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The real truth about why you cannot lose weight with any diet


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As we get older, our metabolism slows down and we all pack on some unwanted kilos. Some people more so than others, but I know that it is a struggle to stay in shape as the years go by. It is especially hard if like me, you are not a gym junkie and enjoy your food.


Let me tell you a story. I went to a class reunion in Europe about 10 years ago, and I caught up with one of the girls from my class who was just as skinny as she was when we were in high school. She told me that she owns a gym, and I said, there we go, this explains it. She laughed and asked if she can tell me a secret. She said, if you want to lose weight, about 90% of your success will be your diet, and only about 10% is hard workouts. When you go to the gym, you build muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat, so if you want to exercise to lose weight, concentrate more on cardio. Basically, go for a run, a hike, or a walk.


Then we diet and try and try and try and we fail a lot. So, why do diets actually fail? Trust me, I have tried all different kinds of diets before I managed to find a secret that helped me shed a lot of weight, so I’m a bit of an expert on this subject. Let’s see if you recognize any of these problems with your diet.


food preparation

It’s too complicated

I tried a diet once that cost $900. No, you did not get anything for it, except a plan. It would have been ok if it would have worked. Unfortunately, I had to give it up in 3-4 weeks after starting.

The reason was really simple. It took up my whole weekend every week to get my head around it! Every week they emailed me next week’s plan. I had to make sense of it, prepare a shopping list, prep, portion, not even talking about that it needed a lot of ingredients, where the majority was thrown out.

Supermarkets don’t sell you 3 strawberries; they sell a packet. Not everything can be frozen and when you are only allowed 3 strawberries, 3 blackberries and one spoonful of yoghurt (which does not appear on the menu again for another 2 weeks), it’s a major amount of waste. Next!


You’re always hungry

Ok, this wasn’t me, but a close friend of mine went on a diet once that helped her lose 10 kilos. She needed to lose three times that, but given up after 10 kilos and unfortunately put it all back on later.

The reason? The diet was so restrictive that she was constantly starving. And I don’t just mean hungry, but ‘I could kill and skin a baker for a slice of bread’ hungry. There is nothing wrong with a little hunger, but if you are constantly starving, you will not be going anywhere. Next!


hungry

Too expensive

I wish the government would realise that subsidising surgery is a lot cheaper than spending all the money on obesity related diseases later down the track.

Most people, even when they desperately need it, cannot afford it. It requires you to have top private health insurance cover, you will still be out of pocket, and even then, you have to be really morbidly obese to have this option available for you.

Last I checked, the cost was around $50k in Australia if you want to self-fund it. You might get it for around 15k in Asia, but you are still up for flights and everything else. I have a few friends who had it done, and it works like a charm. Some of them had to bend some rules, but I look at it as definitely worth it. Unfortunately it is out of reach for a lot of people who desperately need it. Next!


Too social

I have been part of this weight loss scene (for a very short period of time), and this is probably my most hated option.

I’m busy, I don’t have time to constantly checking in, attending meetings where we all pat each other on the back even for a 0.01 kilo loss and I guess they didn’t exactly appreciate when I rolled my eyes at meetings.

I especially got annoyed with all the over-the-top patronising and I may have told my weight loss coach to shove it after she gave me the ‘You can do it’ speech. Next!


plus size woman running


You are made to eat things you don’t like and you are forbidden to eat things you love

This will never work. I don’t eat meat, so I get my protein from tofu and legumes. Apparently legumes are no good for weight loss, they prefer you to have a dead carcass, which will never happen with me.

No judgement, all my friends and family know that I’m not here to convert anyone to veganism, so if meat works for you, it has to be your decision, but it goes both ways. You will never be able to convince me to eat meat. Or Brussel sprouts. Or beetroot. If you cannot eat what you like, or at least what you can tolerate, you diet will never work. Next!


Requires too much preparation

If your diet requires you to food prep for two days straight, it will wear thin very quickly. Simplicity is key. Meals should be simple and fresh; you are not preparing for MasterChef.

You should be able to make a bit batch of what you like, portion it up and freeze the portions. I often make a big batch of Tuscan vegetable soup and I get 5-6 meals out of it. Some weeks I don’t even have to cook at all, when a lot of meals are ready in the freezer. So, don't get pulled into very complex diets. Next!


meal delivery

It’s delivered through an app and you have trust issues

Some diets are best if you try them out first before you buy, or at least get to know the details. Most apps make big claims but won’t give you any details until you press the button for your ‘free trial’.

