Thinking about losing weight?

This is the time of year we decide to take action to manage our weight. New Year, New Start!  And all those gyms are offering discounts to encourage us. We buy the annual membership and a good few of us spend a lot of the year worrying that we are not getting our money's worth. Here is a simple tip. Make more work for yourself, be less efficient. Take two trips to the bins, walk to the shops.

Most of us immediately think of dieting when we decide to take action.There are loads of new diet books every year.

But it is not the only way, and perhaps surprisingly, it is not very effective. In fact, research shows that 95% of dieters fail to maintain the weight they have lost. All that effort and misery for nothing. There are other ways. My approach will help you to manage your weight easily and automatically, without worrying about food all the time, without criticising yourself for being "bad" or being "good" and then letting yourself down by bingeing.

There is a lot of social pressure to be thin, so even normal weight people go on diets and feel anxious about their appearance. This social pressure has changed a bit over the years with fashion. From curvy in the 60s, to slimmer in the 70s and toned in the 80s, demonstrating effort - not enough to be naturally slim!  Social pressure to be thin embraces the notion that choice is involved in remaining overweight, and that people who have not the supposed control or will power to reduce their weight are regarded as lazy, stupid and unmotivated. No wonder we feel so bad about ourselves. Such negative social attitudes can lead to a preoccupation with weight, which triggers life-long trials of every new fad diet which becomes fashionable. Most of us recognise this. But yo-yo syndrome, the tendency to lose and regain weight through trying out first one diet then another, is risky to our health. Yo-yo dieting is now considered to be part of the cause of cardiovascular disease. So those of us who are overweight may be subject to the risk of both the overeating and the attempts to reduce weight by constant attempts at self-defeating dieting.

The old idea that weight control is all about calories in/calories out has been debunked. We are not machines fuelling ourselves for a journey. Petrol in, miles out. When we restrict our calorie intake, our bodies respond in a very sophisticated way.  Our bodies come up with strategies to protect us from this clear threat of starvation (and 1,500 calories is going to be considered starvation). Lean muscle burns calories fast. So if your body feels under threat of starvation, it will get rid of lean muscle first.

As we continue to tightly restrict our calories, the body continues to get rid of muscle. And we still have all that body fat, which our body is saving to burn as a last resort, when famine strikes. And as we lose the muscle the metabolism slows down, so we need fewer calories to remain the same weight. Double whammy. Restricting calorie intake leads to a slower metabolism and loss of muscle, and fat is only lost as a last resort.

Another problem with restrictive eating is that it triggers bingeing. Your body will go to great lengths to avoid the risk of starvation. One way is bingeing. Bingeing is closely associated with dieting and anxiety about weight and appearance.

There are other ways of managing your weight, allowing you to feel confident and in control. Gradually changing the way that you eat, so that it is easy and automatic. It won’t be fast, but it will be for life. Contact me to find out more.

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