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Why diets don't work!

Updated: Jun 30, 2021

The peak holiday season has arrived and while we are enjoying the luxury lifestyles of sun-filled days, exotic scenery and lavish lifestyles so to arrive the dread of looking our best in our bikinis. During this time many of us turn to diet to get the short term weight loss results we desire. Writing this article for Dolce Vita’s magazine, Charlotte helps explain why diets don’t work.

Diets by definition tend to be short term focused. I recommend to my clients to, first of all, lose the ‘dieting mentality as often this feels us with dread and apprehension of hunger fuelled days and nights.

Diets are short term and don’t teach you how to enjoy that glass of champagne or canape without feeling guilty. Extreme weight loss isn’t just the result of losing body fat but also losing water weight and depleting our body of muscle glycogen stores. What this means is when we start to reintroduce foods our weight can balloon resulting in that ever typical yo-yo effect of weight gain.

At Nuticium we believe in tailoring your diet to your own individualised needs. We offer two different approaches to weight management. One approach is our weight loss programmes that ask the client to keep a food and mood diary to truly understand the triggers to eat. Eating is intrinsically linked to our state of mind and if we are stressed, anxious or unhappy we tend to crave the sugary pick me ups that release serotonin the happy hormone upon eating. To really help treat these cravings our programmes incorporate sessions with expert cognitive behavioural therapists that can help re-educate how you feel and to control those overwhelming thoughts that lead us to overeat. My clients really start to feel in control and appreciate having their newfound knowledge of how to enjoy their food whilst also losing weight in the process.

For the more adventurous a new cutting edge approach is to analyze the client's genetic profile to understand each individual's optimal diet based on their genetic makeup. This is the forefront of upcoming science and one we are pleased to offer in our private clinics.

Before you are tempted to jump on that short term diet regime here is Charlotte’s overview of some of those diets on the market.

High Fat Low Carbohydrate diet

The aim of these diets is to avoid large portions of carbohydrates to maintain a low blood sugar level. High peaks in blood sugar trigger insulin secretion which is one of the prime hormones that encourages fat storage. Before we all cut out carbohydrates it is essential to understand the body needs carbohydrates and cutting these out completely can deplete the body of its preferred energy source and vital b vitamins and fibre. There is still a lot of scientific evidence linking high fat to heart disease and cholesterol which I am cautious and promoting to my clients.

Recent science is indicating that depending on an individual’s genetic makeup diets should be tailored to their profile. To understand your diet and genetic makeup The Blue Tree Clinic can analyse your nutrigenetic profile which will inform you of your optimal diet based on your individual make-up.

South Beach Diet

The south beach diet was originally developed for heart patients in America. There are many benefits of this diet namely that you don’t have to count calories or limit portion sizes. Clients are encouraged to eat three meals and two snacks a day and follow a recommended exercise plan.

There are 3 phases and phase one is only recommended if you have at least 4.5 kg to lose.

  • Phase 1 is an intense 2 weight loss regime. The regime asks clients to eat lean protein such as poultry and fish sources combined with low glycaemic index vegetables. Glycaemic index is the measure of how much your blood sugar will rise and low vegetable sources include avocado, celery, and broccoli.

  • During phases, 2-3 low glycaemic sources of carbohydrates are reintroduced encouraging sustainable weight loss.

As a nutritionist, I can see that the flaws of this diet are that it can leave you feeling weak, lethargic, and can even cause bad breath and constipation due to the extreme carbohydrate restrictions. This wouldn’t be recommended long term unless more low glycaemic carbohydrates are re-introduced gradually and high fibre options. If you'd like to know more, get your free nutrition assessment to get the best nutritional advice for you.

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