How To Lose Weight With Diet

an image of a woman standing in front of a table of healthy foods while holding a tape measure around her waist. This image is supposed to show that weight loss starts with proper dietary practices.

this banner says: the definitive weight-loss programme Module 3: Diet & Nutrition

According to Dr Gregor (2017), author of How Not To Die, over 90% of health comes from what we eat.¹ If this is true, and recent research strongly indicates that it is, one of your primary objectives in your weight-loss campaign should be to cultivate a healthy diet. For not only is a healthy diet closely correlated with decreased disease, illness and preventable mortality (see opening quotes), but it is by far the single most effective method of losing weight.

Before we embark on an exploration of what constitutes as a healthy diet, and delve into the methods of how to shape a diet that assists and supports weight-loss (and health! of course), I want you to complete the following task.

Task: make a mind-map/spider diagram/list of you currently understanding of what qualifies as healthy eating habits. Or, more simply, encapsulate the proceeding question in a paragraph:

Q: Do you know what constitutes as a healthy diet?

If you are not exactly sure and your understanding is a little foggy, don’t worry, you are not alone. As it happens, that vast majority of people have a hazy understanding of what qualifies as healthy eating. Actually, what most people believe to be healthy eating is, in fact, quite the opposite. For example, the following assumptions are ubiquitously regarded as healthy eating habits:

  • meat must be consumed to ensure the body gets adequate protein

  • milk is essential for bone development

  • all fat is an evil that is best avoided

  • 5 pieces of fruit or vegetables should be consumed daily

  • white rice and pasta are good sources of energy

  • alcohol can be consumed in moderation as part of a healthy lifestyle

  • low fat products are better than their full-fat counterparts

  • it’s not where the calories come from that matters, it’s the number consumed

  • I can eat what I like so long as I do a bit of exercise

By the fact that these assumptions have been identified you will have guessed that they are wrong. Well, they are not only wrong but, according to emerging research, some of them are contributing to disease, ill-health, obesity and premature death. The WHO, for example, has warned that the increase consumption of ‘energy-dense’ and ‘nutrient-deficient’ foods – such as certain animal products and all confectionaries – coupled with high doses of salt, sugar and saturated fat – again, animal products, confectionaries and all processed foods – have contributed to the exacerbation of disease and a three-fold increase in obesity rates.²