It always amazes me just how many different diets I come across. They are in magazines and newspapers, on websites, in books… the UK diet market is worth over £2 billion.
The problem is that they all tell us something different! From low carb to low fat, cutting calories or just cutting certain food groups, exercising more, exercising differently, changing the meal timings or changing the foods you eat…. they all tell us conflicting things…
No wonder it’s so incredibly difficult to figure out what’s right and what really works!
The good news is that there are 3 things that ALL dietary theories have in common so we can be pretty rest assured that this is the truth.
And if you were to implement just these 3 things then you would likely see a marked difference in weight, energy or overall health.
So what are these 3 things?
- Remove added sugar
Most people are aware that they shouldn’t be eating so much sugar, in fact no sugar at all is the ideal. Sugar causes issues with inflammation, energy levels, mood, fat storage and weight gain and is linked to many more serious health conditions. Not one dietary theory would advocate sugar because it has been proven that it has a negative effect on our bodies.
When you eat foods that contain a high level of sugar (aim for below 5.5g of carbs that sugar per 100g) your body has to work overtime which can lower your immune system and causes a spike in blood sugar levels which is what gives you that burst of energy or wakefulness for about 20 minutes.
What goes up must come down and then you experience that ‘sugar crash’ where your blood sugar drops very low leaving you feeling tired and grumpy and often feeling guilty as to why you consumed it in the first place.
Now this doesn’t include natural sugars in case you were getting confused. Fruit is ok (unless you have any conditions such as diabetes where this needs to be controlled) and natural sugars are ok too such as lactose found in dairy.
If you have a sweet tooth and thinking this is easier said than done then you can find some excellent healthy alternative sweet treats recipes out there (such as those in Abby’s Kitchen HERE). The best source of natural sweetener is stevia – a plant based sugar alternative that doesn’t have any effect on your blood sugar levels and contains no calories – win win!
Artificial sweeteners, even if they are calorie free, are not any better either I’m afraid. The latest research shows that they too stimulate the release of insulin into your blood, like sugar does, which can cause cravings, energy dips and fat storage.
The good news is that you can change your preference for sweet food though. We weren’t born with a desire to eat mountains of chocolate! We have learned this through repeated exposure to sugary foods. By reducing and cutting out sugary foods for a number of weeks, our palette can reset itself and you are likely to find that suddenly theses same foods taste awfully sweet and don’t have the same lure as they used to.
2. Cut out processed foods
Like sugar, processed foods have no nutritional value and are the biggest culprit of weight gain, lack of energy and feeling unhealthy. Processed foods don’t provide us with any benefits except empty, convenient calories. Instead of giving us the vital nutrients and vitamins we need, they are normally high in calories, high in sugar and will end up making us feel lethargic and unsatisfied. When our body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs from a meal this is when we get hungry again quickly as our body craves the nutrients it missed.
So what is a processed food? This is pretty much anything that comes in a packet or wrapper. Instead focus on finding foods in their most natural state and if it does have an ingredients label – focus on foods with 5 ingredients or less.
3. Drink water instead of soft drinks
We all know we should be drinking lots of water but how many people do it on a consistent basis? Water is literally the lifeblood of our body. We are made up of about 70% water and our brains 90%. We need it to survive.
Water carries all the nutrients we consume around our body, it helps detox our bodies by flushing out the toxins we don’t need giving us clearer skin, warding off headaches and making us more alert. As if that wasn’t enough it also gives us energy, increases our immunity, helps improve our digestion and most importantly, where most people are concerned, helps with weight loss! It removes the by-products of fat, it helps suppress our appetite plus often what we think is hunger is thirst. Lastly it has zero calories – hurrah!!
On the opposite side, most soft drinks contain either sugar or artificial sweeteners so have all the issues described above with drinking sugary drinks.
Keep a bottle with you at all times, buy a new one that you like and makes you happy, then keep refilling it. You might need a few more loo breaks to start off with but your body will soon adjust!
So the good news is that just by making these 3 changes to your diet you can see results and you know that it’s not just some fad that’s going to change in a few weeks time – every single theory agrees on this!
Give it a try for a few weeks and see what differences you notice in your weight, your energy and your overall health- what have you got to lose?
Don’t know where to get started? Grab a free copy of my Happy Healthy Waistline Starter Kit HERE.
If you are ready to start your own weight loss or healthy journey, my programmes will definitely help you achieve your goals! Click HERE to read about The 4 Hour Fullness Formula and how it can help you reach your goals from the comfort of your own home and in your own time. And please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions at all.