If there’s one problem with finding a diet that works for women, choice surely isn’t it. There’s a mind-boggling number of diets to choose from, enough to give even the most determined dieter a headache. So, what separates diets that work from the ones that don’t? It all comes down to the individual. What works for one person in no way guarantees it will work for another. While important factors like calorie reduction can’t be ignored, there are idiosyncrasies in every diet plan that ultimately determine its efficacy.
If your goal is weight loss and you aren’t consuming fewer calories than you are metabolically burning, you will not lose weight. Based on this simple fact of physiology, all diets have the ability to work, what determines your staying-power though is their practicality and whether or you actually enjoy the process. It naturally follows then that the first and most important ingredient of successful dieting is fun, after all, losing weight is as much about the brain as the belly, scientists say.
You can maximize your body’s dopamine receptors (responsible for feelings of reward and pleasure) by savoring every bite and paying attention to the color and texture of what you eat. Try it and you’ll be surprised how much quicker you feel full. Your brain is also intricately linked to the type of food you eat. If you thought chips, chocolate and lollies weren’t dangerous, think again! Sure, the odd bag of potato chips isn’t going to do you any harm, but did you know that too much junk food can affect the brain in ways similar to drug abuse? Why? Those same dopamine receptors actually shrunk in response to every sugar-hit, meaning more was needed to reach previous levels of satisfaction – talk about becoming a junk food junkie! This should be all you need to hear to lay-off the donuts and cakes.
One of the major mistakes women make when dieting is waiting too long between meals. Going for long periods without eating bring on intense cravings for energy-dense foods which can make healthier options seem like an afterthought. It can also slow your metabolism to a crawl. To avoid energy crashes, plan your meals and snacks in advance, allowing your body and mind to settle into a routine. While it’s generally a good idea to not wait longer than three hours or more to have a snack, this should not cloud the fact that weight loss hinges on total caloric intake, regardless of how you spread your meals out over the day.