Weighty issues: what should I be eating?
Healthy resolutions may seem passé now, but Dr Christian is adamant that we don’t have to just make them once a year and then give up when they don’t work.
‘We start in earnest but if we fail,’ says Dr Christian, ‘we just think “oh well, better wait until next year before trying again”.’ And Dr Christian thinks the one thing we should all be targeting (whatever the time of year) is weight. ‘The key is not cutting foods out, but cutting down. Instead of worrying about what you shouldn’t be eating, think about what you can eat instead. If I had to distil my weight loss advice into five key points, it would be these.’
1. You don’t have to go it alone
‘Getting friends on board, or joining weight-loss groups can be more fun and far more successful. You can even download apps to a phone or computer that will help you out. Research has shown that women who received daily, personalised text messages with tips lost more weight than those who had no extra support.’
2. Get more shut-eye
‘It has been suggested that those who struggle to manage their weight might find it easier if they got one extra hour of sleep each night.’
3. A little at a time
‘A loss of around 2lb per week is about right to stop your body from panicking and going into starvation mode. It’s also a far more sustainable rate.’
4. Don’t fret
‘Don’t get hung up on low carb, or low fat, or any other diet regime. It’s change in general that makes the difference, not so much the diet in particular.’
5. Get everyone in your family involved
‘Struggling to eat healthily while those around you don’t is doomed to fail. Everyone will benefit from improving their diet, especially children, so they learn good habits.’
Photograph: John Wright
This article was first published in at home’s ’Ask the Doctor’ with Dr Christian Jessen in March 2012. [Read the digital edition here]