Inspirational tip of the week Nr. 13 “My solution to your diet dilemma”

Dear Helga

I have been dieting as long as I can remember.  I’m your typical yo-yo dieter. In the past, whenever I went on a diet, I would cut out all fats and carbohydrates, and reduce my portion sizes. This time it doesn’t work at all, I’m just not losing weight. This is my typical diet:  Breakfast, omelet (only 2 egg whites) with some tomatoes, then I eat fruits in between meals, for lunch and dinner, I eat chicken, fish or meat with salad. I’m careful with the fat, so no oils or butter; all my food is either boiled or raw. Please help me. I don’t understand why I’m not losing weight.

Best reg Linda

Dear Linda

First of all, you need to get out of the diet mode. It really doesn’t work, and as you described the weight always sneaks back on. This is because you haven’t changed your lifestyle, and your way of thinking. When it comes to your diet the problem is that it is too low in everything, kcal, fat and carbohydrates. One of the biggest mistakes people make when they attempt to lose weight is to cut out completely one or more food groups. Eliminating, for instance, all fat from your diet will only make it more difficult for your body to burn fat. When your body doesn’t receive fat it holds on to it, which makes losing weight almost impossible. I made this mistake myself when I was younger. I used to avoid all fats to the extent it became very unhealthy. I later discovered that when I increased my fat intake, it became much easier for me to maintain a healthy weight. Fat is one of the most important nutrients your body needs, and you should not cut it out completely. There is obviously a big difference between the different kinds of fats. Some are healthy and some are unhealthy. You find healthy fat in Olive oil, nuts and seeds and their oils, coconut, avocado and fish. These products all contain fat that is essential for your body’s function and survival. The fat you find in fried food, animal products and most processed food is on the other hand, very bad for your health and your weight. For instance, it is very difficult for the body to burn trans fat (hydrogenated fat) for energy; therefore, they get stored easily on your hips, thighs, and stomach. You find trans fats in fried food, biscuits, chips and other processed food. This kind of fat is the worst fats of all, and along with the sugar, it is the biggest cause of weight gain.  The fat you find in milk products and meat is called saturated fat and can also cause weight gain, but not to the same extent as the trans fat.

Cutting out on all carbohydrates forces the body to convert some of the protein, and fat you eat into carbohydrates. It is not something you want to do long-term as it has numerous side effects.  Again, the carbohydrates can either be healthy or unhealthy. The general rule is that refined and processed carbohydrates like you find in bread, biscuits, cakes, and processed food causes weight gain. The healthy carbohydrates, that help you lose weight along with sustaining good energy, you find in vegetables, whole grains, and fruits.

The third problem with your diet is the amount of kcal you eat. As I have described so many times in my previous Q and A’s, when you reduce your kcal intake too much, your body reacts by burning less kcal, and holding on to the fat. The more diets you’ve done, the easier it is for the body to enter this deprivation mode.

My suggestion to you is to increase the amount of kcal you eat to the minimum of 1300-1800 kcal;  depending on your weight and your activity level.  Secondly, I suggest that you increase your fat intake both for your health and your weight loss. Remember that your body burns fat much easier when you eat fat. I recommend 3-4 tbsp of fat a day (I usually recommend olive oil and flaxseed oil), some nuts and seeds in between meals and use coconut and avocado either in smoothies or on top of your salad. Also eat fatty fish several times a week.

Thirdly, eat healthy, low GI and unprocessed carbohydrates in the morning and for lunch. Reduce the amount of carbohydrates in the afternoon and in the evening. Fresh food is always desirable for weight loss and raw food is the best.  Having raw vegetables with every meal is therefore extremely beneficial for your weight loss.

Remember that getting into a routine, you can sustain life long and that is really the key to keeping your body at a desirable weight.  Therefore, I recommend that you work on creating better and healthier habits that you feel comfortable to keep for the rest of your life.


About healthmindbody

Helga Marin hails from Iceland and has over twenty years experience in fitness and health. She has been living in Dubai for the last 10 years where she conducted numerous workshops and seminars helping people to improve their health and general well being. She is the co founder of the successful weight loss programme “8 weeks to a new you” and she is also the founder of the New “Health Mind and Body” programmes that promote both Physical and mental Health through nutrition education, NLP/behavior modification and exercises. Prior to starting her own company, Helga worked for seven years at the GMC associated Clinics. Helga’s qualifications 1. Sport and Nutrition degree from the University of Sport in Stockholm, Sweden 2. BA in Psychology from University of Stockholm 3. NLP Master Practitioner certified by Paul McKenna and Richard Bandler (founder of NLP) 4. CTI Life coach level 1 5. Certified Personal Trainer 6. Certified Fitness and aerobics Instructor 7. Certified in Pilates lev.el 1 8. Certified Massage Therapist Contact details: Helga Marin Tel Dubai 050 8490198 Tel Iceland 050 8458174
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