Simple Ways to Ditch Your Dieting Cycle

Ditch the Diet
If you are reading this, the chances are you already know the pain of dieting. If you’re apple rather than pear-shaped, with a tendency to gather fat around the middle, you’ll know how difficult it is to keep slim.

Perhaps the word DIET conjures up images of hungry miserableness, fastidiously counting calories and repeated cycles of failure. If so read on, hope is here. The trick to sustaining a healthy weight is to change your body’s underlying biochemistry so that it gets the message that it is OK to let go of the fat it is choosing to store around the middle of your body.

A lifelong dependency on low fat diets might mean you’re consuming less saturated fat but most people today have unwittingly made themselves deficient in the good fats – essential fatty acids. As the name implies, these essential fatty acids (EFAs) are essential and you can only get them from your diet. Your body cannot manufacture them so you have to eat them.

The solution is to find a way of eating that tells your body all is well – and reassure it that it’s not under stress.

Try to stick to these simple rules:

1) Stop dieting

Stop dieting (yes, really!) and don’t count calories, otherwise your body will think there’s a famine and raises stress levels (which contribute to fat storage). If you miss breakfast completely your body immediately registers famine and hangs on tight to your ample stores of fat.

2) Eat little and often

Try to keep your blood sugar levels and energy levels stable by eating something every three hours. This will stop those rollercoaster highs and cravings for sweet foods. Because your blood sugar isn’t allowed to drop, your body will no longer have to ask you for a quick fix. As the blood sugar steadies, so will the mood swings. As your cortisol levels reduce you will automatically start to feel happier and calmer inside.

3) Don’t skip breakfast

If you miss breakfast completely your body immediately registers famine and hangs on tight to your ample stores of fat.

4) Eliminate all sugar and refined carbohydrates

Avoid any foods that make your blood sugar rise quickly because as blood sugar drops again, your body releases adrenaline and cortisol to stabilise it once more. Swap to whole grain alternatives.

5) Add protein to each meal

Protein slows down the rate the stomach processes food and slows the passage of the carbohydrates with it. As soon as you add a protein, (be it animal or vegetable) to a carbohydrate, you change it into a slower releasing carbohydrate, which is a very good thing.

6) Eat essential fats

A lifelong dependency on low fat diets might mean you’re consuming less saturated fat but most people today have unwittingly made themselves deficient in the good fats – essential fatty acids. As the name implies, these essential fatty acids (EFAs) are essential and you can only get them from your diet. Your body cannot manufacture them so you have to eat them.

Sorcha Molloy, Nutritional Therapist at Glenville Nutrition Clinic, Galway

Sorcha Molloy Nutritionist

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