All too often, we believe the latest ‘research’ on weight loss without checking to see the length and depth of the study. If, for example, it’s based on a trial period of a few months with only a small group of people, then its reliability is questionable. The credibility of the results can also depend on the source of the funding. The truth is that research is frequently paid for by the industry involved in the hope of promoting or ‘de-vilifying’ products.
Sorry, but when a diet promises miracles, you can bet that either it won’t be good for you in the long run – or it’ll be unsustainable and you’re going to put the weight back on! The only diet that really works is a ‘diet for life’. If you regularly eat a portion-controlled, well-balanced mix of foods, your weight will balance itself. The good news with ‘diets for life’ is that if you slip up, your diet isn’t ‘ruined’. Just get back on track and don’t hate yourself.
Scientists now know that appetite and fat storage are influenced by a complex balance of several hormones, some of which directly influence the brain. Just as we often ignore a phone call we don’t want to deal with, so we ignore the ‘Hey! You’re full, messages that the brain sends to the body. When we do that, the body responds by increasing the production of the hormones and the balance is disturbed. To make matters worse rich, fatty or sweet foods can actually interfere with some of these hormones so the signal to stop doesn’t get through and you just keep on eating… and eating. Insulin is one of the hormones that is thrown out of balance when the appetite hormones are out of synch, which is why obesity is closely linked with adult diabetes Type 2.
In the short term, exercise will make you feel hungrier as your body tries to maintain what the experts call ‘its body weight/fat mass set point’, which is to do with that complex balance of hormones and your brain that we just mentioned. It’s not a problem as long as you make an extra effort not to increase your food consumption with the wrong kind of foods. For example add more bulk to your meals with pulses or extra veg such as cauliflower, carrots and green beans. In the long term, resistance exercise will help you build muscle and this will eventually increase your resting metabolic rate meaning you will naturally burn more calories even when you’re relaxing! Making exercise part of your routine is the easiest way to achieve weight loss without having to give up on your favourite treats.
If you wait until you’re hungry to shop for food or think about what to cook, the chances are that you will sabotage your weight loss program by buying ready- made food, fat , sugar and salt laden cook-in sauces and maybe munching until dinner’s ready. Plan your menus for the week and cook or prepare in advance so you don’t have to wait long for dinner.