I get it. The excess that was Christmas – cheese boards, chocolate and prosecco, I’m looking at you – has left us feeling sluggish. We’re heavier and desperate to shed those extra pounds. But dieting isn’t the way to do it, and I genuinely, wholeheartedly stand behind this. Here’s why…
- It doesn’t work.
Something doesn’t quite add up with our obsessive dieting culture because research concludes, time and time again, that dieting does not help you lose weight.
Around 95 per cent of all dieters will regain the weight they lost within one year – 95 per cent! Sure, a crash diet will help you drop a dress size fairly quickly, but the reality is the moment you allow yourself to stop starving, the weight is very quickly going to pile back on – and, often, more.
- It can actually negatively affect weight loss
Yo-yo dieting and erratic eating patterns can have a negative effect on your metabolism, therefore slowing down weight loss in the long term.
- It’s downright miserable
Dieting is not fun. Food restriction and calorie counting is soul-destroying (and I should know – I’ve done it practically my whole life). January is rubbish enough without abstaining from foods you perceive to be ‘bad’ and yummy, comforting hot dinners. No thanks.
- It stops you from listening to your body
By eating at specific times, or following a set diet, you’re no longer taking notice of your body’s hunger and appetite signals. This also applies to your body’s cues of fullness – deprivation will often override them after a period of dieting.
- Hunger is horrible
Nobody wants to be a Hungry Horace (my boyfriend’s former nickname for the perennially hangry old me). Because you’re not eating enough, levels of the hormone ghrelin (the one that makes your stomach rumble) rise and fire up your appetite. This is a painful, painful thing to ignore and – I can assure you – does no good for your state of mind… #moodswings
- It destroys your self-confidence
Because you’ve put so much time and effort into a diet, breaking it can send our self-confidence plummeting – you failed, right? You clearly have no willpower? No and no. You just set yourself unrealistic expectations and simply cannot sustain such a restricted food intake.
- It’s time-consuming
We spend way much time of our precious time weighing, portioning and obsessing over getting the figure on the scales down. Put that time and effort to good use.
- Chances are you don’t need to
I don’t need to tell you that we live in a society obsessed with being thin. The pressure is enormous to have a ‘bikini body’ or killers abs, but you do not need to lose weight to look good.
So many healthy and beautiful women buy into the belief that skinny equals beautiful but it just isn’t true. Attempt to change this mindset – you’re good enough.
The Christmas pounds will come off guys – just go back to eating the way you did before and gradually, you’ll go back to normal. No need to stress. Everyone is heavier at this time of year.
Eat well, work out without killing yourself on the treadmill six days a week, and accept your body for what it is… Remember how damn well it serves us on a day-to-day basis – it’s incredible and we need to learn to love it!