And some of them will charge you, even if you cancel. Then you are up for endless battles and some of these battles cannot be won. There might be some amazing diets out there that are delivered through an app, but we will never know, as a few bad apples ruined it for everyone. Next!


Too unhealthy

If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. I would be very cautious with anyone claiming that you can have chocolate cake and pasta and still lose weight. You might, if the portion sizes are small enough, but some of these diets are packed with sugar (aka. the liquid devil). And trust me, sugar is hiding everywhere, even where you least expect it.

Don’t assume because something is savoury it has no or little sugar. Sugar is addictive and the people making the foods know this. It gives you a high (sugar rush) and a dramatic fall afterwards, so you will want more. It is a vicious circle. Next!


doughnuts

You don’t get guidance on when to eat

Most diets fail to tell you how to maximize your results by telling you WHEN to eat. It is such a fundamental aspect of every diet, still, most diets don’t mention it.

The key is not to eat late and go to bed. This is when you are putting weight on! Try to have an early breakfast and have dinner by 6 pm, but 5 pm is better. I have been doing intermittent fasting for a long time now; my breakfast is at 8 am and my dinner is at 4 pm. I do make exceptions of course, when going out for dinner, I just have a quick snack at 4, like a handful of almonds, but most days, I live by the 8 am – 4 pm routine. If a diet tells you that you can eat anytime - next!


Portion sizes are way too small

When you eat something, it takes about 20-30 minutes for your brain to acknowledge that you have eaten. But, if you are not getting enough, and you are still hungry half an hour after you have eaten, you will reach for snacks. If you have a salad, you can have a much bigger portion than if you have some pasta. They will have the same amount of calories, but you will feel a lot fuller after a bigger portion.

Check the portion sizes before you order anything online (and the amount of sugar in that meal) and ensure that you don't get portions only enough for a mouse. Next!


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So, how to eat to lose the weight?

Try cooking with fresh ingredients, so you can control what goes into your dish. If you must use packet meals, check the labels, look at the ingredients, and find the hidden sugars. Find an alternative; Stevia and Agave syrup work best, instead of sugar. No, brown sugar is not better than white sugar. Absolutely stay away from any kind of sweetener that contains aspartame. It’s actually worse than sugar, it’s a chemical shitstorm.


Try to go gluten free, it will help. Gluten is a by-product and has no nutritional value. The food industry uses it to hold things together; it acts like glue.


Go preservative free; stay away from anything processed. Make easy things fresh at home so you know exactly what is in your meal. If you don't know what's in it, don't eat it.


Go vegan, or at least cut down on meat and dairy. If you must eat meat, seafood is best, then chicken or turkey. Always go free range or wild. Avoid red meat.


Avoid dairy if you can, it is horrible for you, creates mucus and clogs up your system. At least cut down. I know, cheese is the hardest to give up, but there are some great vegan cheeses out there. Yes, some of them are rubbish, but it’s a trial and error. Look for a vegan cheese with the least ingredients where the base is cashew.


Try to cut down on eggs, think about where they come from. The yolk is concentrated cholesterol.  Not ideal when you are trying to lose weight.


Make a list of the foods you really enjoy and try to substitute the unhealthy ingredients with healthy one. I love a hearty Hungarian bean goulash, but the main ingredient in it is beef. So, I substituted it with hard tofu marinated in paprika sauce. Instead of salt, I use white miso (exact same taste) and instead of fat (or lard) it’s extra virgin olive oil. Of course, I add a lot of veggies, like beans, carrots, onions and chillies. It’s divine!


Trust me, as soon as you avoid anything processed, your weight will just drop off. My main rule is, if I don't recognize what it is, I don't eat it. You know what an apple or a carrot looks like, but when you look at a packet, what exactly in it? If you have to look at the ingredients on the back, or even worse, you don't recognize some of them, don't buy it! (There are no labels on fruit or veg because you know what it is!)


I spend maybe an hour or two a week with food prep, that's it! This will cover me for the whole week and everything is fresh and healthy.

I wish you all the success on your weight loss journey.


Gabi

xx

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