Since time immemorial, people have wanted to lose weight. This has spawned an entire diet industry that promised people faithfully that if they popped this pill, took this shake or avoided eating a particular type of foodstuff the unwanted kilos would melt off them. And it worked for a time. The unwanted weight came off, ladies fitted into their bikinis and men felt more comfortable to walk on the beach without their shirts on.

However, once these people came off the diet – and started eating what they used to eat (which may or may not have been particularly healthy) – the weight piled back on. And then they started with the next diet and the same pattern of things reoccurred.

Why did this happen? What went wrong? 

The simple answer to these questions is that while the pills or shakes did stimulate rapid weight loss, the people did not maintain good nutritional principles to keep the weight off after they’d been on the particular diet. So what are good nutritional principles and how can you adopt them?

The Five Food Groups

There are five food groups. These are:

  • Vegetables and Fruit
  • Carbohydrates
  • Protein
  • Dairy 
  • Fat

Each of these are essential to your body’s nutrition. However, within these food groups there are good choices and bad choices. For example within the carbohydrate group there are simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbs – such as white bread – release a lot of energy into your bloodstream very quickly and then – equally as quickly – leave you feeling tired and listless. Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, release a small amount of sugar into your blood stream at various points after you’ve eaten it. This means that you feel fuller for longer and are less likely to reach for more food that will give you that boost.

This means that you need to choose what you eat very carefully so that you’re getting the correct portions of the nutrients – that the food contains – and are not overdosing on it.

Not a one-size-fits-all

Good nutritional principles are non-negotiable. If you don’t get the nutrients you need, you will very likely suffer from a disease as a result of this deficiency.

However, the way that you get these nutrients does not have to apply across the board. For example, some people have to follow a gluten-free diet, for example those people who suffer from coeliac disease. They can still get the energy that they need from sources such as maize.

The body is a dynamic organism. The blueprints are there from the time of conception but these plans are modified for each human being. This is what makes us unique! So make sure that the nutrition plan that you follow is suitable for each individual person.

Training is essential for weight loss

Adopting good nutritional principles is a fundamental start in your weight loss journey. However, there will come a time when your weight loss will plateau. This means that in order to kick start this again, you need to start exercising so that you can burn more calories and, as a result, lose more weight – should you want to.

The great thing about training is that, during this process, you form lean muscle mass. Not only does this help you to look lean and trim, lean muscle mass also helps you to burn more calories at rest. So, bonus: you’ll be losing weight even when you’re sitting behind your desk!

Losing weight – as with good nutritional principles – needs to work for you. If you blindly follow a regime that has been put together for someone else, chances are very good that you won’t stick to it for very long as you won’t feel comfortable with doing what it entails. So if you’re serious about losing weight, we recommend that you consult a nutritionist and/or personal trainer to help you get started and keep motivated!