3 ways to make your diet work

If you’re on a diet at the moment, the chances are it isn’t going to work. I’m sure that’s the last thing you want to hear right now, but the stats speak for themselves; a staggering 95% of diets fail. While a 5% success rate sounds incredibly depressing – and will quite possibly have you reaching straight for the biscuit tin in defeat – there are actually some simple habits you can try to create a lasting lifestyle change. In turn making your long term weight loss goals much more attainable.

How many times have you made a firm commitment in your mind to losing weight? The intention is there, you start out resolutely refusing to give in to temptation… then within less than a week someone brings cake into work, you find yourself needing to grab a last minute lunchtime snack or an evening celebration with friends undoes all the good work.

The key to losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is to make it routine. Far from feeling like a miserable, temporary restriction, your new eating habits should be simple and enjoyable, so much so that they become a habitual part of everyday life. Rather than consider yourself as being ‘on a diet’ the key to achieving and maintaining your optimum weight comes from redefined, sustainable lifestyle choices.

Here are three simple tips to getting healthy and staying that way for good.


Make simple swaps

Healthy eating needn’t be about giving up all the things you love. Often it’s simply a case of finding a more nutritious alternative. Breakfast cereals, even those purporting to aid diet, can be a sneaky culprit for preventing weight loss. White refined carbs and sugars are high on the glycemic index. High GI foods prompt raised blood sugar levels, in turn triggering insulin. Not only do elevated insulin levels cause those extreme peaks and dips in appetite, they also promote chronic inflammation throughout the body. Rather than eating a bowl of sugar-filled carbs, go for something like Quinoa spiced pear porridge. Quinoa has a high-protein content, which makes it a great cholesterol-free and low-fat source of protein. It’s also a brilliant way to consume more iron and fibre. As it’s gluten free so you won’t get that lethargy and bloating that sometimes comes with eating wheat-based cereals.


Make it yourself

Pre-packaged and convenience foods may seem like quick and innocent meal alternatives, but they’re often laden with added sugars, salts, flavourings and preservatives. While it’s obviously more time-consuming to prepare meals from scratch, the simplest tip is to opt for low HI (human interaction) foods. These are foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. Not added to, taken from or processed. When simply combined with other HI foods (by you as the chef ) this avoids chemically-enhanced substitutes and foods containing ingredients you can’t even pronounce. Simple, wholesome nutrition where you know exactly what’s gone into the dish.


Design your own sweet treats

The minute you’re told you can’t have something, how much more do you want it? Deprivation leads to us endlessly craving the very thing we’re trying so hard not to eat. Rather than deny yourself sweet treats, learn to make your own. If you have a sweet tooth, avoiding things like chocolate can be an absolute nightmare. Cacao (the raw ingredient in chocolate) isn’t actually the problem. In fact cacao in its raw form contains antioxidants and is very much classed as a superfood. When it comes to chocolate it’s the added sugar that’s bad for us. Making desserts using ingredients such as cacao powder will satisfy that craving for chocolate while providing additional health benefits (and much less of the bad stuff!). Try this delicious tiramisu, made dairy free, gluten free with no refined sugar.