1. Don’t Diet
On a diet when you are losing weight quickly you can be losing muscle and water not fat and then when you stop the diet the weight goes back on as fat. So the next diet has to be stricter. This is when you end up yo-yo dieting. Research shows that when you diet your body undergoes a number of metabolic changes like reducing energy expenditure (to conserve energy) at rest during exercise and daily activities while your hunger increase. These changes then create the perfect conditions for weight gain once the diet is over.
2. Know that the diet industry wants you to fail.
Slimming pills, replacement drinks, gimmicks such as fat-attraction pills, low-calorie this, low fat that – they’re all big profit makers. Like all successful businesses, the slimming industry needs repeat customers. The media feeds and supports this industry with endless magazine articles about weight loss, image makeovers, make-up, cosmetic surgery and anti-ageing creams. Just to give an example, estimates in the US for spending on weight-loss products vary from $40 to $100 billion, which is more than the combined budget for education, health and welfare.
3. Get your blood sugar under control
Almost everyone who struggles with weight has an underlying blood sugar imbalance. Fluctuations in blood sugar can cause a number of symptoms including irritability, aggressive outburst, depression, dizziness, crying spells, anxiety, confusion, inability to concentrate, headaches, palpitations, forgetfulness, fatigue, excess sweating, digestive problems, allergies, blurred vision, excessive thirst, insomnia, nervousness, fears, muscle cramps and lack of sex drive.
Insulin is your fat storing hormone so by getting your blood sugar in balance and off the rollercoaster of blood sugar highs and lows you are reducing how much fat is stored. Insulin also stops your body burning fat so you lose weight as well as not putting more on when your blood sugar is under control.
4. Follow the 12:12 plan
That means you eat within a 12 hour window, then not for the next 12 hours. For example you finish eating for the evening by 8pm and then don’t have anything until breakfast at 8am, or 7pm to 7am, 6pm to 6am – whatever works for you.
Research shows that restricting food intake to 12 hours a day prevents excessive weight gain, improves sleep and reduces age- and diet-related heart deterioration.
When overweight people who normally ate during a greater than 14-hour window were asked to eat only during a maximum of a 12-hour window for 16 weeks, they lost weight, had more energy and slept better and these benefits lasted for a year.
5. Have a way of eating that becomes a way of life
Eating is a time for sharing and socialising, food is to be enjoyed. There is nothing more demoralising than turning down invitations to eat with friends because you are frightened you will slip from your diet. You want to end up with a way of eating that helps you to lose weight, the weight stays off and also keeps you healthy for the long term. Think of the 80/20 rule. Providing you eat well for 80 per cent of the time, the occasional lapses for birthdays, holidays and parties won’t hurt.