First of all I’d say don’t diet. Have always said that! But that said I do know and can’t wish away (even if I want to) the ground reality. Weight loss today is one of the most Googled things, followed closely by fad diets.
And unfortunately most of the information out there, within easy access for everyone, is half baked, incorrect, and worse news of all is that it focuses on drastic, weird sounding fad diets. Unfortunately for us we live in times of ‘quick fixes’ for everything, and thus for weight loss too these silly, ineffective fixes reign supreme - simply because they promise to deliver big on weight loss with least effort. If you ask me this sentence itself is incongruous.
Trust me, following fad diets has never given anyone ‘lasting’ weight loss, and never will. These are just designed to feed your get-thin-quick mindset and actually deliver zilch. So, stop falling prey to these dramatic and drastic ‘quick fixes’.
Why Don’t They Work?
Fad diets do not and cannot work for the simple reason that all of them restrict certain food groups and deliver weight loss (seemingly) by depriving the body of adequate calories and nutrition for a short period of time. Don’t fall for this. Because the fact is that fad diets are notorious for actually causing weight gain: when the body feels deprived and banned foods are reintroduced, our bodies will regain more weight than they had lost, as if in fear of another starvation or restriction.
10 Diet Rules That Work!
Below are the diet rules that I believe work (and only these do!), so pay heed:
The best way to lose weight is actually very simple: eat less and get active. This is the only equation that works: eat fewer calories + increase activity = weight loss.
- Don’t go on a diet. Like I write in my book ‘Don’t Diet: 50 Habits of Thin People’, just throw the word dieting out of the window, the highest one you can find, and see it break into smithereens. Instead identify and then drop the wrong habits one by one, and form new healthier habits - again one habit at a time.
- Opt for a diet that seems effortless to you, that you can almost automate and one that can become a coherent part of your lifestyle. A diet plan that you can’t follow seamlessly (or stress about all the time) is as good as kaput from the word go.
- Don’t go by hearsay. Follow common sense and only believe information that comes from a professional with recognised medicinal and nutrition qualifications, and which agree with your sense of logic and common sense. If it sounds crazy, then it probably is. Listen to your gut feeling; it already knows what’s good for you.
- You have to be 100 percent convinced about the diet you decide to follow; halfhearted attempts are bound to fail and land you in deeper trouble eventually (read: heavier than before).
- The diet must work out practically for ‘your’ situation, requirements and circumstances. You are a distinct individual with a certain lifestyle, work pattern, personality type, body needs and hunger time.
- Take up a diet only if it agrees with you enough for you to be able to follow it long term.
- Don’t become a sheep and just follow the herd. Don’t just try out the latest hot fad diets just because people are talking about it. It is after all ‘your’ health we are talking about here.
- Focus on nutrition first, the calories will take care of themselves. When you plate something that is good for you (nutritionally), you automatically eat foods that are lower in calories, so lose weight and gain health, both.
- Finally, don’t snub traditional wisdom. Our grandmothers somehow already knew (though logic and common sense) what modern science is only now discovering.
(The writer is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don't Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico) and Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa).)
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