Ditch that diet!
Diets are notoriously unsuccessful - 95% of people who lose weight by dieting will regain that weight (and then some) within two years. On May 6, we celebrated International No Diet Day; a day to acknowledge that diets just don't work in the long-term. (If you missed it, feel free to have a piece of cake today in belated celebration!)
While having a healthy weight is very important, the Jean Hailes Foundation for Women's Health wants to shift the focus of Australian women from restrictive dieting to a more realistic lifestyle approach. This involves a 'small steps'approach to changing your eating and physical activity habits over the long term, rather than restrictive diets in the short term.
Sometimes, women are so used to simply "going on a diet" when they want to lose a few kilos that a whole lifestyle shift seems a bit intimidating. If that sounds like you, try following these simple tips for women who are keen to manage their weight without dieting: Be honest with yourself. It is very important that you are ready to change your lifestyle. If anxiety, depression and life in general are getting on top of you then now is perhaps not the time. Take time, get on top of things, seek help if needed and wait until you are ready. Do not set yourself up to fail.
Set realistic weight goals. If you can prevent further weight gain, this can be a great achievement in itself.
Make small sustainable changes to your habits. Start with the changes that you are most confident about achieving. Some examples are:
Going for a short walk every day
Eating breakfast every day
Choosing low-fat dairy and lean meats
Eating more fruits and vegetables
Taking the stairs instead of the lift
Reducing portion sizes (using smaller plates and bowls can help)
Avoiding soft drinks and drinking water instead
Make changes gradually. Pick one of two things to change at a time and wait until those changes have become habit (usually 2-4 weeks) before attempting to change anything else. Be proud of every small change you are able to make. Try not to focus on the results shown by the scales as they do not tell the whole better health story.
For more information on healthy eating and weight management, go to www.heathforwomen.org.au
To find an accredited practising dietitian in your area, go to www.daa.asn.au
Published with the permission of the Jean Hailes Foundation for Women's Health
Tollfree number 1800 151 441 for women seeking further health information www.jeanhailes.org.au