotion of detox teas and skinny drinks, it’s vital that our offspring see us eating nutritiously dense food and feeling great for it. Don’t overcomplicate it. Don’t make food or your weight an issue at home, especially in front of your kids.
I often get asked, how do you get clients coming back to you once you’ve written them a nutrition plan? The truth is, unless they upgrade to a fitness package, they don’t come back to for me for nutrition, as I’ve empowered them to incorporate this into their lifestyle. That’s why this is no ‘diet,’ it’s just the optimal way to eat for good health and longevity – the bonus bi-product of that being that you’ll look good on the outside too. Don’t just take my word for it, take a look at my testimonials too.
And finally… do not step on the scales to gauge your progress. Take your waist and hip measurements instead and use your clothes. Your clothes will tell you everything you need to know.
I hope that this has served in some way to convince you that no gimmicks are needed and that you don’t need to fork out for expensive shakes and teas to look and feel fabulous. You just need a little of everything in the right amounts. Simples.
Wishing you all a very healthy and happy New Year!
A Guest Blog from Nicki Ryder
Nicki Ryder is a very new CheltenhamMaman, having only moved to Cheltenham from Berkshire in April 2016 and giving birth to Jasmine in the guest bedroom just a month later! Originally from London, Nicki and her husband, James, decided that the commuter belt was no longer where they wanted to raise their family and with James coming from Cheltenham originally, decided to up sticks and move out here with their 10-year-old daughter, Olivia. Nicki is currently on maternity leave and although she works for Microsoft, is now taking on clients for her new business, Fit Inside Out . If you are unhappy with how you look, feel tired all of the time and generally don’t know how to eat or train for optimal health, Nicki’s the lady you need! Take a look at our Offers page for details on how you can get 15% off her packages in January. Drop her a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org or give her a follow on Instagram