For decades, diet discussions around the world have ranged from simple and straightforward to elaborate and intricate, the latter sometimes even verging on craziness. In today’s digital age, before it can be said, a new diet would have gained a worldwide following, with everyone, from laypeople to expert, swearing by its effectiveness.
However, just a few weeks or months later, the same experts moved on to another “miraculous” weight loss or diet program. This is what you get for not following science, just following fads. However, health is not a fad. It’s a way of life.
Amid all of these fads, one can only wonder if each of these programs is a safe way to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. Why don’t they survive the test of time?
According to a study published in the BMJ, most diets help you lose weight and lower blood pressure in the first few months, but the desired effects don’t last. So people keep coming back to new fashions. But diets can be harmful. They are often lacking in essential nutrients and teaching you nothing about healthy eating. Overly restrictive diets are also fun to eat and can lead to eating disorders, slow metabolism, and cause more harm than good in the long run.
One of the reasons crash dieting fails is because the body views dieting as a form of starvation. If you eat a lot below your desired energy intake for a long time, your metabolism will slow down and try to fight back. The hormones that regulate our hunger and satisfaction fluctuate, making it harder to maintain diet and, therefore, weight loss. Additionally, the idea of taking extreme steps like giving up certain foods can often leave you feeling down and disappointed. Sooner or later you will revert to previous “unhealthy” eating habits. And a few months later, try another new weight loss diet.
No wonder the diet and weight loss industry is growing by leaps and bounds worldwide from $ 192.2 billion in 2019 and is projected to top $ 295 billion by 2027. However, more and more studies are showing that you are genuinely interested in losing and maintaining weight for a healthy lifestyle, you need a more sustainable plan than a fad diet. We also need to understand the difference between weight loss and fat loss. Not all weight loss may be healthy; you may only lose muscle or water weight from crash dieting and doing copious amounts of cardio.
Some components have been shown to work in order to lose fat: these eat a little less than your energy needs, have enough protein intake to maintain muscle mass, and weight training or weight training. If you do this regularly, you can slowly control your weight in a healthy way, boost your metabolism, and tone your body.
Consider making these small, incremental changes to your lifestyle in order to maintain a healthy relationship with food, and indeed life. Proposed by Habbit CEO and Co-Founder Dhruv Bhushan.
Make healthy eating a daily habit
It is important to be attuned to your specific needs and not feel deprived. The same plan could work for everyone right now. Diet doesn’t have to be complicated, and crash diets aren’t sustainable. Don’t think about avoiding the “bad” foods, but focus on choosing foods that are holistic, nutritious, and pleasing to the palate. Don’t be enchanted by technical jargon-filled nutritional details. Go for easy-to-use, nutritious products.
Play around with your choice of food, mix and match the ingredients. Health and taste can go hand in hand. Even foods that you crave or are addicted to have healthier alternatives. Provide a balanced diet with fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables for vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Balance this out with whole grains and healthy fats. Meet your daily protein intake, be it from foods or supplements with natural proteins. This cannot be overstated as protein deficiency is a leading cause of lifestyle diseases, including obesity. Drink plenty of water.
Add physical activity to your normal routine
Make exercise, activity, and exercise a part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth. If you have a very busy schedule, try to exercise first thing in the morning before the day consumes you.
Just like your food, choose activities that you can stick to rather than things that wear off after a few weeks of initial excitement. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym or hire a personal trainer. Even a relaxing walk or jog while listening to your favorite music, a dance class, or a yoga session can be a good place to start. Also, stay active throughout the day. Take stairs instead of the elevator, walk around on the phone, help with household chores, play with your kids or pets, play sports, have sex, walk or bike to the neighborhood instead Driving there to take extra time is also a long road. And for more committed individuals looking to burn fat, lose pounds, and exercise, research shows that strength or weight training and high-intensity workouts offer more sustainable results. More than how much or what you do each day, it is important that you exercise every day.
Start small and be consistent.
Make sleep a priority
This is one of the most overlooked aspects of our wellbeing today. We should strive to get adequate restful sleep each night, which can range from 6 to 9 hours for different people. During this time, the body repairs and recovers. Essential hormones, which also help in weight loss, only play a role during sleep. Not getting enough sleep can be detrimental to your physical, mental, and emotional health.
If for any reason you are having trouble falling asleep, speak up as a priority. Take time to sleep. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. Unplug your digital devices before going to bed. Instead, relax with a bath or a light reading. Create an environment that is conducive and free from distraction with a bed and bedding that is comfortable.
Manage your stress level
Stress may feel like a standard response to modern lifestyle challenges, but constant stress can cause serious health problems.
Stress leads to increases in cortisol and adrenaline levels, which affect blood pressure, heart rate, eating habits, sleep patterns, blood sugar, lipid metabolism and immunity. Long-term stress can also increase the risk of heart attack or stroke and lead to depression. You can manage stress by adopting some of the healthy habits mentioned above and making a conscious effort to relax. Take a deep breath, enjoy your favorite pastimes, spend time with loved ones. And ask for help by speaking to those who take care of you or a trained professional.
Eating and living healthy or trying to manage weight shouldn’t be a punishment or a sacrifice. There is no single definition or path to good health. It’s a combination of several small steps that, over time, produce big results. Health is a lifestyle. When you trust your instincts with food and actions that feel good, you are making a major contribution to general well-being. Eat food that you enjoy without feeling guilty, just keep a balance. With the right mix of natural organic ingredients, a low-calorie blueberry crumble cream is better and more appealing than so-called magic fat burner pills.
The next time you’re seduced by someone with the next best diet fad, show them your intuitive diet and healthy lifestyle plan. You will develop a better relationship with food when you adjust to your body’s needs and cues and incorporate them into your daily life.
Remember not to view lifestyle changes as discouraging changes in behavior. They are small steps on the way to good health – those that combine science, taste and sustainability.
(Dhruv Bhushan is the co-founder and CEO of Habbit with a mission to build one of the largest full-stack nutritional ecosystems that will make daily eating easy and rewarding.)