New Year New You?!

ScalesIt’s that time of year again where the crash dieting starts as people decide to starve themselves thin. OK that might be a teeny exaggeration but if you're telling yourself "this year will be different, this year I WILL ..loose weight/tone up/get fit/get healthy etc then before you leap onto the proverbial diet band wagon a few words of warning;

Restricting calories:

Starvation diets can cause muscle to be broken down resulting in a loss of energy and a slower metabolism.

This will make you feel lethargic as well as being one of the major causes of yo-yo dieting!

When you start eating normally again your body is in famine mode so will store extra fat (in place of the muscle lost), your body is preparing for starvation again.Then when the scales and tight clothes tell you that the weight has gone back on you go back on the crash diet again.

Bingo! You are now yo-yo dieting and will actually end up heavier than when you started as your body naturally protects itself and prepares for the starvation to come!

BANT Balanced PlateYou can avoid this by supporting your blood sugar and protein intake with balanced meals

(see my course how to create a healthy balanced plate for more ideas). However changes need to be long term not just a few months on and off.

Intermittent fasting

I'm including this as it has become a 'fad' and I do get asked a lot about it. Like a lot of 'diet' crazes that come out the theory is actually quite sound, but where it falls down is often in the way that the every day person then implements that diet. Many that do this actually end up restricting calories (and we've just read what that does to your body).

My understanding of intermittent fasting is that its more about giving your body or more specifically your digestion a break from the food coming in, so it (your hard working digestive system) actually has time to do it's job fully, therefore it starts to work at its optimum.

Theravada Buddhism Monks foodThose that practice this most beneficially - I believe it to be a certain group of monks (not necessarily the ones in this picture!) - also practice mindful eating with their fasting. So when they do eat it is slow and deliberate, concentrating only on the food and process of eating. Not shoveling as much as possible in because you were in a meeting and now only have 5 minutes left until you're in the fasting phase!

My advice then is rather than dieting and depriving yourself of foods think about improving your food selection. Make 2019 the year that you understand WHY your body needs certain foods or should I say fuels. Make 2019 the year that you eat for your bodies NEEDS not for your ego's WANTS.. the majority of the time. Hey I am the Nutritional Realist after all and I appreciate no one is perfect! ;0p

Chose foods that give you nutrients and energy (fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, nuts, seeds) = top grade fuel. Get the best bang for your buck. Rather than lifeless food that has had all the nutrients processed out of it (crisps, confectionery, sweets, cakes). They might be cheaper but in the long run it's a false economy.

Also if you are using this as one of your goals, set yourself up for success - get help, perhaps use a food provider such as Lean Lunch, Hello Fresh or a vegetable box scheme to give you a kick start and give you inspiration.

Plan your meals, plan your food shopping, give yourself the best shot possible and 2019 WILL be the year that you succeed.Happy Thumb