Just over a year ago I decided that the yo-yo dieting had to stop. I made a decision that I no longer wanted my days or my life to be ruled by food and food decisions, and the only way for me to get to a place where that is possible is to re-calibrate my relationship with food. This posts looks at five things I’ve learned since jumping off the the yo-yo dieting hamster wheel.
1. Starving yourself is NEVER the answer
Most ‘diets‘ are some form of caloric restriction and even with the best will in the world, at some point we fail. Some sooner than others. But we all fail in the end.Fuelling your body with a wide variety of healthy, nutritious foods is the only sustainable way to lose weight and keep it off.
2. Eating should always be pleasurable, but that doesn’t mean treats everyday
All too often when we ‘go on a diet‘ we stop being adventurous and restrict ourselves to flavourless, often boring food. On this type of diet as soon as the will power wanes we reach for the treats and the downward spiral begins. Just because it’s ‘good for you‘ doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be delicious too. With a few key recipes and a little bit of time you can rustle up a healthy meal that is delicious, nutritious and satisfying.
3. Calories are not created equal
There’s a saying ‘a calorie, is a calorie, is a calorie.’ Oh how short sighted that statement is! It’s true, 100 calories of beetroot will provide the same amount of energy as 100 calories of Haribos. The beetroot however will provide your body with a wealth of health boosting macro nutrients. The types of calories we consumer also effect our ability to feel full. So often the foods that line our supermarket shelves today are so highly processed and depleted of nutrients our bodies cease to recognise them as fuel leaving us stuffed and unsatisfied and craving that ‘something else.’
4. Food can fix way more than my weight
If someone had told me 12 months ago that I could have a normal menstrual cycle if I just gave up diary I would have called them crazy. Turns out though, they would be right. For years I have suffered with a condition called adenomyosis. I’ve tried all kinds of treatments including various hormonal contraceptives but nothing really worked. After being told that the only real option would be to have a hysterectomy I resigned myself to living with the unpredictable nature and debilitating pain of my monthly cycle. Then I gave up dairy and something wonderful happened. For the first time in my life I had a 28 day cycle and a four day, predominantly pain free period. To say I was skeptical would be an understatement, it couldn’t be that simple, but it was. Now I’m not advocating that everyone go out there and give up dairy tomorrow, but I think everyone should take the time to listen to their body and what it really needs, or doesn’t need in this case.
5. Eating well doesn’t have to cost the earth
Organice veg and health food stores, sounds expensive I hear you chime. But it doesn’t have to be, it is totally possible to eat well on a budget. Here are my top tips:
- Know if when to spend and when to save. If you can’t afford to go whole hog organic just do the dirty dozen
- Signing up to a veg box scheme such as Riverford Organic can save you up to 30% when compared to an equivalent supermarket shop
- Batch cooking and freezing saves time and money
- Meat free Mondays! Giving up meat one day a week is great for your body, your pocket and the environment
Are you, or have you been, a yo-yo dieter? If you’ve had a similar experience or are just embarking on your weight loss journey I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.
Until next time…