Winter is coming and you will want to be living more healthily whilst avoiding the dreaded holiday weight gain. There are of course so many diets you can follow but it is hard and confusing to know which has the best long-term effects?
The Mediterranean diet rates as one of the two best in a study by US experts. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo
Losing weight is a common new year’s resolution. US panel of experts in diet, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and food psychology have researched, scrutinised and ranked 40 diets. The research shows which diets are best for short and long-term weight loss. You can also check which of the diets are easiest to follow and which are unsafe because they do not supply enough nutrients.
In the category of best diets overall, the Ketogenic diet is reportedly followed by Kim Kardashian and Mick Jagger, but comes in second to bottom. It increases fat intake and reduces carbohydrates. In our previous article “Keto Diet Food List: Everything You Need to Know”, we’ve already listed the foods that you can eat and try to avoid while you are on keto diet. Ketogenic diets can cause massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels and shifts the body’s metabolism away from carbs and towards fat and ketones.
On another note the Mediterranean diet is also thought to protect against diabetes and heart disease. It is also easy and joyful to follow. You will find plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, fish, eggs and cheese in the everyday dishes. There are not specific serving restrictions in the Mediterranean diet, which make it easy and even joyful to follow.
An interesting fact is that the Flexitarian diet – vegetarianism with the occasional addition of meat – scores more highly than a vegan diet. The WHOLE30 diet is ranked with the raw food diet as the least healthy – both are too restrictive to be the “best diet” for anyone.
So how can you strike the balance between letting go and enjoying yourself, but not opening the floodgates entirely?
Make rules about food you SHOULD have rather than things you shouldn’t”
“According to a recent survey, diet is the most common trigger of everyday guilt for UK women – closely followed by fitness. The biggest problem with guilt is that it can make us feel hopeless and deflated.
When it comes to nutrition, viewing food as ‘harmful’ can be incredibly dangerous, particularly when we often believe that a single or even a couple of bad meals are going to impede our health or appearance, which isn’t necessarily the case – our guilt is often based on inaccurate assumptions. The truth is that a few big delicious Christmas lunches and dinners should be something we look forward to and enjoy and remember they are not going to impact our health in the long term, unless we start to enjoy them every day!”
Make sure you move
There are many ways to keep heart rate high and as long as your butt is anywhere but on the couch, you are off to a good start. You can dance, run, jump – whatever you do, just move. It’s not only gym based workouts that burn calories. Christmas is family time – have fun with the kids, they’ll keep you on your toes and that will burn calories. There are so many ways to keep that heart rate high.
Don’t let your diary get too busy
Helen Bond is a consultant dietitian for Splenda. She said:
“Try not to burn the candle at both ends. We cram in so much over the festive period, going out during the week and hosting family and friends at the weekends; we don’t always give our body the rest it needs to recuperate. Too little sleep can reduce the level of the appetite controlling hormone leptin and increase the hormone ghrelin, telling the brain you need to eat – and not always the right healthy food choices. Pace yourself!”
At least but not the last the most important thing is to adjust your mindset/perspective and then you will drastically improve your life!
For example: If you attend all of your holiday events with a bad attitude, convinced you’re missing out, you will do just that. We get to choose our perspective and focus. Rather than focusing on what you ‘can’t’ have, focus on your goals. Take a moment before each gathering to remind yourself what Christmas is really all about. Choose to enjoy this time with family making happy and healthy holiday memories – we always get to choose.