This is the time of year when we all want to lose weight. We may sign up to the gym, buy some trainers, get out the swimming things or simply use that Wii or Kinect we got for Christmas. Unfortunately, a lot of us will give up by the end of February before embarking on the same process next year.
Even worse some of us look for a quick fix. Like a crank get rich scheme there are people who believe there is an easy way of losing weight that does not involve will power, hard work and dedication. As if one simple soup or drug will wash away the fat and they can carry on sitting on the sofa watching telly.
Health professionals will always advise that the most important thing to do in terms of your eating habits is to have a balanced diet. That means that about a third of your diet should be fruit and vegetables and a third should include carbohydrates such as pasta and potatoes. For protein we should eat meat and fish (especially oily fish) and in moderation for calcium we should consume milk and dairy foods.
What they do not suggest is a diet that consists of one food. I have known many friends of mine who have tried the cabbage soup diet. If any weight was lost through this diet it was through the expulsion of wind as through anything else.
Whilst some friends said they did lose some weight whilst they were on it one canִ eat cabbage soup forever and sooner or later the weight returns.
Some people say the Atkins diet worked for them and yet for others it would be dangerous to cut out carbohydrates from their diet. It is dangerous to make any radical change to what you eat.
Atkins suggested that people can carry on eating cholesterol inducing high fat foods and it was reported that Dr Robert Atkins died from a heart attack and therefore suffered from his own advice. This is disputed but the fact remains that it is dangerous to cut out one part of a balanced diet in order to lose weight.
The problem all dieters suffer from though is the yo-yo effect. They follow the cabbage soup diet and then put weight back on and they follow the quick fix diet of the time and again they put weight back on.
We have Stone Age bodies and if you suddenly remove food from our bodies they retain fat because they think that we are suffering from famine. The trick is to diet in a manner in harmony with our bodies.
The secret, if it is indeed a secret, is to maintain a balanced diet and to exercise. To watch how much you eat and to do an exercise you enjoy.
There should be no excuse. If you suffer from knee pain get a ligament knee support or go swimming. To start off you can get a swiss ball and exercise with that at home. The key is to get active as well as eat properly.
There is no magic solution to weight loss apart from your desire to make the right choices in terms of diet and exercise and to make that your way of life.