Personalising Weight Loss for Maximum Effect
If one diet works for all people, why is it that there are so many different diets, a new book on the shelf every week and an additional social networking forum?
The answer is, there is no one diet for everyone, rather just as we all look different, have dfferent social and medical histories and, of course, genetics, the manner in which our body loses and gains weight is dependent upon a variety of factors that contribute to iour body shape. Let's consider a few issues that may help you personalise your diet.
Your Individual Genetic Gift
Blame your parents (but don't tell them I told you too). We all have a variety of genetic variations, many of yet we truly understand, that determine our own individuality. And your response and relationship with food, exercise, life is different to the next person as a result.
Are there three, four or six different body types according to your blood group,hormonal balance or any other fresh concept you want to consider? Truth is, genetic variability suggests there are almost an infinite array of combinations in which you may differ to everybod, some positive, others negative.
So what does this mean to your diet and wieght loss?
That, in simple terms, it is personal journey of discovery to find what works for you. Of course there are fundamental ways in which your pursuit of health and weight loss can be achieved, but the key is to investigate what works for you in a sensible manner to optmise your long term benefits. The Paleolithic, CSIRO, Mediterranean or Eskimo Diet (yes, there is one) may or may not work for you, but somewhere in between there is an answet to healthy eating that matches your personal goals, needs and physiology.
Where do you begin?
First and foremost, with the principles of Healthy Eating that underlie most healthy approached to eating. Adequate protein (whether vegetarian) or not, a high intake of vegetables, moderate fruits, quality essential fats (from fish, nuts and seeds) and good hyradtion. How you meet this needs may vary from diet to diet which allows for the personalisation of your diet, but the fundamentals of healthy eating can not be overlooked.
Remembering from the first, as research has powerfully demonstrated, it is not how you look that matters but how healthy you are eating and consistantly exercising, whatever your weight.
Are Healthy Foods Always Healthy?
This is an interesting question and depends upon whether or not you have Food Intolerances. Many healthy foods can be harmful and even fattening for the individual with food intolerances, a hidden cause of weight gain. So whether you are gluten, casein, lactose, fructose or salicylate intolerant...and the list goes on, food intolerances can be an important issues to deal with when deciding upon a diet, even when your goal is predominantly weight loss.
Do Calories Count?
Of course they do, but counting calories can be a tedious way of dieting. Furthermore it can be the breakdown of macronutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates) that determines whether or not you store additional calories as fat, as well as allowing your body to break down stored fats when you are burning off your calories.
So what Weight Loss formulas work?
Most genuine diets work for weight loss for a subgroup of people whose genetics and physiology match the diets underlying premise. The Paleolithic Diet, CSIRO, Mediterranean...and you can again continue this list, as long they have follow caloric restriction will work for some people in the short term. Indeed you have probably tried a few diets that have worked in the past, some that haven't, with a vatiety of impacts on you health, energy, vitality and enjoyment of the diet itself.
But the question is, do these diets work over the long term and if not, why not.
There are at least three possible reasons here. The first is that the diet you had was unsustainable. This could have been for a variety of reasons, the first being that your body rebounded after the dietary stage as it reacted to what it perceived as a starvation mode. Diet finished, starvation over, now it is time to store the energy again.
A second answer is that the eating behaviours and lifestyle modifications required of the diet were unsustainable. No one wants to live on lettuce and lemon juice salads and cabbage soup for life. You want to enjoy life, not just look good. So you need to find a balance to sustain weight loss and remain sane.
A third reason sustaining weight goals can be difficult is that life changes and so does your energy needs and healthy eating requirements. What was a healthy approach to eating yesterday may change today. The question is, do you know how to adapt your diet in response.
All of which implies you need to maintain a dynamic relationship with food in order to remain healthy, happy and satisfied with your weight.
What about Protein Powder based Diets?
Protein powder based diets can be very effective. However it is important that you use a high quality protein powder as many products use poor ingredient choices. Furthermore you should plan for the end of the diet to follow up with a healthy nutritional plan that allows you to sustain weight goals without the use of the protein powder.
