Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. Trying to get bikini body ready for Summer, losing a few kg’s to fit into that dress and overall just wanting to look and feel good for you! So you put yourself on a diet, tell yourself no more chocolate, no more junk food and start exercisng – though most of the time it doesn’t work – even when it does you eventually put on the weight you lost.
Yo-yo dieting as it’s called is really harmful to our health, but sometimes when it feels like nothing is working it’s what we turn to. International No Diet Day aims to raise awareness of the dangers of yo-you dieting. To help us better understand this and create smarter and healthier ways of losing unwanted weight, we had a chat to Adelaide Nutritionist Jan Marie.
Nutritionist Jan Macfarlane / Nutrition with Jan Marie
Jan, what exactly are the health risks involved with yo-yo dieting?
Yo-yo dieting can cause several concerns, metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors, as blood sugars and lipids can be affected through the phases of possible binge eating or eating poorly. Microbiome is also affected from poor eating and is now understood to be an integral player in our health. Times of extreme restriction can also pose a concern and lead to possible deficiencies. Negative psychological impacts of yo-yo dieting are also far from healthy, a healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body.
What is the best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
The healthiest approach really is to adapt a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle that works for the individual. Making it a way of life, sustainable and enjoyable. The best form of meal planning takes a few key aspects to consider and differs from person to person, family needs, budget, lifestyle/cooking skills, free time, dislikes and likes.
Are there any specific foods that will work for the average person?
Yes! A general average to aim for is a predominately plant based intake: vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, good quality cold pressed oils. If animal proteins are consumed, small amounts of fresh quality proteins (ideally organic, grass fed, and fish from clean sustainable sources and low mercury options) along with diversify diversify diversify! We tend to get a little stuck on our same old same olds and be creatures of habit, restricting our overall nutrient profile. Pre planning the week ahead and online grocery delivery is a great strategy for busy people and families. Have it delivered on a weekend so you can pre wash fruit, pre chop your vegetables and salad items to help save time during the working week.
What about exercise?
Daily movement for at least 30-60minutes a day is most ideal for health. Any form of movement is going to be better then none, but getting your heart rate up and building a sweat is best. Strengthening muscles is also important for spinal and bone health along with giving us great metabolic advantages. Have limited time or can’t afford a class or gym, no problem – chuck some music on and dance (jump) around the house till you are panting and sweaty (this is my personal favourite). Do some strength exercises like lunges, while waiting for dinner to cook in the kitchen or squats in front of your favourite show.
Accredited Practicing Clinical Nutritionist Adelaide & Canberra.