by Angela Reed-Fox
Weight loss is just calories in versus calories out, right?
If you've tried losing weight and not seen the results you wanted, even though you've been eating sensibly and exercising - could it be because of one of these things?
You don't eat enough
Yep, that's right. Why do dieters yo-yo? There are a few reasons, but one of them is that they restrict their food intake such that their metabolism slows down, so that when they start eating 'normally' again, they put on more weight than before.
So what do you need to do? You need to protect your metabolism by a) being more physically active, and b) you need to keep eating a moderate amount. If you're permanently hungry your metabolism is probably already affected, and your quality of life is not as it should be.
So how can you eat more and still lose weight? It's about eating more of the good (fruit and veg) and less of the unhelpful stuff. How good are you at including fruit and veg in your day? Fruit and veg are packed full of nutrients and fibre - and they can help you to feel full. Here are a few ideas to add more fruit and veg to your day.
Your portion sizes are wrong
It's not just about having less on your plate - it's about having enough food on your plate, but in the right proportions. Think of your plate as a clock. When you dish up your food, look at the plate - what proportion is carb (potato, rice, pasta etc) and what proportion is protein (meat, fish, egg etc)? Can you increase the proportion of veg so that it takes up half of the plate and decrease the protein and carb to half each?
That slimming food isn't all that, erm, slimming
Get into the habit of reading labels. Sometimes foods that are billed as 'healthy' or 'diet' aren't that great. Sometimes they're higher in fat or sugar than an alternative (I've found this on multiple occasions where the 'slimming' type option is actually less healthy than a supermarket own brand.) So check. And keep checking.
And sometimes it's food that you think "But that's healthy! How can it not help?" But unless you know, because you looked at the label, you might fall for that 'healthy' flapjack (300+ calories), muesli bars (200 calories) or the bowl of muesli/granola (600+ calories) or that salad that just happens to have a generous helping of dressing on it.
What can you do in these instances? Well, is the flapjack a special occasion? Just check, because it might have as many calories in it as the least 'grown up' option - and perhaps you fancy (and have budgeted for) the chocolate cake; if so, go for it. Everything in moderation.
Fancy a snack - go for nuts or seeds rather than a full on muesli bar which contains lots of sugary syrup. And the granola? Porridge or oatmeal is best - and you can do fabulous things with it so that it's always interesting.
If you're tracking calories, it's easy to underestimate your intake - particularly with so many calories in what you drink as well as eat. Wine = liquid cake, unfortunately. Sugary fizz, and coffeeshop type coffees are often laden with empty calories that just won't do you any good.
Think about what you drink - measure it, but modify it if you can. If you enjoy your trip to the coffeeshop, try something else - ditch the flat white and choose an americano, or go for a loose leaf tea which will be full of flavour and stupendously light on calories.
If you enjoy wine, save it to drink with a meal. And if you're drinking it with a meal, consider it to be one of the courses - 200+ calories per glass is not unusual; particularly as glass sizes are getting bigger and bigger. That's like a small pudding!
The key here is moderation - if you're moderately active and moderate your intake you'll get results. There are things you can do to safely speed up the process of course (this is covered in the CardiaOne programme), but if you're taking it steady, or want to maintain where you are, then avoiding these mistakes will put you on the track to success.
Want help with embedding healthy habits and lifestyle that suits you? Sucess with lifestyle is not about diets and fitness regimes, it's about embedding changes that mean you maintain the lifestyle you enjoy - but harness the maximum health benefits. I can help - as a nurse specialising in health promotion and reducing cardiovascular and diabetes risk (and helping those with these to manage their conditions), I can help you with shortcuts to a better, more fulfilling and healthy lifestyle. You'll never need to diet again. Click below if you'd like to get started: