D is for DIETING!!!

Hands up who has been on a diet…..keep your hands up if you’ve tried more than one……keep your hands up if you lost weight…….now keep your hand up if you kept that weight off when you stopped the diet.

I am guessing there aren’t many people with their hands up still.

This isn’t a slag off …………………….. (insert name of any dieting company) post but there is a lot you aren’t being told about ‘dieting’ and I want to tell you it.

So let’s look at the concept of ‘dieting’ According to good old Wikipedia….”Dieting is the practice of eating food in a regulated and supervised fashion to decrease, maintain, or increase body weight, or to prevent and treat diseases, such as diabetes and obesity. A restricted diet is more often pursued by those wanting to lose weight.”

A diet is basically consuming less calories than you are burning in order to lose weight. Sounds reeeeeeeally simple when you say it like that but as you all probably know it is far easier said than done. ANY diet you start and stick too WILL make you lose weight IF you stick to it. Slimming World, WW, 5:2, Cambridge, Intermittent Fasting, Slim Fast, Herbalife….they all help you achieve a calorie deficit which equals weight loss. The important part of this is the “IF YOU STICK TO IT” bit.

I will let you in on a little secret I don’t obviously shout about. I lost two and a half stone using Herbalife shakes. I drank a shake at breakfast, a shake at lunch time and I went from 12 stone almost to less than 10 stone. FANTASTIC I thought, I want to share my amazing weight loss with others and so I became a distributor and sold shakes to friends and family and can I tell you one think….not one person lost weight AND kept it off. Not a single one! I had what is called confirmation bias. Because it has worked for me and it worked for my up line and her up line and so on and so on straight up the pyramid. I could not for the life of me understand why it wasn’t working for anyone else. BECAUSE NO ONE WAS STICKING TO IT and if they were as soon as they stopped (because let’s be honest who can drink milkshakes, instead of eating delicious, wonderful food, twice a day every day for the rest of their lives?) they reverted to their old HABITS and the weight went back on.

Since qualifying as a personal trainer and taking the numerous nutrition courses I have I have educated myself on maintaining a healthy diet. I never binge ate, I had no emotional attachment to food, didn’t eat when I was bored or stressed or sad. I just ate too much and so Herbalife worked fine for me. Now try it with a client who binge eats…..one who eats when they are bored…..or stressed and I soon realised it was a completely different story. Nutrition isn’t even the problem……it’s your behaviour, your environment, your habits, the way your brain is working when it comes to food and the truth is that EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT.

Of course you will get someone who is really successful following the Slimming World plan, but for that person you have many, many people who aren’t. Why? Because you can’t just be told what to eat and what not to eat, you can’t be told not to eat the foods you love most and if you don’t look at EATING as a BEHAVIOUR not just a verb then the majority of people will fail. Your slimming world coach is not a qualified nutritionist. I was not qualified when I sold Herbalife. Is it any wonder it didn’t work?

Ok Nicki, you’re saying right now, all I hear is negative negative so what’s the solution to weight loss? Well firstly it is COMPLETELY UNIQUE to you. Secondly it involves small changes that you can implement in your daily life without hardly noticing. Until they add up to big changes. For example do you grab a chocolate bar EVERY day from the vending machine at work? Ok so next week I want you to replace one of those days with a piece of fruit, some chopped veg and hummus or any other healthier less calorific alternative. JUST ONE DAY. The rest you can have your choccie. When you are used to Tuesday = fruit day add Thursday. Then add Monday. Do you see where this is going? If I were to tell you to stop eating your chocolate completely you might manage a week or two depending on your will power but I guarantee it would not be easy….you would start dreaming of chocolate and you wouldn’t like me very much. BUT by eliminating it slowly your brain gets used to it and it doesn’t feel so restrictive.

We have just scratched the surface and I have many tools and strategies that I try with clients until we find the one that works for them and most importantly the one they will be able to STICK TO. I will share with you some of these over the next few weeks but until then start to think about YOUR relationship with food. Do you use it as a reward, do you refer to foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ ‘fattening’ or ‘slimming’ Do you eat when you are feeling strong emotions? Until we know where we are we cannot move forward (that’s my quote….I quite like it!)

As always I would LOVE to know your thought on this and your experiences, good or bad, with ‘dieting.’

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