Dieting and being healthy are often lumped in together.
They are inextricably linked, often we find the healthiest food options may not be the best weight loss food solution and certain weight loss solutions (bites tongue hard) may not be the healthiest options.
So where is the middle ground?
Well, that is all about your personal preferences, if you really want to make a difference in your dieting success or living a more health seeking lifestyle long term.
That’s where the real magic is, finding what suits you and it also being a positive long term change that’s completely sustainable.
We’ve compiled a list of the top three weight loss vs health points that often leave people conflicted and confused!
1 – You have to cut out all your favourite foods to lose weight.
For a lot people we’ve found the opposite can work better, having a small amount of your favourite foods regularly can prevent feelings of restriction.
You’ll often find you can stick to your diet better, for longer.
To diet successfully you will need to be burning more calories than you are taking on, recording total calories and planning in your favourite foods can make you a much happier dieter too, and that helps, right?
2- Grains are bad and we should avoid them if we want to diet successfully and stay healthy.
First of all refer to point 1 (unless you have a medical condition like Coeliacs disease where gluten must be cut out in order to improve symptoms)
Often grains are demonised the reason behind this is that they will make you fat and they aren’t healthy.
Over consumption of food will make you fat. Not eating grains specifically.
All Grains aren’t created equally so if you enjoy eating bread and pasta there’s no reason to stop – always being aware of the calorie content, recording this on My Fitness Pal for a period of time helps.
Maybe consider switching to whole grains such as brown rice & oats. Wholewheat varieties of bread, cereals and pasta may be a more health seeking approach and the great thing is these whole grain and whole meal varieties can improve heart health, fill you up more and can aid healthy digestion too! https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/nutrition/breakfast-cereals-ranked-best-to-worst
3- You should avoid fat when dieting or trying to stay healthy.
Fats are vital and have lots of uses in our bodies from creating cell membranes to aiding the absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
An important point to note is that Fats are more calorie dense than the other macronutrients.
Protein and carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram where as fat contains 9 calories per gram – this means you will get a lot less food per calorie when choosing a fatty food than you would if you chose a leaner protein rich food or a higher carbohydrate food which could be a great incentive to improve the quality of fats you eat in order to stay your healthiest.
You don’t need to avoid at all fat when dieting.
As with carbohydrates fats aren’t created equally with some fats being lots better for you than others.
We hear all the time that some fats are good for us and some are bad for us but where do we start?
Monounsaturated fat – think nuts, avocado, olive oil.
Polyunsaturated fats – think walnuts, oily fish, flax and sunflower seeds.
studies show that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat could help reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
Omega 3 – think leafy green vegetables and oily fish like mackerel, pilchards and salmon, if you’re not sure https://www.heartuk.org.uk/downloads/factsheets/fish.pdf
Omega 6 – think Safflower oil, sunflower oil, sunflower seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds.https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/no-need-to-avoid-healthy-omega-6-fats
In-between saturated fats.
Saturated fats are common. They are solid at room temperature — think cooled bacon grease, but what is saturated fat? Common sources of saturated fat include red meat, whole milk and other whole-milk dairy foods, cheese, coconut oil, and many commercially prepared baked goods and other foods.
About a third of our energy should come from fat.
Saturated fats should make up no more than a third of this. That’s around 20g for women and 30g for men.
Over consumption of food will make you fat.
For weight loss total calories may well the easy bit theres a calculator for that…
Staying healthy bit may well be the tricky bit especially when we’re subjected to big scary headlines everyday that cause us to second guess our healthy choices.
What can we do about it?
Eating a more varied diet can take a little careful planning especially when you are dieting but it can be done, it can also help stave off those feelings of restriction too.
Switch things up (or swap out) with health seeking foods – Fish, eggs and leafy greens, (twice a week is a great start) there are lots to choose from so theres bound to be something that takes your fancy.
By losing weight you can improve your health by reducing the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, as well as some forms of cancer.
Not very Rock n’ Roll and it won’t sell a million copies written as a book on amazon but perhaps it is time a healthy diet became a little bit cooler?