To eat or not to eat after 6 pm? Is it worthwhile trying a detox dieting program? And how to lose weight in a week, ideally – in a day? Today we have prepared a trustworthy nutrition guide for you. And we start by exploring an amazing phenomena called “in diet we trust”. So, why do we keep falling for diets?
Today’s world can be cruel. Look at any lifestyle magazine and very soon you’ll see a contradiction. While half the articles encourage you to savor life, enjoy every moment and discover various sources of pleasure (one of which has always been food), the other half insists that if you want to succeed, be attractive and have relationships – you need to lose weight and look like a catwalk model. That’s the gist of most advertisements nowadays.
Motivated by this absurd and relentless misinformation, our inquisitive minds search for a solution. For some strange reason we believe this solution should be mysterious and difficult to find, and if we think we know the answer, the solution will confirm our superior intellect.
So, we ignore the simple truth about a healthy lifestyle, which is all about balanced nutrition and keeping fit with moderate exercise. We do not accept the “eat less, exercise more” solution. Instead we keep looking for a new magical diet, no matter how absurd it is.
It is time to become educated and learn some basics about healthy nutrition.
Why is it so hard to lose weight?
We are programmed by evolution to look for food, and not restrict ourselves from it. Food is essential for our survival, and as a species we succeed. For the first time in human history, the number of obese people now exceeds the number of starving people. That is why we tend to eat more, not less. It also explains why we need strong will-power to limit the amount of food we consume.
There is even a theory that our brain knows our optimum weight, and no matter how hard we try to lose weight, we will fail. So, weight loss is very difficult and in many cases almost impossible.
Watch this thought-provoking TED Talk “Why dieting doesn’t usually work” by Sandra Aamodt for more information about this concept.
Why crash diets do not work in the long-term?
Most people would agree that achieving sustainable results is the real challenge for those who need to lose weight. Why is this difficult? Why do crash diets fail? If you locked yourself in a room and had only juices or some other peculiar food for say 3 to 5 days, you will lose a few pounds.
After that you go to the next pizza party – and the cycle begins all over again. Even worse, your body starts saving the energy (fat) in order to survive your next “fight to the death” crash diet. That’s why all (we mean ALL) crash diets, detox programs and other extreme eating plans that rely on starvation simply do not work in the long-term perspective and may in fact cause more harm to the body than good.
Okay, what should you do to stay fit?
The ultimate truth about staying fit and healthy is pretty simple: diets don’t work but a lifestyle change does.
If you want to lose weight, just shift the focus and the change will come naturally over time. Change your lifestyle in three simple steps:
1. Use 80/20 principle. To improve your body image you need to manage your nutrition (80% of results) and exercising (20%). If you are super-fit and often run triathlons, you can eat whatever you want, and most likely you will still be thin. Otherwise, it is extremely difficult to lose weight with only exercise. Instead, focus on your nutrition.
There is one thing we want you to know about exercising: consistency is the key. So 30 minutes of moderate exercise (brisk walking, swimming, dancing) on a daily basis is better than a crazed one-hour gym session on a weekend.
2. Be aware of the most important factor in sustaining your weight – your surroundings. Your physical and social environment is THE most important factor to change if you want long-term success. This area is almost never addressed by dieters. We have already mentioned this in the truth or dare article, but it is certainly worth repeating – your surroundings matter.
If your close friend is obese, the chance that you will gain weight increases by 57%. Also, if your friend’s friend is obese – even this increases the chances you will gain weight by 20%. If the person next to you (a complete stranger) on a plane buys nuts – you are 67% more likely to buy some snack for yourself. Wives usually gain five pounds in their first year of marriage just because they want to impress their husbands with cooking, and this impacts their eating habits.
You may have noticed this yourself – it is much more difficult to resist the temptation to have another slice of pizza if you are with friends who love pizzas. So, manage your surroundings.
3. Be sceptical about diets and get educated. If you want to change your diet, visit your doctor or dietitian because they have met professional standards usually required by law. Nutritionists on the other hand are less regulated and may only have completed a short course on nutrition.
Always remember, dieting is about your health, and there are many health factors to keep in mind when planning your daily menu. For example, citrus is not recommended for people who have acid levels. Many other foods can adversely affect your health. So, be wise and consult your doctor or dietician regarding your diet.
And as a free bonus: How to lose weight in a day?
While it is impossible to lose more than a few pounds in a day, it is important to improve your body so that you look a lot slimmer:
first, avoid consumption of food that causes bloated stomach (fruits after 2 pm, spicy meals, salt etc).
second, improve your posture to straighten your back. Check out our Non-Yawn Inducing guide on How to Improve Posture and Posture Improving Workout video