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Do Diets Work?

It’s time for a little controversy and to throw this question out once again.

Diets are big business, just look at brands such as Slim Fast, books sales of the latest restrictive diet and such foundations as Weight Watchers.

So why are we, as a nation getting fatter and fatter? Surely with a diet plan available at every turn we must be able to lose those unsightly pounds and keep them off.

Well as many people, especially women, find out to their expense most weight lost is fast replaced by that weight again, and a little more bonus weight to boot. This is as a result of cutting down on calories and not providing the body with the essential micro and macro-nutrients (food) it needs on a daily basis.

I had an article passed to me today by a good friend and agree with many of the points within, wholeheartedly. However it’s a little too simplistic as we as a nation are not as active as we once were and what the hell is a balanced diet anyway? Please read the article and come back to this afterwards, it was featured in todays Stylist Magazine which is a free handout fashion magazine in London….. CLICK HERE FOR WHY DIETS DON’T WORK

The content is good, and in my eyes health must always take precedence over losing weight (fat). If someone is uncomfortable with their body image for whatever reason and they can find a path to lose unhealthy excess adipose tissue (fat), while increasing their metabolism from eating the correct foods, in the correct quantities (not starving or restricting themselves as is rightly pointed out is a big no-no in the article) then this is surely a good thing.

If the person also feels energy that was thought lost years ago, sleeps better (or sleeps well for the first time in years), has improved moods, and feels optimistic again as people are mentioning how healthy and well they look then that’s great too.

Remember being overweight is a contributing factor to be unhealthy. It’s not just being a little bigger, it’s the addition stress placed on the body being above its healthy weight. This weight is different genetically for different people, but if someone is obese they are causing themselves damage on the inside and increasing the likelihood of diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, sleep apnea, and pretty well most other degenerative diseases that seem a sad part of life these days.

Maybe I have missed part of the point of the article, but if someone wants to lose weight to feel and be healthy again then is that a bad thing? If not then how should they go about it, without falling prey to all these diets mentioned?

Yes most diets are a pathway to failure and dissolution. I hate the stigma attached to the word diet for this reason as someones diet should really relate to their healthy nutritional program that should also be supported by occasional exercise and sensible lifestyle choices.

Many people ‘diet’ wrongly without exercising and then wonder why they had no progress.

The key to success, which is partly mentioned in the article by a cardiologist and Dr that  knows what he is talking about when it comes to nutrition (sadly many doctors lack nutritional knowledge, and this lack of knowledge is passed down to those they treat) is to eat whole, real foods in the correct amounts. Avoid processed foods and sugary foods and drinks.

If we look at how obesity has taken hold over the wealthy nations of this World (and now many of the so-called poorer ones too), we can link part of the rise to the advent of processed foods with a drastic rise taking place when glucose-fructose syrup (called high fructose corn syrup in the States) was engineered en masses from corn in the 70’s and made a mainstay in many products due to being cheap to produce and being very sweet (so less needed to get the same sweetness as sugar). It plays with the way the body desires and craves certain foods and is bad news. Fructose gets shuttled to the liver faster than sucrose (traditional sugar) does and if we don’t need it as energy then it gets stored as fat.

This rise in obesity can also be linked to the advert of trans-fats and hydrogenated fats which thankfully some companies are now taking out of their products, such as M&S. Read labels, make it a habit.

Low fat foods still trick so many people into thinking they are healthy. Look at the ingredients (again), if they top ingredients are sugar, or fructose, or molasses, or whatever sugary product and the Carbohydrates which sugars are un-proportionally high compared to the other nutrients such as protein and good fats then avoid, avoid, avoid.

I also saw in todays Metro that the UK is Europe’s third laziest country with 63% of adults spending less than 150 mins a week on the move. Does this connect to Obesity rates? Of course it does.

The results we get at Ultimate City Fitness are based on getting people to eat what they evolved to eat, on the whole. In the first few weeks we get people to leave out certain foods so they can reprogram to eat as they are meant to, with adequate essential (called essential as if we don’t get enough we will die or suffer far from optimum health) fats and amino acids (proteins), with lots of good quality veg, and making sure there is balance by eating alkalising foods  and cutting down on acidic ones (which the Western diet is fat too full of). We cut out foods that people have possibly never had a break from in their whole lives!

It’s also about drinking the right drinks, and being consistent. It’s about reducing stress.

Once two weeks are up, then it’s time to reintroduce other healthy foods again and be sensible with eating. Many clients note that cravings for old ‘unhealthy’ foods and snacks disappear, and they enjoy eating in this new, natural way. It’s great to see the changes for the positive in people and many lose fat as a result due to getting back to the size they should be naturally. It’s not natural to be obese, on the whole.

Yes once this balance is addressed and people eat well, then go out and have treats once in a while, or a night out here and there. It’s just that when the body is reconditioned to be running as it should, the owner of that body feels so much better without those things and ‘lives’ that much better without them. Eat the chips once in while, your body can deal with them but it does not see them as adequate energy so don’t make too much of a habit of it.

As nutritionist Michael Colgan states;

“If you don’t look after your body, then where are you going to live”

Think about what you put in your body, respect it and it will respect you back. Eat well, drink well, exercise with intelligence and enjoy life. If you feel better thrown into the mix, then all the better…..

Oh and most diets don’t work 😉



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