OK, so here's a scenario;
You are out all morning and very busy, its lunch time and your stomach is growling at you and you are feeling a bit wired and shaky and VERY grumpy. You need some food but don't have any with you. You are trying to eat much more healthily and have been doing pretty well, you had some belvita biscuits for breakfast, all the adverts say they are very healthy and keep you going all morning but you have reached the end of your patience with being hungry. You stop at a garage and look for something healthy but there are just rows of sandwiches, crisps, chocolate bars and some amazing looking cookies and doughnuts. You buy a sandwich, it looks healthy as its made with brown bread and has some salad in it and you get some of the special low calorie crisps, only 99 calories per pack. You avoid the cakes and feel virtuous because you bought a cereal bar instead. You get back in the car and eat it all very quickly as you are so hungry. By 4pm you are hungry and again and your hands are shaking and you've got a headache. Unfortunately you are in the car and have nothing to eat. By the time you get home you head straight for the fridge, you were going to make something healthy but you can't be bothered and need to eat right now so you open a big bag of 'lower fat' crisps and a dip and munch your way through those while you are buzzing about doing chores. As you've eaten those you don't want any dinner but just before bed are feeling peckish again so you have another 'healthy' diet cereal bar and crash out in bed exhausted.
So what is wrong with this scenario? Why are your weight loss efforts not working? You think you are making much more healthy choices and eating special low fat diet foods but you are still struggling with your weight and quite frankly are feeling quite tired and drained - not what you were expecting.
This is how many people approach weight loss. The food industry has created all sorts of special 'diet' foods that purport to fill you up and keep you full, release energy slowly and give you all the nourishment you need with synthetic added vitamins and minerals. You are actually eating the worst possible diet for health and weight loss; what your body needs is real food that we were designed to eat and that will nourish us and help us maintain a healthy weight for us.
Here is another scenario;
You make yourself a 2 or 3 egg omelette in the morning cooked in healthy fat like coconut oil and with mushrooms, tomatoes and in fact anything you have hanging round in the fridge. Sounds time consuming but actually takes minutes. You are busy all morning but you don't get the growling hunger like you do when you eat cereal or toast. You feel hungry by lunchtime but you have brought a large salad with you with a tin of tuna, an avocado and some olive oil dressing. You eat this and feel satisfied. Mid afternoon you are feeling a little peckish so you have a handful of mixed raw nuts that you keep in a pot and take everywhere with you. Good job you do as the trains are delayed and you are hungry at the station, you nibble on a few more nuts to keep you going until you get home. When you get home you griddle a steak, wilt some spinach and cook some mushrooms in butter and have with some sweet potato wedges you have in the fridge from yesterday (you always cook more than you need and put some in the fridge for the next day). It only takes ten minutes and you feel satisfied and all the food you have eaten today will support your health and weight loss goals.
Moral of the story - ditch the diet foods and processed foods marketed as health foods and eat real food! Your body will be nourished, satisfied and happy so cutting cravings and binges that sabotage your long term goals.
Go on, give it a try! What do you have to lose. If you want help transitioning to a new way of eating that will improve your health and wellbeing contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
PS See my next post for an explanation of why the second scenario will help you achieve your long term health and weight loss goals and why the first will keep you stuck on the diet treadmill forever.