Diets Don’t Work!

Eric Bakker N.D.June 10, 2022

Have you followed a weight loss program and lost weight, only to find that you gained all that weight again within a few months? You are not alone, in fact most people who lose weight will regain all that weight back - and gain even more weight over time. But why does this occur?

Eric Bakker Naturopath » Recipes » Diets Don’t Work!

Are You Wasting Time Going On Crazy Diets?

Have you followed a weight loss program and lost weight, only to find that you gained all that weight again within a few months? You are not alone, in fact most people who lose weight will regain all that weight back – and gain even more weight over time. But why does this occur? Most of us are only human, we all procrastinate, promise ourselves we will lose weight and get fit but then put it off for another day because we are just too plain busy! We just don’t prioritise our eating and lifestyle patterns which contribute to managing a healthy weight level.

The main reason we gain weight, lose weight and then re-gain weight is we don’t address the underlying reasons why we gained in the first place. Here are some of the best tips to take on board if you want to manage your weight and maintain your ideal weight – forever.

Eric’s Top 12 Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Weight

1. Be Prepared To Commit To Change

The definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Unless you start to take control of your life, including your diet and lifestyle habits, you will never get rid of all that unwanted fat — remember, a little change over a long period of time will mean a lot of fat loss – it is all accumulative. I have worked with women who have lost half their body weight and kept it off – even after ten years. YES – it is possible, but only if you believe it is and are fully prepared to take control of your life and stop making excuses. Be prepared to do whatever it takes and understand that only by a serious level of commitment and dedication will you end up with the body you’ve always dreamed of having.

2. Know Your Daily Energy Requirement

I’ve always told patients this – every time you eat a food you make a deposit, every time you move your body you make a withdrawal. Try to understand that you need to eat enough to sustain and maintain good energy levels throughout the day. The more you exercise and work hard, the more you can eat. The more computer work you do and sit, the less you need. The secret to losing all that fat and maintaining your optimal weight is understanding your body’s energy/food requirements. It is simple – if your daily energy intake exceeds your body’s daily requirements, it will store the excess calories as fat. Likewise, if your energy intake is too low, your body will slow your metabolism and store the unburned calories as fat. Your thyroid could be at fault here, and you may be hypothyroid if you consume what you believe to be a reasonably low calorie diet yet maintain your body weight or have noticed a tendency to gain weight on a “perfect” diet.

3. Know Where Your Excess Calories Are Coming From

Do you like wine or alcohol in general? You may like to read my popular article do you think when you drink. Many who consume alcohol will find it hard to maintain and lose weight, because every gram of wine for example is about 7 calories (every gram of fat is approximately 9 calories). High-calorie processed foods and alcohol tend to make up a major part of our modern diet. What are your favourite snack foods, have you worked out where the calories in your diet are coming from? Everything you has a caloric value, understand that some foods have more calories (and thus make you fat faster) than others.

4. Reduce Your Daily Calorie Intake

Look at your plate, could you go a size smaller? Can you leave some food on your plate every night, or do you need to eat everything on your plate? Can you eat no food one day per week, just have a soup & salad? Do you need that biscuit every time you have a cup of coffee or tea? These simple measures will ensure you are reducing your calorie load and will result in a steady loss of weight. Just making one small change each day can help slash your calorie intake of at least 500 to 1000. And the spin-off? By reducing 500 calories each day you can lose from a half to one kilogram of unwanted fat per week. How much fat is that? That’s an unbelievable one or two tubs of butter, and that’s a lot of fat off the hips, stomach and butt.

5. Forget Diets – They Don’t Work

Radical diets do not work, I have collected over many hundreds of different diet books over the years and find that their authors all have one thing in common, they all tend to be fanatic and zealous and maintain that their approach is “the best way to go”. This to me is like religion – they all claim to be the only true one and may even denounce all the rest as fake. There is no one true diet anymore than there is one true belief system, there are no gurus who will magically make all your weight disappear, I’m afraid you’ll have to do this yourself and find your own path. It’s not that hard, but please don’t start and stop restrictive diets that ban or heavily reduce whole food groups because once you return to normal eating or old eating patterns when ‘the diet is over’ the weight will simply return, and you could find your body fat percentage is higher than before!
The key is to enjoy your treats in moderation and work out the foods that make you feel good.

