Is dieting really bad for us?
Yes! You only need to look around you for proof: more and more people are on a diet, yet more and more people are overweight! Diets create limits and restrictions and make you feel guilty. They may make you lose weight quickly, but in 80% of cases you put more weight back on once you come off the diet! Besides, even diet plans recommended by doctors can be extremely dangerous for your health (the cabbage soup diet or food group diets, for example).
But don't we need to cut out 'bad' foods in order to lose weight?
No - you have to eat to lose weight! When you deprive yourself of what you enjoy, it produces the opposite effect to what you want: in order to keep functioning, your body uses your heart and brain more and your other organs less, reducing your energy consumption so that your body requires less energy when it's at rest and also stores fat. And if that isn't enough to convince you, depriving yourself of what you like leads to an unbalanced diet, snacking and bingeing....enough said! You automatically eat more when the diet finishes and you gain more weight.
So what is the best way of slimming?
As far as your diet goes, there's only one rule: cut nothing out. As a nutritionist, the first thing I do with any patient is convince them not to feel guilty about enjoying their food or to beat themselves up over it. We need to change our attitude to food before we change what we actually eat. There are so many factors behind weight gain: genetic, biological, chemical, dietary, sociological, psychological....The human body is dependent on its environment, which is why we need to reduce things that aggravate and pollute it. Eating is one of the greatest, simplest pleasures in life, and instead of restricting it you should look at limiting stress, getting rid of dieting myths and preconceived ideas, respecting your body and what it's telling you, and exercising. A healthy diet goes hand in hand will all of these things, so address your lifestyle first: adopt a healthy lifestyle and a healthy diet will follow suit.