How to NOT diet in 10 steps

“I need to lose weight, i am going on a diet from Monday”

“OMG! I have a wedding coming up, i need to lose weight, i am going on a diet tomorrow”

“Summer is here, gotta fit into that bikini, no more rice or bread for me. I will stick to that cabbage soup”

At some point in our lives we have all heard the above phrases, heck, we may have even said them ourselves! Monday never really came or even if it did, it didn’t stick around for long, that cabbage soup?..well it tasted good for a few days but then came out all the cakes, pizza and the oh so delicious ice cream..all in one sitting. And that wedding? well that wedding came and went and so did the kilos.

Before i proceed, let me explain what i mean by DIET as it’s meaning could be confusing.

DIET = “a special course of food to which a person restricts themselves, either to lose weight or for medical reasons “.

Now, i am not talking about being on a diet for medical reasons, that’s not what we are discussing today. I am referring to restricting food, foods that you love just to drop that number on the scale.

So here is the thing… diets DO NOT WORK! sure, they may work for a day or two, or a week, heck even for a month but they don’t work long term. Why? well, i won’t get into the technicalities but in short.. well…we have brains, because…psychology. Your brain will LITERALLY fight you to stop dieting. Have you ever told yourself you are going on a diet and at that moment is when you want to consume everything you are not suppose to? that muffin suddenly smells even better than before, that doubly rich chocolate cake somehow looks richer than usual and that cookie? well that cookie is screaming your name.

The story usually goes like this:

Yusra wants to lose weight -> Yusra decides to go on a restrictive diet -> Yusra is happy she lost 3 kilos in one week because she stopped all carbs -> Yusra is thinking this diet is AMAZING -> Yusra misses her usual food -> mhh maybe this diet isn’t so great, she is bored -> Yusra has enough and binge eats everything that comes her way -> Yusra regains the 3 kilos and then some -> Yusra gets frustrated and says THIS diet doesn’t work and attempts to look for another 😕

so what happened there?

Well Yusra stopped eating “Carbs” and in one week she lost 3 kilos, hmm..she didn’t lose fat kilos, all she lost is water weight. You see, for every gram of Carb you consume, you retain 3g of water, so when you stop all carbs, you also stop storing water..this is what’s known as “water weight”. So she is happy she lost 3 kilos and carries on with the diet, but now she starts to get weak, moody, frustrated, misses her usual meals. Of course she is weak, carbs are our MAIN fuel source (yes yes, the Keto team may want to debate here but facts are facts!) and when you stop Carbs fully, where are you getting the energy from? you don’t. Now, Yusra is tired, frustrated and decides to say “Screw this diet, i am done” and starts consuming everything that’s unhealthy coming her way. Diet is over and hops onto another diet and sadly, the cycle continues.

Again, DIETS DO NOT WORK!! want to stick to those fat loss goals and NOT deprive yourself in the process? keep reading!

  1. STOP stressing about losing weight. When you stress about losing weight, when all you think about is losing weight, it becomes even harder to lose weight because your stress hormones fight against you and yes you guessed it, you start comfort eating and overeating, which is NOT what you want when trying to shed some fat.
  2. STOP weighing yourself every hour of the day. This does not help! Your weight can fluctuate 2-4 lbs within 24 hours! it’s down to so many other things than just body fat. So stop weighing yourself daily. Every 6-8 weeks is a good time to get an idea of how you’re doing but then again, the scale isn’t the best indicator to measure fat loss progress. The whole muscle mass vs fat weight scenario..a topic for another time.
  3. DON’T cut out food groups. You like rice? have your rice, you like bread? have your bread! what you do want to do is control your portion size. It’s about sticking to the foods you love but CONTROLLING how you COOK them and how you CONSUME them. Starchy carbs are best metabolized when paired with fiber (think veggies) and protein. So have your rice but have lots of veggies with it and some grilled protein, this will leave you fuller for longer and helps control the rice portion size.
  4. THINK QUANTITY!!!! High Calorie dense foods vs Low Calorie nutrient dense foods. The latter wins! when you are trying to lose fat, the last thing you want is to eat and still feel hungry afterwards. What you want to do is eat foods that are low in calories but very nutritious and filling! this way, you can eat as much of it as you want without going over your calorie limit and staying fuller for longer.
  5. Fruit juice vs fruits?..fruits! every time! juices have more sugar than their fruit counterparts. Think of it this way, a glass of orange juice is squeezed from 4-5 oranges..you wouldn’t sit down to eat 4-5 oranges in one sitting would you? also the fiber leaves you fuller.
  6. WATER! WATER! WATER! A lot of times we think we are hungry but in fact we are just thirsty. Dehydration is the culprit of so many things including mistaken hunger, tiredness, moodiness etc. Stay hydrated! You want to consume at least half an ounce or an ounce of water for each pound you weigh and some extra if you are very active. Example if you weigh 100 lbs, you want to consume between 50 oz – 100 oz of water daily depending on your activity levels.
  7. This is the most IMPORTANT one, ORGANISED EATING! know 24 hrs before what you are going to have for lunch, breakfast, dinner, snack the next day. When you know what you are going to consume, the chances of you grabbing whatever that’s in front of you when you are hungry is slim. It’s all about planning. Going out with friends for dinner? no problem, keep your breakfast healthy, lunch healthy, snack healthy and that little dinner indulgence won’t affect your journey one bit!!
  8. STOP buying junk! You feel for a chocolate cake, plan to go buy just the one piece and not the whole cake. When the things you are trying to limit aren’t in front of you, the likeliness Of you going out and getting them is slim. By the time you go out, you’d have changed your mind about eating it. Out of sight, out of mind!
  9. EAT SLOW!!! DON’t rush through your food. It takes our brain approximately 20 mins to register that we are full. So the slower you eat, the more time you give your brain to communicate with those satiety hormones in your gut telling it that “oi, i am full now, slow down”.
  10. EXERCISE! EXERCISE! EXERCISE!! when you exercise, you somehow automatically will want to eat healthier and also you will burn a lot more calories. This will help you get to that goal a lot faster! plus, exercising does all these other amazing things to you, both physically and mentally 🙂

Fat loss is simple, yes hard to follow but simple. It’s mostly all down to CALORIES IN Vs CALORIES OUT!

If you consume more than you burn = Weight GAIN

If you consume less than you burn = Weight LOSS

If you consume as much as you burn = Weight MAINTENANCE

You want to lose fat? organise your meals, plan them, learn how to balance what you’re consuming so as to stay within your calorie limit and please please STOP dieting and stop depriving yourselves of the foods you love. Work around them, know what to consume around those foods so as to stick to your calorie intake.

BALANCED NUTRITION + EXERCISE = RESULTS..

EVERY TIME!!!!

Till next time xx

Yusra

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