Corinne Austin | Personal Training

The Truth about Diets and Weight Loss

The plain and honest truth is that diets don’t work. When you are on the ‘diet’ and following through with the rules and restrictions of the ‘diet’ it may seem you work – the weight may fall off, your body shape may change, and you may feel generally better. However, one year after you’ve completed the diet you may well be almost back to where you began. The sustainability of carrying on a diet, and the ability to maintain the weight loss that was a result of any such diet, is very poor indeed.

The diet and weight-loss industry is huge. Each and every organisation that promotes or sells some form of weight-loss ‘diet’ or product seems to have a never-ending sum of money to spend on the advertisement of such products. And because we see and hear about them all the time, we get tricked into thinking they are good for us. Not just that, but we see top celebrities who have also had great results on that diet and we instantly get the thought circulating in our head that that ‘diet’ must be the absolute best solution for us. In all honesty, we couldn’t be further from the truth.

Please hear me when I say ‘diets’ just simply don’t work. They promote a restriction (or often complete eradication) of the foods we enjoy, and they are often a way of eating that is not sustainable and not healthy for the optimal functioning of our bodies.

So you’re probably asking“If I want sustainable and healthy weight loss what should I do?”

The best thing you can do for sustainable and healthy weight loss is to gradually change your lifestyle, exercise and nutrition habits. This essentially means implementing small, step-by-step changes that you know you can sustain. Initially this is a tricky thing to tackle – lifestyle habits are developed young and deeply engrained by adulthood. But, in order for habit change to be permanent, the process of change must be comfortable, gradual, and personally enjoyable for the individual.

Employ the ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ approach, and start with one or two small changes (for instance, if you’re not normally a breakfast eater, try to have a small breakfast on five out of seven days; or try to include a protein food at every meal). Once you feel you’re on top of the first few changes, and they feel cemented into your daily routine as new long-term habits, only then should you add a few more little changes (for instance, reduce post-dinner snacking to just one or two nights each week; or have a glass or wine only on weekend nights). You will probably find along the way that some changes don’t work for you. It’s important in this case to not sweat the small stuff – learn from the experience, note that that particular change was not sustainable for you, and replace it with something else. There are a huge number of small but effective lifestyle changes that you have the power to implement into your life whilst still being able to enjoy life. It sounds cliché, but it simply can be as easy as everything in moderation.

And finally, as a general rule, if you are seeking weight loss, then the major player is the nutritional side of your lifestyle. But you should also be doing a moderate amount of weight or resistance training (i.e. gym sessions, gym classes, bootcamp sessions, pilates and yoga), as well as a small amount of cardiovascular exercise (i.e. walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, boxing).

We are all capable of lifestyle changes that encourage healthier living. It will be a gradual process, but it will be an entirely satisfying process. If you’re unsure where to start, there are many health professionals out there who would be willing to help you. Give one of us a call – the hardest step is the first step. But it’s one you won’t regret.

For comments email