January means planning goals for a healthy new year, right? And for most of us that means shedding a few pounds, especially if you’ve overindulged on
the chocolate, cheese, Prosecco, mince pies all of the above.
But which which diet is your friend when it comes to achieving this goal? There are so many to choose from and everybody knows somebody who’s lost a ton of weight on one or other of them, so it’s surely just a matter of choosing the most effective diet for you!
New Year, New Me, New Diet
If you’ve already tried the Atkins, Dukan, 5:2, Paleo, and even the Cabbage Soup diets, and you’re becoming despondent because nothing seems to work, then I have the answer for you. Keep reading for details of a diet that is guaranteed to actually get results, with no fads, no fasting, and no expensive complicated recipes.
Why Don’t Conventional Diets Work?
Have any of your diets to date worked long term? I’m going to take a punt that you wouldn’t have found this article, nor read this far, unless the answer is a resounding no. What’s the first thing you think feel when you hear the word ‘diet’? This is important because it’s the reason you may initially have success – but ultimately diets always fail; it’s the reason that you may even be heavier now than when you started out dieting.
I’m going to take another punt that your first feeling when you consider a diet is dread, or perhaps something similar under a slightly different guise – either way I’d wager it boils down to the anticipated horrors of:
- Fasting and/or denying yourself your favourite foods;
Essentially, it feels like a daunting chore – one that invariably begins with immense willpower, but inevitably finishes up with yet another failed diet.
The Magic ‘Diet’
I ‘m going to share a secret with you:
The best way to successfully lose weight and keep it off, and be healthier and happier in the process, is to stop ‘dieting’ altogether. Yes, really.
This is a scary concept for die-hard dieters – but what do you have to lose, besides some excess weight and an unhealthy obsession with calories, scales, and self-image? Exactly.
Incidentally, for anyone who’s a regular reader and aware of my love for cake and limited time for working out these days, I should say that before I had Pixie and Elfin to sap my time and energy (thanks girls), I was a hardcore gym bunny. Before that I was overweight and very much not – so I know what I’m talking about!
Here’s how to ‘diet’ right:
The 5 Rules
- If it doesn’t walk, swim, fly, or grow – consider it a treat.
- Eat when you are hungry.
- Convenience and refined foods are the enemy.
- Sugar is THE DEVIL. (Fat is not.)
- Be sensible and realistic.
It’s a simple case of numbers: calories in versus calories out – and mathematics can’t lie. That means there’s no cheating. It also means if you do it right and stick to it, you cannot fail.
Essentially, this eating plan (the word ‘diet’ will be vetoed from hereon in), involves eating healthily 85% of the time, and mindfully 100% of the time. So:
- No more hunger; instead enjoying healthy snacks and controlling portion sizes.
- No more denying yourself; instead learning to appreciate and savour smaller and less frequent treats.
- Crucially, no more binging; instead breaking for good the whole deny/gorge cycle.
How to Be Successful For a Healthy New Year
To embrace this lifestyle, a degree of willpower is required – but nothing like the willpower you’ll have previously drawn on to practice the diets I mentioned earlier. Most importantly, what’s required is a fresh mindset; this is probably going to be a difficult hurdle because it will involve re-evaluating your core beliefs surrounding food, and your relationship with it.
Think of your willpower as a muscle: the more you exercise self- discipline, the easier it becomes and the greater your willpower grows.
To maximise the benefits of your healthy new habits, I also highly recommend taking some exercise alongside the eating plan – even a brisk walk every day is beneficial. But for a more intense workout, consult a personal trainer – it’s important not only to be doing the right exercises for you and your needs, but also to ensure that you’re executing them correctly and with good form.
I do not underestimate the degree to which dieting can govern peoples’ lives. However, if you can master the art of healthy, mindful eating, you absolutely have the power to relinquish that control and see results. You can once again enjoy food without the associated guilt – and rock your bikini this summer.
And as you won’t even feel like you’re on a diet, it’s a healthy way of life you can carry forward as a new lifelong habit.
Will you be changing your eating habits in the new year and attempting to lose weight for a healthy new year? What are your goals?