Why I Hate Diets

Apologies in advance for today’s little rant.

I know I’ve touched upon it in the past but I want to really get it off my chest.

I hate short term unsustainable diets.

In most cases they’re a waste of time.

I was training this morning with a client, she’s been doing great with her exercise but like most people has found sticking to the nutritional side of things a bit more difficult. She’s going away in a couple of weeks so understandably wants to be looking in the best possible shape.

So a friend has recommended a diet for her to give a go.

The diet means that’s all she can eat is meat, fish, eggs, onion, a little bit of yoghurt and .. ye that’s it.

In training this morning she could only do half of the session because she felt dizzy and light headed and compared to the training we have been doing recently it was one of the easier sessions.

I know full well that we over rely and over consume carbohydrates but it is still an important food source and an extremely importnat source of energy. The diet has cut out wheat and gluten which is great, no bread, pasta, cereal and things like that but I think my client struggled this morning due to the fact she had gone from eating all of those things to cutting them out immediately and then attempting to exercise at a high intensity.

In this diets defence after 10 days it introduces fruits and vegetables so it is like a paleo diet basically which is good and I would recommend. So there are a lot worse fad diets out there.

But I have no doubt that my client felt dizzy and light headed because of this extreme diet she has been on, what good is weight loss when you’re stuck in bed all day because you’ve got no energy to get up and do anything?

Another one my client told me about the other day was something on the lines of just juice on one day, eat what you like the next day, protein shakes the day after and I can’t remember the rest. But seriously is that a natural diet? Are you going to stick to that? Once the weight comes off and you give up with the diet it’s going to go back on.

What my client’s diet does is force her to cut out probably 80% of the foods she eats and not replace them with anything. Yes if she keeps it up she will lose weight, a load of water a bit of fat and some much needed muscle to go with it. It’s not healthy and it’s not sustainable.

A good diet should be a combination of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, completely cut one of these out and you’ve left a void.

I’m not blaming the people who try these diets, they’re just trying to do what is right and shift a few pounds.

I blame magazines, TV, the media and authors of these quick diets. I also blame companies like Herbalife and Juice Plus for getting people to sell their products to get people to lose weight when most of the people selling them can’t even lose weight themselves or know much about nutrition either.

The best diet is one which doesn’t feel like hard work.

Here’s a normal eating plan for me on a training day:
Breakfast – Porridge with cinnamon, coconut and nuts
Lunch – Tuna, green beans, broccoli
Dinner – Chicken breast, sweet potato mash, onion and mixed veg
Snacks (choice of) – Dried fruit & nuts, fruit, rice cake with peanut butter/honey, organic yoghurt with berries, dark chocolate

What’s so hard about that?

Limited time spent cooking. It’s not rabbit food, its filling, I’m eating loads and with the right herbs/spices and sauces the meals are really tasty.

If most people stuck to a similar eating plan of just concentrating on natural healthy foods they would get to their ideal shape and maintain it. Yes it’s going to take a lot longer to lose weight than these stupid diets but at least it’ll stay off if you stick to it, you’ll have energy and you can enjoy your food.

I don’t know about you but I’d rather take a few months eating healthily and getting closer to my target weight and then maintain it forever than be skinny for 1/4 of the year and fat and unhappy for 3/4s!

This rant hasn’t even included the damage that these crash diets can do to your health.

I read the other day that for every 10 pounds you lose 2 will be from exercise and 8 will be from your diet. This shows how important your eating habits are to the way you look and feel.

If you have no interest in watching what you eat that’s fine, you probably won’t be reading this if this is you, if it is I think you’re probably on the wrong website!

But for those of you who are trying to make a few little positive changes to your life and have tried every diet under the sun please please just give up on them and concentrate on cutting out the crap foods and replacing them with good foods. Be patient with the weight loss but I can guarantee you will soon start to see some progress.

I think I’ll leave it there for today. Hopefully I haven’t offended anyone who has tried any of these diets, you aren’t the only one, I’m just trying to help people get to where they want to be in the healthiest possible way.

Jamie ‘Eat Natural’ Stedman

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