Not just a fad....

Not just a fad....

The word "diet" doesn’t always mean eating less to lose weight—although that’s what we commonly associate it with today. Someone "on a diet" is trying to eat less, or stop eating sweets to fit into a smaller clothes size.

Diet also has another meaning. It describes the food that you normally consume—following a vegetarian diet, a calorie controlled diet, or "My diet consists of meat and potatoes." Improving your normal diet by making gradual, but permanent changes is a healthier way to lose weight than by just restricting calories.

When most people refer to a ‘diet’ they are actually referring to a ‘fad diet’. Fad diets are an eating or drinking pan generally followed for a certain period of time, with often outrageous guidelines like cabbage water and nothing else all day. Low calorie and fad diets can have serious health implications—insufficient vitamin and nutritional intake, lethargy, slowed metabolism, hormonal effects, and even dehydration. Dieters commonly experience intense feelings of hunger and deprivation, which can lead to "cheating" or bingeing over time. Aswell as causing the body to rob its natural stores of vitamins and minerals to supplement the lack of nutrients coming in from food. These stores are generally formed within your bones and muscles!!

Here are a few tips to help you decrease your caloric intake without "dieting" or feeling deprived.

Don't eyeball it

Studies show that people tend to underestimate how much they really eat every day. In doing so, we consume too many calories without realising it. Research shows that keeping a log by recording exercise and food intake is one of the best predictors of successful weight loss.

•    A written record can point out your eating patterns (eating in front of the TV or in the car, eating the same breakfast every day), triggers (stress, sadness, boredom, time of day), and areas where changes can be made. You may find that you are eating less fruits than you thought or drinking too many fizzy drinks and snacking on sugary foods, for example. Then you’ll know where you can implement healthy changes.
•    Reading food labels is key to healthy portion sizes. At a quick glance, a bottle of juice (or bag of crisps, chocolate bar) may appear to contain 100 calories, but a closer look will reveal that the package includes two or more servings, which doubles the caloric content.
•    After familiarising yourself with portion sizes, be sure to measure. Be exact if cooking at home, but when eating out, think about common objects. Two tablespoons of peanut butter, mayo, or dressing is about the size of a golf ball. A serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand. A medium piece of fruit is similar to a tennis ball.
•    Having trouble stopping at one serving of snacks or crisps for example? Buy single-serving packages of your favourite foods for built-in portion control, or measure out single servings into bags or containers to control the amount your serving yourself.

Don't scrimp on the fat

It’s important to remember that not all fats are bad. Certain oils (olive, canola), and nuts are nutritious and healthy to eat. However, fat does have more than twice the calories per gram than carbohydrates and protein (9, 4, and 4, respectively). And generally, people consume too much and the wrong kinds of fats, which means excessive calories. However some people will find they feel better when consuming more good fat  and ditching the carbohydrates, especially bread and pasta.
•    Add flavour to foods without excess calories and fat by using herbs, fresh or dried. An added bonus: studies show that spicy foods, flavoured with red peppers or chilli peppers, may boost metabolism and help you to stop eating sooner.
So ditch the fad diet and get started on your journey to really getting healthy and fit. The only diet you should be on is the diet that is right for you.

 

For other tips and advice direct your fitness/nutrition based questions to tom.horton@cadburyhouse.com.

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