How not to diet
If you "like" my Facebook page or follow me on Instagram you may already know, that whilst preparing for my bikini competition I am consuming more food on a daily basis than I have done before. Yet my progress pictures ( you would think ) reflect somebody who has been on some form of strict diet. So I have came here to discuss the matters at hand.
A friend of mine asked if she stopped eating breakfast and lunch would she be as 'toned' as me, another asked me if I drink a lot of smoothies or if I have ever "juiced". The answer is NO. I fuel my body with the food it needs. I eat pasta, cheese, chocolate, nutella, yet I hear people on some diets forcing them away from these foods they love.
Have you ever seen anybody build their entire lifestyle around juicing or some quick fix fad diet? There is a reason for that.
Fad diets are fast acting but never sustainable. You see quick weight loss then *boom* the occasion you were dieting for is passed and the weight piles back on...sound familiar? It is a viscous cycle.
What I mean when I say FAD Diet...
Any product or plan that pops up on your Facebook feed promising you quick weight loss, suggests highly restrictive meals, or even suggests eating nothing but bananas (yes apparently that is a thing). Chances are if you are following anything like this it is a FAD diet.
"But they make you lose weight so they must work?"
Why the fast weight loss is problematic
Any diet where you are in a calorie deficit (eating less than usual) is going to make you lose weight. However, the way these diets work means you are under eating and starving your body of energy to function day to day. The NHS recommend average women needs 2000 calories per day and 2500 for men. However if you are going to the gym, have an active job or lifestyle this could be much more.
With a FAD diet encouraging you to not eat but only consume juice or restricting you from meals it is highly likely you are not consuming even half of the recommended calorie intake. So call me a genius but OF COURSE you are going to lose weight you are practically starving your body. Calories are what your body turns into energy without them you can be left tired, lacking brain power and energy for simplest of tasks.
All fruit juice diets not only mean you are lacking calories but you also miss out on proteins that your body needs to build new tissue.
On top of all of this there are more dangerous side effects of dramatic weight loss; such as nausea, head aches, fatigue, and worst of all: we all know what hangry feels like.
What you should do instead?
So you are looking to lose weight, definitely avoid a FAD diet. Eating too much of one thing and not enough of another is detrimental instead you should aim towards eating a balanced diet with variety and concentrate more on portion control.
The way I eat has become a lifestyle, weighing out my food and knowing exactly what I am eating. Which again is not doable for everyone's busy lives. But I would recommend downloading MyFitnessPal the app, it allows you to scan in your food and check what you are consuming daily.Once you know if you are eating enough/ not enough food for your goals you can set out a healthier eating plan.
You could even consult a doctor or nutritionist to help you kick start your new way of eating!
Why long term lifestyle changes will pay off...
Most people who take part in a FAD diet will come off it and over indulge meaning the pounds pile back on in no time- which is why if you slowly decrease your intake over a period of time alongside exercise you will see much better results. This will take more time than a 5 week weight loss guide but in the end you are going to be a much healthier, happier person.
Changing your diet long term will also mean you won't have to be as restrictive on yourself, you don't have to cut out the foods you love instead you will learn about portion size and how much is too much. You will have a good relationship with food instead of seeing it as your enemy.
I have been training for around 3 years now but never ever got my food right- now that I have the knowledge it has changed my life. I went from a hungry 1300 calorie diet to a 2100 calorie diet only gaining a couple of pounds alongside my active lifestyle. Below is a before and after some of you may already have seen of me. I just hope this convinces all you readers that starving yourself and just eating bananas is not the way to go, I truly believe you gotta nourish to flourish.
As always don't hesitate to ping me over some questions!
Happy Hump Day x