Determined to keep your New Year's diet resolution, Nutrition Specialist Lance Geringer will keep you on track.

New Year's dieting - It's all too easy to start the New Year with good intentions only to be led awry. We start off purposefully but after a few weeks the stress of dieting overwhelms us, and before you know it we’ve gone off the diet altogether. Sports Kinesiologist and Nutrition Specialist Lance Geringer is here to keep you on track.

People often get frustrated and upset by not being able to stay on a diet and they see it as a failure on their part. The failure is not coming from you but from the information [or misinformation] that is being sold to us from the £2.2 billion pound dieting industry.

Here are three major problems that can be prevented before starting any diet, and by following my solutions you will be able to stay on your diet longer and lose more weight.

Problem: Too much, too soon!

When the New Year begins, I’ve seen so many people begin their weight loss programme with the attitude, “I’m not going to mess about. I’m cutting my calories in half and I won’t eat out!” This is where the problem begins. They are so eager to lose weight that they restrict too many calories. Doing ‘too much, too soon’ puts a lot of stress on the body and mind, and this is one of the reasons why the average weight loss plan lasts approximately five weeks.

Another reason not to drastically cut calories is that the body responds to this by going into survival mode. During this time, your body holds onto its fat since it’s the best long term energy source when there is a shortage of food. Remember, your body thinks only in terms of survival and doesn’t care about how it looks.

Solution: Ease into your diet slowly

Don’t get too strict with your diet right away. You’ve probably been eating a certain way for a while and it will be a challenge to start changing what is now your normal food routine. Don’t make it harder than it has to be. Instead of eating a burger and chips, start with a sandwich and salad before moving onto chicken and vegetables. If you’re not eating three regular meals a day, add a snack to the part of the day where you’d miss a meal.

Problem: Using the wrong diet!

With so many diets around which one do you choose? Let me first say that potentially all diets will work, but all diets are not equal! Dieting basically means caloric restriction and reducing calories will cause weight loss, but that doesn’t mean the weight will stay off. Quick weight loss and the subsequent weight gain are all too common in the dieting world. Remember, if a diet sounds too good to be true, it is!

The biggest challenge with any diet [whether it’s good or bad] comes from the hunger and cravings that occur.

Solution: The basics are always the best

Stick with what has been shown to work time and time again. Cut out junk food and replace with more nutritious foods - you will lose weight just by doing this since healthier foods have fewer calories. This sounds so basic, but I’ve always found that the simplest ideas are usually the best and longest lasting when it comes to dieting.

Problem: Expecting fast results!

People want fast, permanent weight loss but I’m sorry to say that just doesn’t happen - I’ll debate anyone who says it does! Your body didn’t put on 10-15lbs in a month; please don’t think that you only need a month to take it off. Even if there was such a thing as the best diet and exercise plan, you could only lose 1.5-2lbs of pure fat per week. That’s a science fact! Actually, for the majority of people it’s only 1-1.5lbs of pure fat per week, since less than 1% of us would be able to follow such a plan!

Now, people say to me, “How did you get ‘so and so’ to lose 6-10 pounds in a week? Easy, “I got rid of water weight!” Dropping water weight will only ever be a temporary measure – and this is what a lot of diets rely on - but it will come back on!”

Solution: Consistency and patience with your programme

You must keep to your diet day after day, week after week, if you want to lose the weight, but this also requires patience. Losing weight means lifestyle changes (i.e., eating healthier foods and getting some daily exercise) and it will take time to adapt to these changes.

Losing weight can be a challenge. By avoiding the above dieting problems, you are more likely to reach your weight loss goals - saving you time, energy and emotions. Ease into your diet slowly, don’t follow any fad diet and keeping with it is your best chance for success!

Based on an original Women & Golf article from 2017.

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