Susie Burrell

‘your food, your body, your life’

The real secret to weight loss success.

At this time of year there is always plenty of info talking about diets – what is the best diet to follow? Why are diets bad for us? And of course plenty of diets and weight loss aids available for purchase. Far less frequently mentioned are the factors that determine whether or not a diet will be successful and it may come as a surprise to hear that it is just one key factor that will determine if literally all diets will work – how consistently you follow that diet.

A typical New Year’s diet scenario will see someone with relatively high amounts of motivation decide to start one Monday in the new year with a new and relatively strict diet. Here large volumes of healthy food will be purchased, several hours will be spent in the kitchen blending protein smoothies and baking protein balls and one will start the week with the best of intentions and at least 2-3 days of low calorie, healthy eating. And indeed, if this continued for a week or two, a couple of kilos would likely be lost on the scales and the new diet would be deemed successful.

Unfortunately this is rarely the way the story goes.

Rather a day or two of strict dieting is followed with a meal enjoyed out with friends, along with a few glasses of wine. Then a resolution to instantly correct this with a day of fasting but of course this does not evolve because life gets in the way and you end up eating a few chocolate biscuits, and blow out your calories the next weekend before again resolving to get back on track the next Monday. And so the story goes.

It is not that the diet does not work rather most of us find it hard to stick to a diet for any consistent period of time, and the time that is required to see sustainable weight loss.

So this year, if your ultimate goal is to lean up a little, the best advice I can give you is to be consistent. Whatever diet you choose to follow, or dietary change you choose to make, do it consistently for at least 2-3 weeks. Here your body will have the time it takes to successfully burn extra body fat and you will help to avoid the dreaded diet cycle that plagues so many of our lives each and every Monday.

Some examples of consistent changes that are conductive to sustainable weight loss include skipping your morning coffee or getting rid of the milk in your coffee; only eating in an 8 hour period each day, leaving 12-14 hours overnight without food and keeping your dinner small and light at just 300 calories. None of these strategies are strict, nor advocating a diet mentality rather sustainable strategies that will support weight control long term.