Cut, count, constrict and curb. What do you eat at the end of it?
Many of us are watching what we eat in the lead up to ‘bikini season’. When thinking about this what crosses our minds? Cut out the carbs? Stop eating junk food and minimize calorie intake? Even though it is engrained in to a lot of us from a young age to eat a balanced diet, it’s amazing how this is lost when we get older and more focused on appearance.
Consistently there are new fad diets, ‘weight loss tricks’ and pop ups on the internet warning us of ‘top 10 foods to cut out to lose fat’. Every time I see it I get a little more frustrated. I once saw an advert warning women not to eat bananas in order to cut stomach fat! I was baffled, bananas are packed full of nutrition and fibre and fit perfectly well in to a healthy diet.
However don’t think that I am mocking anyone who has tried these things! I have had my own shady past with food and diets so I have a lot of experience in all the fad weight loss tricks and what they do to your body.
Often the understanding many people have of how to lose weight is through cutting certain foods out. Yes this is true to a degree; stop eating McDonalds Big Macs and having a takeaways so often but if often goes beyond that. People decide to cut out foods that interact with others. So you may be deficient in one nutrient, but then because this works to absorb other nutrients you end up deficient in those too.
Let’s look at an example, the obsession with skimmed milk! Many people seem to think it is the ‘healthy option’ because it’s low in fat, but full fat milk is only around 4% fat in the first place. When you take away the (small amount!) of fat, you also take away the fat soluble vitamins; A, D, E and K. So that calcium that you think you’re getting from skimmed milk can’t be used properly because it works with vitamin D – a fat soluble vitamin! You need to have healthy fat in your diet in order for other minerals to be absorbed and used. You are better off having ‘whole’ foods rather than low fat this and skinny that.
If you eat natural foods, regardless of how fattening you deem them to be, you will not balloon! Of course, as with anything else, everything in moderation. I am not saying go and eat half a block of butter with your breakfast but it is better to have naturally occurring fats that the replacement when they take them out.
Many of the ‘low fat’ products you can buy are packed with sugar as a replacement which is actually a lot worse for you! High sugar intake can lead to peaks and troughs in blood sugar levels, and if not used is stored by the body. As well as this, sugar is ‘empty’ calories in the sense you get little to no nutritional value from it as it is often refined sugars that are used.
In my experience the best bet is genuinely to have a balanced diet. You don’t need to cut out all carbs, dairy, fats or anything else! If you eat a balanced healthy diet and exercise regularly then your weight will take care of itself. Believe me, I’m talking from my own experience here!