- To lose weight permanently the term diet has to mean a habitual way of eating and most definitely not a way of eating to promote weightloss. The way of eating suits you, but will be different to what you are doing now. It will have the three major diet components: protein, fat and carbs; it is a healthy diet. And the ratios of these components will probably change with the seasons.
- Serious weightloss has to have a compelling need behind it. This will not be vanity: it is frequently driven by health needs – finally a doctor makes it clear that losing weight and keeping it off will save your life. But there can be other compelling reasons – eg Daniel Craig needs to have the body suitable to play James Bond and earn his new few millions; racing drivers/jockeys/pilots need to be slim for their sport, even if it is not professional. Squeezing a capacious belly into a tiny seat is not comfortable and bothers the brain, so concentration is down.
- You should be able to lose weight without relying on cardio. Cardio is terrifically good for you! And it does help weightloss, but is not the main plank. The main plank is sorting out what you need to eat every single meal that makes you feel satisfied and you come to really enjoy eating like this. Pizzas, burgers and buns make you feel horrible a few hours after eating them.
What a highly advanced personal trainer like me can help with is rebooting the brain so it slowly loses the need to eat the stuff that is making you fat. It does take a little while, and it certainly involves trial and error; an experienced trainer like me helps you work out why it went wrong – what happened before what happened happened. And then you yourself can make a plan that will work for you. Losing weight is a heartfelt, loving experience – explore how to really do it and the weightloss is a nice bonus.
The problems with going on a diet are twofold: we can’t stick to it, or, we can stick to it and reach our target weight – woo hoo – then stop eating like that and return to our original weight, plus a bit more for safety.
As a personal trainer, I never promise weightloss. With a bit of concentration, most can lose weight, but for most that fat has a real boomerang quality to it, so one year on, next January, we have to do it all again.
Permanent weightloss is what is really wanted, and were that easy, we would all be as slim as we’d like.
There are two vital keys to losing weight forever:have a compelling need to get slimmer. The other one is to accept that the diet never, ever ends, except on Christmas day and one’s own birthday.
The compelling need is just that – the need to maintain a reasonable weight is stronger than the need to scoff the remaining mince pies rather than let them go to waste.
Frequently that need comes from a health scare; losing weight and regaining lost health and vitality is now far more important than getting into smaller sizes and looking good; losing weight and living longer, healthier so we can help enjoy our grandchildren is more important than sliding into skinny jeans. Which means becoming something of a clothes horse is a bonus rather than the goal.
But the compelling need can be anything: for many film and telly actors, the need to stay slim means earning the next few millions, as Daniel Craig will attest. Turn up for the next job a complete lard arse and maybe someone else lands the gig – and the money.
Maybe the need comes from taking up a sport like racing cars or flying planes where owning a capacious gut makes sitting in those tiny seats very uncomfortable.
Whatever it is, it is very powerful.
Then there is the vexed question of which diet to choose if it is to be long term – so meaning of the word is actually what kinds of food we eat habitually rather than what foods we restrict to lose weight.
And so the long term way of eating has to be balanced, which means it has protein, fat and carbohydrate. If the daily diet has already included the three main parts, then it can really help to go on a two week bootcamp of plenty of protein, don’t be mean with the fat and plenty of overground vegetables. The restriction lies in cutting out sugar and starch – so nothing sweet and preferably no fruit either and no potatoes/rice/pasta/bread and so on. This jump starts weight loss and helps change habitual eating patterns, so after the two weeks, the strictness relaxes a bit and each individual has to work out the ratios of the big three for themselves with the exception that it is very difficult to overeat overground veggies like cabbage, lettuce, celery, courgettes and so on.