Have you ever been on a rigid diet where you have a list of the foods you can eat (the good) and a list that you can’t (the bad) and you must eat a certain amount of each? Did you find that after a while you broke the rules of the diet and then gave up on it completely and went back to how you used to eat, only to put on more weight?
Well, this is a common experience for many trying to lose weight and some researchers have found that this ‘all-or- nothing’ way of dieting is one of the reasons why people who go on strict diets often gain more weight in the long-term. If you break one of the rules you are more likely to come off the diet completely, and go on to gain more weight than you originally lost.
So what is the best approach to losing weight?
The researchers found that a more flexible approach where the ‘bad’ foods, the fatty and sweet processed foods, are allowed once in awhile, helps people to lose weight and keep it off.
This more flexible approach can also be seem in terms of the proportions of what you eat, sometimes called the 80:20. It means that you aim to eat mostly good quality, fairly unprocessed foods, so home cooked meals, home prepared lunches, snacks of fruit or nuts.
This leaves room in your diet for the crisps, chocolate and cake which make up 20 % of what you eat. This approach can be much more successful than rigid rules about what to eat or not eat.
You can read more about this research here:
I hope you are enjoying all your new season foods. I had a lovely pub lunch of risotto with asparagus last week!