Now (ie, any time between now and Spring) is not the time to go on a diet.
I know how much you want to.
You’ve eaten loads.
Pretty much non-stop.
The biscuits. The crackers. The cheese. The After Eights. The flatbread with red onion. The sausages (little and big ones). The mince pies. The jelly. The pate. The sausage rolls (big and little ones). The tubes of sweets. The chocolates. The crisps. The nachos. Oh the nachos with all the dips.
And every time you think about how much you ate, you remember the phrases which are supposed to make you stop:
‘A minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips’
‘Nothing tastes as good as skinny does’
‘You greedy pig’
But those phrases never work when you are faced with a box of shiny chocolates in red and green and gold foil.
All they do is make you feel bad for ‘giving in’ and then even badder for totally ignoring it, and then very very determined that, once the food is all gone, you’ll go on a D.I.E.T.
Which, totally makes things ok.
Or does it?
Didn’t you say the same thing last year? Wasn’t 2017 the year that you were finally going to lose a bit of weight and get fit? Wasn’t it last Boxing Day that you decided never again, and hit the low calorie everything to make up for the excess of Christmas?
So, here’s where I tell you why now is not the time to go on a diet. (and it’s got a lot to do with the fact that we do the same thing over and over again each and every year)
Now is not the time to go on a diet because you confuse your body, mess with your metabolism and don’t give yourself what you need by eating less during the Winter.
Our bodies NEED to stay warm. They need calories to do that. Not measured out portions of low fat cheese with slimming bread and two (medium) lettuce leaves.
When you deprive your body of warmth and energy in the Winter (aka go on a diet) you are starting a very long and painful trip on the yo-yo dieting train. One which will end up controlling your thoughts and body fat for far longer than you imagine.
Diets which start in December and January almost NEVER WORK long term. Yes, you’ll lose weight fast. Yes, you’ll get to Mid-January, and feel nice and skinny but you are pretty much guaranteeing a life-long struggle with your weight, and you’ll be piling it all back on before you can say ‘low calorie cheesy puffs’.
For so many people, the period after Christmas, and especially the New Year, is exactly the time they want to start eating better.
And I say ‘hurrah!’. Go for it. Do it. Bring it on.
Eating better at this time of year, especially if you have exciting plans for running goals or adventures or fitness this year, then yes YES YES, let’s do it. Let this time be the time that you really become the healthier you that you want to be. And if weighing a bit less is part of that goal, then you can do that too.
But PLEASE remember that this is not the time of year to go on a diet.
Eat better now (which means good fats, slow cooked warming meals – ooohhhhh casseroles! – and plenty of slow-releasing energy foods) and then when it comes to Spring, your body will be ready and raring to jump into action.
That’s exactly when your body, if it’s been looked after nicely over the Winter , will reward you with a surge of energy and a natural tendency to shed some excess Winter padding (if that’s what it needs).
And by allowing that to happen naturally, you’ll find that going on a diet each and every year will become a thing of the past.
- No more yo-yo dieting.
- No more crash weight loss.
- No more hating yourself because you didn’t manage to wrestle your willpower to the ground once again.
Now, of course, I’m not going to tell you all about why not to go on a diet at this time of year without showing you what you could do instead. That would be mean.
And I’m not mean. Especially at this lovely giving time to year.
Here’s what to do instead.
- Eat foods which fill you up with warmth, energy and goodness. Things like casseroles, slow cooked foods and nutrient dense foods like nuts, seeds, dried fruits and root veg.
- Have a good breakfast – skip the half grapefruit for breakfast and have something filling and warming like porridge, or eggs.
- Aim to balance your blood sugar so that eating less sweet stuff is easy. So don’t start the day with a big bowl of sugar in low fat milk and instead have full fat with your cereal and chuck in a handful of nuts too.
- Stay hydrated. Don’t forget that even though coffee and tea are hot, they are also a bit dehydrating which means they might warm you up, but they also dry you out.
To help you give yourself exactly what you need to sail through the start of the year in a well nourished, warm and cosy fashion, I’ve created the Five Day Reboot. It’s an online group event starting on 25th September and it’s a five day programme incorporating everything that you need to help you get sorted for the rest of the Autumn and Winter without stress, feeling guilty or having to ditch your tastebuds.
Full details are here – the cost of the Winter Warmer Reboot is £35.