For a lot of people, when they decide to try and lose weight their first impulse is to ‘go on a diet’. From celebrity endorsed diets to fads advertised in the media, it is all too tempting to believe hyped claims about wonder diets helping you lose weight fast.
The truth is however, for many of us, diets simply don’t work in the long-term. You may well lose weight at first, but as soon as you go back to eating normally, the weight may creep back on. So why is this?
Dieting is often drastic
When you go on a diet, how many times have you had to stop eating a certain food group or shop at a different supermarket to get what you need? Making big changes to the way you eat can be difficult to maintain, especially when you become busy or stressed. This makes it easy to revert back to old eating habits, negating any weight-loss.
Dieting is short-term
Very few ‘diets’ are designed for you to be on long-term. Their intention is usually to help you lose weight quickly. This means that, at some point, you will go back to eating how you used to – and sadly this is often when people gain weight again. You may feel like you want to treat yourself after being so good on your diet, so when you do go back to eating normally you over compensate.
So, now we know that dieting may not be the answer to long-term weight-loss, what should you do instead?
Make small changes gradually
If you try to change too much, too fast, you’ll be a greater risk of falling off the wagon. To help yourself make realistic lifestyle changes, start small. Even if all you do for the first couple of weeks is reduce your portion sizes, you’ll be making progress.
Try to get in touch with your body so you can recognise when you are hungry and when you are satisfied. Taking your time over meals and focusing solely on what you’re eating is one of the best changes you can make.
Make long-term changes
Every time you think about making a change to your diet – ask yourself, “Am I willing to do this forever?”. If the answer is no, try something different. The aim here is to make changes that will last.
Be gentle with yourself
Losing weight and maintaining weight-loss is for life – it’s not a race. Take your time and be gentle with yourself. Focus on the small steps and celebrate every achievement.