Best diet plan to lose weight after Christmas ‘Sustainability’s key’

With everyone keen to make this Christmas the best ever, it is no surprise that in January, clothes may feel a little tighter. For anyone looking to shed a few festive pounds, Express.co.uk spoke exclusively to Kathleen Trotter, MSc, about the weight loss and fitness industry where she shared her thoughts on the most popular diets some might try.

Kathleen said: “There is no one ‘best’ diet. What is ‘best’ will depend on your goals, your age, your gender, your exercise history, your life realities, etc.

“Stop trying to ‘find’ a diet plan. I believe everyone must create the ‘nutrition mix’ or ‘recipe’ that works for them.

“There are pros and cons to every diet, and the pros and cons are relative to the person creating the mix.

“What is considered a pro for you will depend on your individual history, genetics, goals, your pro might be your best friend’s con,” she added.

In terms of how to successfully lose weight, the fitness expert continued: “Sustainability is key.

“Creating a plan that won’t cause you to yo-yo diet is key. Crash diets are not helpful long term.

Kathleen said: “There is no one ‘best’ diet. What is ‘best’ will depend on your goals, your age, your gender, your exercise history, your life realities, etc.

“Stop trying to ‘find’ a diet plan. I believe everyone must create the ‘nutrition mix’ or ‘recipe’ that works for them.

“There are pros and cons to every diet, and the pros and cons are relative to the person creating the mix.

“What is considered a pro for you will depend on your individual history, genetics, goals, your pro might be your best friend’s con,” she added.

In terms of how to successfully lose weight, the fitness expert continued: “Sustainability is key.

“Creating a plan that won’t cause you to yo-yo diet is key. Crash diets are not helpful long term.

“Unrealistic and extreme diets and exercise regimens can be detrimental for your hormones, weight, metabolism and mindset.

“For example, consuming too few carbs, especially if you are female and active, can negatively impact your thyroid hormones and disrupt your HPA (hypothalamus/pituitary/adrenal) axis, metabolism and reproductive hormones.

“For a more detailed explanation of carbs and metabolism; life is long, and your choices today impact your metabolism of the future.

“Everything you consume – as well as the foods you skip – will impact your hormones.

“We often frame food as ‘calories’, but every food is so much more than its caloric number. What we eat effects our microbiome, our energy, our sleep. Food constitutes the building blocks of hormones and neurotransmitters, etc.

“Plus, when it comes to nutrition, most people don’t need complexity; they need to follow the basics consistently,” she remarked.

Kathleen went on to say: “Put another way, don’t ‘mow the lawn when the house is on fire’. Don’t get focused on the stuff that does not matter.

“When it comes to our health it is easy to get mired in the muck – spend too much time thinking rather than acting.”

Elements of health to focus on to lose weight:

  • Focus on nutritionally dense foods, stay away from processed [food]. Eat real food. Whenever possible, eat food where the only ingredient is the food. The ingredient in broccoli is broccoli. When you do buy foods with a label, make sure you can pronounce the ingredients.
  • Listen to your body. Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full (or before you are full), and eat mindfully.
  • Be mindful of hydration and embrace that liquids ‘count’. Calories count, even in liquid form. Pay attention to what you drink, not just what you eat. Alcohol counts too.
  • Keep portions and planning in mind. One cookie is not the same as five cookies. Portions matter. Always have a plan – prep healthy food, know what you will eat at parties and have an advanced plan of attack in social situations.

Photo: Getty Images