Saturday, 4 January 2014

The Happy diet.

Being in the midst of a global obesity epidemic; it is probably safe to assume that many readers may have tried to lose weight in the past.

If it was anything like the average diet, the results probably didn't last for long. I would like to explain - albeit incredibly briefly - one major factor into why diets don't work. Just before we start, ask yourself one quick question. Why do people really diet?

Dieting has become incredibly engrained into our human psyche. What is seldom discussed is the true answer to the above question. Every diet you do, you do with the belief that you will be happier as a result.

You may expect people to find you more attractive or you will feel better about yourself when you lose weight. Happiness is key. Oftentimes however, diets are not happy (or healthy) things to be on.

It is an often quoted fact that 98% of diets fail; that is, within a year - 98% of people who attempt to diet, not only within a year return back to their original weight but gain additional weight than when they started.

This usually prompts another dieting attempt (albeit under a different brand name) with the same effects. As Einstein quite rightly said; doing the same thing twice and expecting
a different result is the definition of insanity.

So we have a paradox. Although there are lots of different types of diet, any quick fix to a weight problem can be incredibly damaging to your body. Trying to lose a lot of weight over short period (often with nutritionally deficient diet products) is encouraging your body to be more resistant to fat loss in the future, and more prone to weight gain. Often, restricted on the foods that can be eaten, as well as affecting social lives, diets can be unhappy and lonely times for people. Most people can put up with these sacrifices in the short term because they see the potential for happiness at the end of the road. However, as we all know, the results don't often last. All of a sudden, you're on a dieting cycle, a merry-go-round that keeps spinning faster and the more it does, the harder it is to jump off.

I would therefore like to leave you with some advice. You have a diet; your diet is what you eat - day in, day out. The only way to see real positive change is by making small adjustments to your life, trying new dietary changes and seeing how they work over a period of time. Body fat is not just this unsightly thing that sits on your stomach, an extension of who it is you really want to be. Rather than just how much you are eating, other issues such as hormonal problems usually lay at the heart of expanding waistlines and these aren't often helped by conventional dieting. Small changes in your lifestyle such as an hour more sleep a night, eating real food, getting some fresh air and spending time with the family can all yield fantastic benefits to your waistline, and more importantly, your happiness.

Jake O'Gorman
Personal Trainer/Lifestyle coach.