Despite the recent focus on self-love and body positivity, weight is still a big concern for many of us. Yo-yo diets are still plastered across the internet, advertising ways to lose weight quickly on extreme calorie restricted diets, thus, inevitably, leading to most people then re-gaining the weight over the next few months. We are constantly being told that we put our health at risk by being overweight but on the reverse could also be damaging our bodies with restrictive diets. There’s so much conflicting advice out there that the simplicity of weight loss often get’s lost – calories in vs calories out.
When people think of diets and weight-loss, they often think of eating less – which is partly down to years of mass marketed fad diets giving weight-loss a bad name. But a healthy and balanced diet, supported by natural supplements doesn’t need to mean drastic calorie restriction. If you feel as though you’re are eating very little, but you’re not losing any weight, the answer may in fact be to eat more. Sounds too good to be true right?
Firstly, take a look at what you are eating.
If you were to put 500 Calories of fruit and veg in a bowl and 500 calories of chicken in a bowl, there would be a a far larger volume of fruit and vegetables in the bowl than chicken. This philosophy can be broken down even further, with 500 calories of lettuce looking like mountains of food whereas 500 calories of grapes would be considerably less. But no-one wants to eat 500 calories of lettuce am I right? The point here is that drinking a meal-replacement milkshake isn’t going to keep you as full as eating 500 calories of wholesome plant foods, not to mention wholesome plant foods also come with other essential nutrients such as fibre.
Although we all agree that to lose weight you must be burning more than you are eating, if you’re eating 1500 calories of fatty, unhealthy food, you’ll feel tired and sluggish and hungry from the processed sugars. Instead eat a greater volume of healthier, plant-based foods, filled with nutrients and slow release energy.
Are you often hungry?
If you are hungry all of the time, it’s a clear sign that you aren’t eating enough. But, it might also be a sign that you are eating at the wrong times. This can be quite personal. Some people feel great eating three large meals a day. Others find that they get hungry between meals and need a few snacks along the way and some people manage intermittent fasting, eating their dinner at around 6 pm and then not eating again until 2 pm the next day.
If you find that you are always hungry you will most likely give up on your diet and end up eating over your calorie allowance by snacking throughout the day. The key to feeling full is again down to eating a large volume of foods with a low caloric density, such as vegetables, soups and broths which make your stomach feel full.
Do low energy levels stop you from exercising?
Extreme low calorie diets will leave you feeling tired and drained and it’s not like we need any more excuses to skip a work out. Eating slightly more calories to keep your energy levels higher will enable you to push harder in your workout, resulting in your burning more calories. Remember the equation is as simple as calories in vs calories out, so as long as you push a little harder in your workout eating a little bit more won’t impact your progress.
Despite the simplicity of the fundamental principles behind weightless it is still one of the biggest money-making industries in the world and yet more people are obese than ever before. The next time you look at starting a fad diet or regime, stop for a second and take yourself back to basics.