So what diet should you follow?
The truth is, there is no one diet, but this should not discourage you. Rather the answer is to find the approrpiate diet for your present needs and adapt the fundamentals of what is working for you to what you are doing in life now. Weight loss today, a little luxury on your holidays, a high energy intake if you decide to train for a sporting event, a balanced intake once you have stabilised your weight loss programme allowing for a little indulgence now and then.
At the Beach Street Centre we use over twelve different diets and healthy eating plans depending on your goals and health needs, your age and body composition. Make an appointment today to personalise your dietary intervention.
What if no diet has worked so far?
There are also physiological reasons why people may have trouble losing weight. These medical reasons may or may not be linked to underlying medical conditions but the risk remains that they may develop into clinical conditions in the future.
Some examples of medical reasons for poor dieting outcomes include:
Genetic Variations in Carbohydrate, Fat and Protein Metabolism
Sex Hormone Imbalances such Oestrogen Dominance or Testosterone Insufficiency
Neurotransmitter Imbalance that encourage Poor Eating Behaviours
Low Grade Systemic Inflammation
Toxic Loads requiring Detoxification Programmes
Nutritional Deficiencies in the Energy Pathways
Gastrointestinal Dysfunction including:
- Reduced Enzyme Fnction
- Gut Microflora Imbalance
So what can be done about these problems?
There are dietary, nutritional, herbal and, in some cases where necessary, pharmaceutical interventions that can assist with these issues.
Don't Drink Your Calories!
Want to know the easiest way to reduce your calories intake? Don't drink your calories, whether as fruit juices, milks, soft drinks or alcohol. Go water only and you may reduce your caloric intake by as much as 300- 400 calories (about a fifth of your intake depending upon your size and weight)
Exercise is vitally important to health, even if there are some diets that suggest it is not necessary for weight loss on their regime. We strongly encourage you to exercise whether you are dieting or not but you must discuss this with your doctor in case you have medical conditions. The one time that exercise may not be appropriate is when your diet is also inappropriately low in calories.
Controlling Your Weight is Never a Reason to Keep Smoking!
Don't fool yourself, smoking may decrease your appetite but so does cancer!
is alright a long as it doesn't lead to other eating rituals such as a few extra biscuits.
What about Caffeine?
Coffee does reduce your appetite and can help with a weight loss programme. But the question is, does it also alter your eating pattern? If not, 1-2 cups per day
Changing Emotional Eating and other eating behaviours is often critical in achieving weight loss. Indeed this is often the key to sustaining long term weight loss and all issues related to emotional eating and eating behaviours should be addressed during any dietary interventions.
Is Managing Stress Important?
Yes. The physiological stress response, whether due to environmental, psychological or infective factors, leads to additional elevation in blood sugar levels. Unsurprisingly therefore, a subgroup of people are known to increase weight when stressed, probably due to both the the physiological changes caused by the stress response and the eating behaviour changes that may aslo occur ( a smaller subgroup will lose weight when stressed, shower again the individual nature of our bodies) .
Stress, Life Balance, Emotional Intelligence, Spirituality
Any therapy that deals with your mental health may be an advantage in helping you control Emotional Eating and other eating behaviours
Such interventions may include:
Relaxation and Meditation independent or as part of a Yoga programme
Other Effects Based Stress Managements techniques
Cause Based Stress Management Techniques
Achieving Work Life Balance
Learning to effectively manage Emotions
Prioritising Family and other Relationships (including healing old wounds)
Becoming connected with your community, environment and, if you are spiritual, the concept of God/Universe that matters to you.
At the Beach Street Medical Centre you can make an appointment with eaither Dr Lily Tomas or Greg de Jong to have all your Diet, Nutrition and Lifetsyle Needs met.
at the Beach Street Centre with Dr Lily Tomas or Greg de Jong to have all your Diet, Nutritiona and Lifestyle Needs met