One of the most common new year resolutions is to lose weight and to improve your health and vitality. It is a sign of how difficult that resolution is, given how many people repeat it year after year. After a month or so of trying to lose weight the ‘resolutioners’ usually fall off the bandwagon. The majority fail due to a few fundamental flaws in their approach. The most common weight loss diet mistakes are:
Over restriction of calories. Going on a 1200k cal diet, for most people, is too far below their minimum energy requirement each day, otherwise known as Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Eating for long periods of time under your BMR, results in two very sinister issues. Firstly, Your body will try to become more efficient and match your energy intake. It does this by limiting muscle building, reduced immune function, decreased thermoregulation, decreased reproductive capabilities. Secondly, it wreaks havoc with your hormones, sending signals to increase fat storage, decrease fat metabolism, increase skeletal muscle metabolism, and changing your bodies response to hunger and fullness hormones such as leptin. This results in weight loss, but not much fat mass reduction (Not what we want!)
Unsustainability. Trying to change too much, too soon, while not taking into account other lifestyle factors is a recipe for disaster. Too often we see people who have tried to change their food choices, food environment, where they shop, eating timing and behaviours, cut out all alcohol, never purchase takeaway foods, exercise >6 days/week, get 8 hours sleep, never touch chocolate again, and only drink 1 coffee/day. As you can see, that is a lot of change for someone who works full time, may have children, a social life and has many other commitments and responsibilities. Trying to keep that up over 6-9 months would be an impossible task for most.
Mindset. Too many of our clients have seen weight loss as a quick fix, restriction based, guilt driven process. They place foods in ‘good’ and ‘bad’ categories – they associate certain foods with guilt or shame – they see some foods as a punishment or a reward. They rush the weight loss. Being overweight is often due to several years of weight creep at around 3-4kgs/year. Losing weight also needs to be slow. It is about helping to heal and nourish the body.
There are many different dietary approaches that promote weight loss and improve health. Many people have an understanding of what foods are more nutritious and what they should be eating more of. The most successful long-term weight loss methods focus on behaviours and attitudes towards food, making small behavioural changes, taking into account your social life and your culture, focussing on nourishing the body with nutrients.
At Elevate, we focus on the scientific dietary approach to help with weight loss and improved vitality, combined with long term behavioural and mindset changes that are the foundation for your long-term health and well-being. Contact our Nutritionists or Dietitians today for an individual weight loss program.
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