Although a certain level of willpower is vital ANY dieter will tell you that this alone is not enough. How many times have you begun a diet with super human levels of willpower and drive, only to find this dwindling 2 months in, or by the end of a long, stressful day and then find yourself face-planting into a chocolate fudge cake? Losing willpower is a sure-fire way to ditch a diet and in our day-to-day lives it is likely to be called upon a lot – from resisting the colourful array of chocolate and sweets at petrol station tills or the draw of the sofa after a hard day at work. Building small changes that fit into your life can help to keep motivation high though. Try planning and pre-preparing meals to avoid hunger pangs that increase feelings of temptation or have a workout buddy to be accountable to, so you stay active.
The difference exercise can make to weight loss depends on many factors, such as individual response to exercise, type of exercise (strength, cardio etc) and duration of workouts. It’s commonly thought that an ‘exercise regime’ means hitting the gym for hours at a time, 6 days a week to shift pounds. But there is increasing evidence that shorter, high intensity interval training (HIIT) or even moderate to low intensity strength training can be just as beneficial and prevent burnout and boredom. Including strength training alongside moderate levels of cardio-focused activity (walking, cycling, swimming etc) can help to maintain muscle mass during weight loss and so keep metabolic rate high – meaning you won’t have to reduce your calorie intake by as much. And remember that although some people will find exercise helps contribute to their weight loss more than others, this shouldn’t discourage anyone from exercising. The health benefits associated with exercise (independent of weight loss) mean that everyone (regardless of age, gender or lifestyle) can improve their health by increasing their activity levels!
Although fat has historically been touted as the dieter’s #1 enemy this all depends on how much fat is being eaten and what type of fat this is. Although fat is higher in calories than both protein and carbohydrates having the right amount, so we aren’t consuming overall too much energy, may help us to maintain a healthy weight. There are also certain fats that our body absolutely needs for overall health. Cutting down saturated fat (e.g. fats found in butter, coconut oil, meat) and increasing mono- and polyunsaturated fats (e.g. oily fish, flaxseed, nuts, avocado) can provide our body with what it needs and potentially help reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and inflammatory disorders.
How many times have we all been told to just ‘eat less and move more’? If dieting was that simple there wouldn’t be so many different ones around! There are many factors that determine why and what we choose to eat. When trying to eat healthier or lose weight it’s essential to take into account these other lifestyle factors such as sleep, stress and emotional wellbeing. Have you ever had a less than adequate amount of sleep and found yourself inexplicably drawn to the biscuit tin the next day? When our body isn’t well rested it craves sugary foods for an instant energy pick-me-up and increases feelings of hunger. It’s so important to take a look at all aspects of your life and introduce practices to really take care of your body. It can be as simple as taking some time out for yourself every day to do something you love like reading a book or meditating and getting enough sleep for your body – these really can make all the difference!
This is absolutely not the case, in fact hunger means you are much, much more likely to give up a healthy diet completely! Going to bed with your stomach growling does nothing for your willpower or your mental wellbeing, so even on a weight loss diet it is essential to make sure you don’t get overly hungry. Regular pre-planned meals and snacks can prevent hunger taking you by surprise and making you reach for whatever easily accessible food happens to be nearby. Including high protein foods in all meals and snacks can also help keep you fuller for longer and stave off hunger pangs! Find out more about how Temple Clinic can help you with your weight loss and health goals.