No short cuts

7 Feb

I’m will always be concerned about fad diets or supplements, even worse are diet drugs.

The important thing to remember if you’re considering losing weight and how to do it that are NO short cuts if you want to do it safely and want to sustain it long-term.

If you need to lose a lot of weight please seek medical advice as well, being overweight brings with it risks, some are far more obvious than others and if you shock your body with starting an extreme form of weight loss you are asking for trouble.  If you’ve never really done any exercise you also need to be careful, take advice from professionals and start slowly!

There is only one way to lose weight and keep it off – Eat Less, Eat Better and Move More.

There are no magic solutions to speeding this up, if you do the chances are you won’t keep it off and it will all go back on plus some  extra, I’ve seen figures as high as 90% for the number of people who regain their weight after 2 years. What does this tell us?  Well in my view, that diets don’t work in the long-term, you might be able to lose weight to fit into a wedding dress or for a holiday but you will then spend a large part of your life on a ‘diet’, yo-yoing between clothes sizes and in a constant battle with food?

The only way to do it is to draw a line under how you live your life at the moment and review everything – what you eat, how much you eat, when you eat, how much you move, how you think about food etc etc.  If you need to lose a substantial amount of weight you will need to eat far less, it’s the only way.

For me it took a simple first step – to be totally honest with myself that I was obese, not overweight, not that I needed to lose a few pounds but that I had a major problem and things had to change.  I no longer wanted to be a ‘big girl’ who was wearing a size 24 and was still getting bigger.

So what can you do practically to start changing things, let’s start with the easiest thing first, I’ll look at the other two later in the week.

How do you Eat Less?

This is simple, you don’t need to be on a special diet, you can make a start by just reducing the amount you eat, take 25% of the food off your plate, re-arrange it, I promise it will look no different. Get used to seeing what these type of portions look like.  When you get used to this, try reducing a bit more.  We all eat far more than we need, our portions are massive!  Our plates are bigger now than when we were kids, we see eating as much as we can as some kind of challenge, let’s be blunt, this approach is killing us slowly.  Look at what you serve up, do you eat the same portions as your partner, do your kids eat the same amounts as the adults?

English: Gastric Banding

Image via Wikipedia

Think about how your body reacts when you eat, if you go out and eat far too much, you feel stuffed, it may be painful, this is because you’ve stretched your stomach and your body is struggling to deal with it, do this over a sustained amount of time and your stomach will remain stretched and you’ll need more food to fill it.  Your stomach then tells your brain you’re still hungry and you’re in a cycle that is difficult to break. All that will happen is that you will eat more and get bigger.

So reverse the process = if you eat less over a few weeks, your stretched stomach will shrink, it’s just like a gastric band operation, you will need less food, you will feel full quicker.  You don’t need surgery to achieve this – you just need to realise that it can be done through a bit of determination and less food, not deprivation though, you can still have the things you like – just less of them!

Surgery shouldn’t even be on the agenda – it is a permanent measure, you will never eat normally ever again and from what I hear, food remains your enemy.  I’d like you to get to a point where you can enjoy your food, not be in a constant battle with it.  I can tell you I love food now!

You have to take control of food, again think about it, you’re an intelligent human being, yet you can be totally controlled by cheese or chocolate, you let it take control, you are the person with the power to deal with this, the chocolate bar can’t turn round to you and say ‘ok, I’ll go away and leave you alone’, you need to tell it where to go!

When you’re eating think about when you feel full, take time to concentrate on your meal, stop at regular intervals and let your your brain and stomach work together to tell you if you are full.   If you think you are full, stop eating.  We’re brought up to finish everything on our plates, this is fine if the portion sizes are sensible, if you’re eating too much stop worrying about clearing your plate!

And while we’re on the subject of plates, buy smaller ones – if your new plate looks full despite containing less, your brain will help you, in the main it’s all about the tricks you can introduce for both your stomach and your brain!

And finally in the words of Lord Alan Sugar, you might even want to buy a smaller one, it will take you longer to eat your meal, this gives your brain longer to process the ‘being full’ messages.

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