6. Reduce Meat Meals At Least Twice Per Week

Consume red meat no more than twice a week initially, and eat more fish and chicken. Eating meat every day is not really healthy for your digestive system and liver. It is one way to take in too many calories and animal fat. I know what you may have been told, that the Paleolithic (cave man) diet is the way to go, and this means lots of red meats and animal proteins. This way of eating does have its merits, but in my opinion it is NOT a good starting point for the average person seeking weight loss. You can read more more about the Atkin’s Diet and constipation (by eating too much animal protein) on this link.  High protein diets are not a good way for you initially to lose weight, it is best that you clean up your liver and digestive system first. There is mounting evidence to support long-term fat loss (and a healthy weight maintenance) is best achieved by eating less meat, and the health benefits based on plant-based nutrition are just too numerous to mention.

7. Eat More Fibre

Eating lots of vegetables and fruits will help to increase the amount of fibre you consume. Fibre has many important functions in your body, it will slow down your desire for more food and improve your digestion in several ways. It will help reduce cholesterol levels and improve bowel function. Make plant-based foods the mainstay of your diet and by doing so you will ensure a healthy, varied diet that allows for lots of low calorie foods to be eaten, with some of these low calorie foods even allowing you to speed weight loss.

8. Become More Active

How much time do you spend in front of a screen? We have a new disease in the 21st century, and we call it the “sitting disease”. We like our remote control and are moving less than ever. Increase your activity to decrease your unwanted fat, you need to move it to lose it. Get out there every day and stay active. You will NEVER maintain a good body size by diet alone, and it is ridiculous to think otherwise. Skinny people are active people. Fat people are not so active. There are exceptions of course, but the general rule is the more active your lifestyle is the more you will increase your metabolic rate – and the more fat you burn.

9. Drink Lots Of Water And Herbal Teas

Did you know that water and healthy beverages like herbal teas have greatly aid in maintaining your ideal weight? Your digestion will work that much better, your absorption of nutrients will improve and you will feel fuller for longer if you have a glass of water before each meal. Try having a cup or two a day of a Detox Tea. By feeling fuller (foods expand more in a digestive environment which contains more water, they digest easier and are better absorbed) you will eat less, and by eating less you will lose weight. Try to drink a full glass of water on rising each morning. Better still, have this full glass of water with a level teaspoon of vitamin C powder.  We all know that drinking water is beneficial but we tend to overlook this fact. Good food and plenty of water are the perfect prescription for a lean, healthy body.

10. Please – Stop Weighing Yourself!

Do you still hop on those bathroom scales each day? I discourage my patients from weighing in regularly. When weight loss occurs, you will almost certainly know and your friends and family will be quick to tell you so! Weight alone can be misleading. I have found that women who are scale-conscious can be really hard on themselves, despite the fact normal fluctuations in body composition can take place many times throughout the day. For a more true representation of your healthy weight loss and healthy lifestyle changes, take regular body measurements and keep an eye on how loose your clothes become over time.

11. Focus On A Well Functioning Digestive System

One of the most important things you can do, especially when you commit and begin your weight loss program, is to improve our digestive system. There are several ways to do this, for example you could begin with a simple ten day detox like many of our patients do. You could drink more herbal teas and in particular work on improving your liver function. As a naturopath I noticed the connection between weight-loss and a healthy liver, get your liver in top shape and watch that weight go! If you have had your gallbladder removed, take a good lipotropic formula (digestive enzyme with ox bile, amylase, pancreatin, etc) each day for a few months, you will feel that much better, in addition to a good liver support supplement.

12. Always Remain Positive And Use Visualisation

By staying positive, focused and confident that you will achieve your goal of steady weight loss you will get there that much quicker. Your subconscious mind has got the remarkable ability to help you achieve your objective if you allow it to. By keeping a picture in your conscious mind a few times throughout your day of the person you want to become, your subconscious has the ability to get you there – only if you believe that it will happen for you. Stay focused and keep on track and understand that it is the little things you do each day will contribute to you reaching your goal – permanent weight loss.


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